For the 53 African nations attending the annual Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, the welcome news was President Xi Jinping’s $60 billion pledge for new projects. FOCAC takes place every three years, offering a platform for China and African countries to coordinate cooperation mechanisms on development investments, cultural exchanges and military cooperation, among a wider range of topics. FOCAC 2018 marked the fourth time the Chinese government hosted the event in Beijing.
The $60 billion promise matched the pledge total from the previous FOCAC in 2015. But the distribution breakdown is different this time. Here’s what you need to know:
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For the past two weeks, high-ranking military officials from 50 African states have been in Beijing attending the first China-Africa Defense and Security Forum. What clues does this forum give about China’s gradual, yet steady, increase in military ties with Africa?
Until recently, many experts considered China’s relations with African states to be economically focused for the most part — and far less interested in military matters. Africa’s relations with big powers seemed to follow a certain pattern — with the United States collaborating on military and counterterrorism aspects, and China on trade and economic development.
The defense and security forum (organized by China’s Ministry of National Defense) is a sign of China’s growing military ties with Africa, as is the inauguration of the country’s first overseas military base in Djibouti in 2017 and its contribution to U.N.… Seguir leyendo »