At the 6th Forum on China–Africa Cooperation last Friday in Johannesburg, a new relationship between the world’s second-largest economy and its fastest rising continent was on display. The forum is the main platform for official high-level political and economic dialogue between Africa and China, held once every three years. China made headlines at the event by announcing a $60 billion package of loans, aid, investment, and other financial support to Africa.
Yet for all the fanfare, the relationship between China and Africa is under strain. That is why Beijing must now rethink its engagement with the continent, focusing less on the size and number of commitments it offers and more on sustainability, with an approach that goes beyond government-to-government initiatives.
First, the plusses.
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