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.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations