China and Ethiopia: Authoritarian affinities and economic cooperation

Jean-Pierre CABESTAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Since 1995, China and Ethiopia have gradually forged close relations. On both sides, the establishment of this partnership was motivated as much by diplomatic, strategic, and even ideological considerations as by economic ones. For Beijing, economic and trade cooperation with Addis Ababa is a means rather than an end in itself. For Ethiopia, however, partnership with China mainly serves the internal political and economic purposes of the regime that has been in place since 1991, under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for 20 years and, since his death in August 2012, under his successor Hailemariam Desalegn. The relationship is characteristic of the special but asymmetrical links Beijing has sought to establish with countries of the South that are strategically important but economically backward. It also illustrates the attraction the "Chinese model" of development holds in Africa and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalChina Perspectives
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

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

User-Defined Keywords

  • Authoritarian development
  • China
  • Ethiopia
  • Meles zenawi
  • Sino-african relations


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