Sino-Soviet Involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Element of Mutual Competition.
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ARLINGTON VA INTERNATIONAL AND SOCIAL STUDIES DIV
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China and the Soviet Union became involved in African affaris in the late 1950s and early 60s as various African countries achieved independence and, coincidentally, as the Sino-Soviet split became increasingly bitter. Sino-Soviet differences influenced particularly the ideological approach of each country to African issues, but direct competition was often not the major determinant of Chinese and Soviet policy. In the early period, Moscow tended to emphasize grandiose aid projects for radical governments in Africa, while Peking tended to stress assistance to African insurgencies often to the detriment of its diplomatic objectives. With the fall of Khrushchev and the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution in China, both Moscow and Peking curtailed their African involvement. The current phase of Sino-Soviet involvement in Africa began in the early 1970s, when Peking entered the UN and emerged from its Cultural Revolution isolationism. China established or reestablished diplomatic relations with most African countries and initiated an economic aid program that became much more comprehensive than that of any other country. Chinese policy was driven in part by its ideological aspiration to leadership in the Third World, and in part by an effort to find allies against Soviet expansionism.
- Government and Political Science