Beijing’s ‘going out’ strategy and belt and road initiative in the sahel: The case of china’s growing presence in niger

Jean-Pierre Cabestan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


In looking at the case of Niger, this article demonstrates that there have been a lot of similarities between China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched in 2013 and its ‘going out’ strategy initiated in the late 1990s. Prior to 2013, many of the BRI’s objectives and strategies were already at work in Africa, and particularly in socioeconomically poor, landlocked countries that badly need infrastructure and connectivity. It also shows that China has been ready to invest in projects that are not necessarily profitable in the short term to consolidate its economic and diplomatic presence in the targeted country as well as to help its large state firms growing and internationalizing. It then demonstrates that although Niger did not belong in the initial group of countries targeted by the BRI, this initiative has contributed to deepening China’s economic and political influence in Niger, particularly to the detriment of France. Finally, this article highlights that both in Africa, particularly in the Sahel region, and in the BRI coun-tries, China is facing emerging security challenges, continuing to mainly rely on others to overcome them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-613
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number118
Early online date26 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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