China's Military and Security Cooperation with Africa: Enhancing Influence and Managing Interests

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    This research project is aimed at analyzing the priorities and major features of China’s military and security cooperation with Africa. This project is also aimed at comparing China’s growing role in Africa’s security to the action of some of the continent’s more traditional military and security partners, as the United States, France and the European Union (EU), assessing the areas of cooperation as well as competition between China and these countries and, in so doing, better comprehending China’s geo-strategic objectives and interests in Africa.
    The PI’s hypothesis is that China’s security goals are diverse and expanding, including both hard and soft security objectives, but all aim at consolidating China’s diplomatic and geo-strategic influence as well as great power status in Africa, and beyond. China wants now to be seen as a major stakeholder of Africa’s security and probably also to weaken African countries’ dependence upon their traditional security partners and providers.
    This research will first analyze and compare a few cases of hard and soft security (as medical and humanitarian) cooperation between China and African countries. To conduct this research, the PI has selected seven African countries which have been chosen because of their close security partnership with China as well as their differences: Algeria, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe and Sierra Leone.
    Secondly, this research will analyze China’s growing involvement in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs) in Africa, studying the case of South Sudan.
    This project's third objective is to study China’s military and security cooperation with the African Union (AU) and to evaluate China’s role in the AU’s effort to establish an African Peace and Security Architecture as well as its contribution since 2015 to the establishment of an African rapid reaction force.
    Its fourth objective is to analyze China’s plan to offer a better security to its companies and nationals based in Africa, in assessing in particular the role played in this plan by China’s newly-built dual-use naval base in Djibouti. The major questions that this research project wishes to address are to what extent Beijing’s growing role in Africa’s security is contributing to changing the geo-strategic map of the continent; to what extent it offers new security options to African countries as well as the AU or Africa’s sub-regional organizations; and to what extent it compels Africa’s more traditional security partners to take into account China’s stake and security interests on the continent.
    Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/22

    UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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