Webinar: Xing Xu, Deakin University - Aid Competition for political allegiances in Africa

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Title: Aid Competition for political allegiances in Africa

Abstract: China, the emerging global power replaced the US, becoming the new largest donor to Africa in 2006. This has been widely used as evidence to criticise China’s enlarging financial activities in Africa and interpreted as a form of neo-colonialism. Using 54 African countries who have received financial aid from China, the US, and 7 previous colonizers over the period 2000 to 2013, we assess how financial aid to African countries has affected their voting behaviour in the UN General Assembly. Furthermore, aid competition between China, the US, and the old colonial powers is analysed to see if competition influence Africa’s political allegiances. We find that more financial aid from China is associated with Africa’s higher voting consistency with China on the UN General Assembly. This association also applies to the US and previous colonizers. We also find that aid from the US, not only crowded out Africa’s political support to previous colonizers but also frustrated China’s political return of aid through both economic and political channels. Aid from China, however has little effect on Africa’s political allegiances to either previous colonizers or the US.

Presenter: Xing Xu, Deakin University

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