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Friend or Foe: Chinese influence in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2018,31 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The rise of China over the last few decades has been well documented in media outlets around the world, with most Western companies suggesting it is a cause for concern. The US Department of Defense names China as a potential adversary alongside Iran, Russia, and North Korea. Yet most controversy over China relates to its investment in Africa, and further afield. As the Chinese economy appears to strengthen and its GDP continues to increase, it provides an attractive opportunity for bilateral agreements for many developing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The highest number of deployed British Army personnel are in Africa, on a variety of peacekeeping missions, training exercises, and host nation support activities. As the UK strives to improve and maintain its international reputation among the developing continent, whilst assisting countries in defeating non-state terror groups, as well as stemming potential migration into Europe, it must be wary of China operating in the same environment. Can both countries co-exist, or is there a potential for confrontation By examining the paradigms of both the UK and China, this papers endeavors to determine if there will be a new contest in Africa. Open source evidence will be used to determine the Chinese and British strategies, and how the effects are felt in Africa by the local population and in the wider international community. This paper argues that the paradigm for the United Kingdom National Security Strategy and subsequent British Army strategy remains relevant for the changing context and regional challenges posed by ongoing Chinese influence in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations

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