The author, Frances Stevens George, uses a historical lens to take us to a journey of understanding the relationship between China and Africa, hence explaining the China’s motives and activities in Africa now. Economically, China is driven by economic growth and Africa has abundant natural resources to fuel China’s growth. Politically, the ideologies of China and many African countries are the same; self-determination and non-intervention of China and Africa against imperialism and colonialism of United States of America. China needs an ideologically identical ally. This is a win-win situation.
In our Chinese culture, we like to analyse things from a historical perspective. We learn from ancestors’ previous mistakes and do better than their previous success. I am very identified with the approach the author adopted. However, I have certain scepticism that all China’s motives and activities in Africa can be explained by historical approach. Some organizational or individual behaviours are motivated mainly by pursuing personal interest and benefit, or they are narrow minded.
Anyway, the book inspires me to look at phenomenon in different perspectives. Being a Hong Kong Chinese, I seldom have the opportunity to touch upon the Chinese history in relation to Africa. The author put back the puzzles into the big part of China history. This political understanding set a stage not only for politicians, but also for scholars, academics, entrepreneurs and companies. Therefore, I have no hesitation to recommend you the book.
Lastly, I have questions to the author. When China and Africa will get married? What will make them divorced? Would it be his next publication?