Chinese and American involvement in Africa


The paper deals with the identification and discussion on Chinese and American involvements in Africa. It has been to resolve on the concern concentration intensity those nations have on the matter. The opposite and equating approaches and resulting insinuations of different strategies executed in Africa are decided. As a final point, recognize the mode of activities in which entire scope of African issues with respect to US, China and Africa as well are revealed.

Categories of Intensity – China

There are presently thirty-two nations mining for African uranium. It is reported in Miner’s Choice publication that accurate trade figures for uranium are difficult to find…some governments withhold information while others fail to state reliable numbers. However, it was reported in April 2009 that China’s demand for natural uranium will have reached 10,500 tons per year by 2020. China is stated to mine approximately 1,000 pounds of uranium per year. Since the connection of the first of China’s nuclear power plants in 1991 to the grid, there have been a total of six nuclear power plants installed with eleven units totally 9.068 kilowatts in commercial operation. There are presently in eight more units under construction…” which represents a future 7.9 kilowatts of capacity. This enormous impending hunger for uranium in China must be met.

Hansen (2008) states in the Council on Foreign Relations publication entitled: “China, Africa and Oil” that China is presently “seeking to increase its oil imports from the continent…” (Africa). The reality of Chinese necessity for huge resources to maintain their swift expansion is very much evident. They exhibit their expedition to lock supplies of oil and other essential raw supplies all over the world for use in years far ahead. These explain their strategy in Africa, to achieve better accumulation of resources.

The interest of China as stated in the work of Hansen (2008) is to extend “beyond oil” as presently China is the second in the ranks of trading partners with Africa behind the U.S. but in ahead of France and Britain. Trade between China and Africa is reported to have “…doubled to $18.5 billion; by 2007, it had reached $73 billion.” Imports include oil as well as non-oil commodities including “timber, copper and diamonds.” Furthermore, imports include “African-manufactured value-added goods.” The Chinese interest on raw materials is actually the national and at times international interests globally. “Signaling the credibility and intensity of the threat are keys to success” (Bartholomees 2008, p.128) says Alan G. Stolberg in his paper named ‘The International System in The 21st Century’. The main interests of Chinese are to converse deeply with African administers concerning bribery, deprived control and human rights mistreatments. China should enlarge its relation and involvement with Africa’s social cultures, working groups, private associations and opponent political groups. These are different from US affairs but are there some alliance policies between China and US.

Categories of Intensity – United States: Oil Supply & National Security

Hansen (2008) states that there have been reports which describe that there exists “… a race between China and the United States to secure the continent’s oil supplies. Others note that while Chinese interests in African have surged, Western nations still make up the vast majority of investments in Africa and remain highly influential.” Stated to be among those interests are “the increasing importance of Africa’s natural resources, particularly energy resources and mounting concern over violent extremist activities and other potential threats posed by uncontrolled spaces, such as piracy and illicit trafficking.” Further concerns include the humanitarian crises of Africa and her many armed conflicts. Ploch (2009) reports that there are several strategic interests of the United States in Africa and that these include:

  1. oil and global trade;
  2. maritime security;
  3. armed conflicts;
  4. violent extremism;
  5. HIV/AIDS.

It is evident from the study that the intensity categories of Stolberg matches with those strategies executed by American interests. “Dr. Stolberg’s assertion is that globalization has caused America’s foreign and domestic interests to assimilate” (Haggins 2008, p.24). This can create considerable dilemma, but will help out in national and international affairs of exploitation. It is reported that the Bush Administration in its 2002 National Security Strategy stated a need for the U.S. to “focus on building indigenous security and intelligence capabilities through bilateral engagement and ‘coalitions of the willing.” Furthermore, Ploch (2009) relates that the most recent National Security Strategy of 2006 states Africa is “high priority” and acknowledges that U.S. security is dependent on “partnering with Africans to strengthen fragile and failing states and bring ungoverned areas under the control of effective democracies.” Finally, Ploch (2009) reports the United States presently procures as much crude oil from Africa as from the Middle East. US develop a clear relation with African rulers with increased modesty and have more private relationships with them. US donate supplementary safety approaches to United Nations mediation manoeuvres in Africa.

Summary and Conclusion

The interests of China and the United States in Africa are to a great degree competitive as the United States and China are both in need of the crude oil supplied by Africa. “Both seek raw materials such as oil, political and economic support in world forums from African countries, and to increase exports as Africa’s economy grows” (Foreign relations 2010). They have common interests in mediation and negotiations, power expansion, civic wellbeing, ecological traditions and increasing African sell abroad competence, identifies David H. Shinn. However, the primary reason that the interests of the United States and China are competitive instead of complementary approach is that the United States seeks to grow and preserve democracy and this desire is (at least) contrary to the political aims and principles of China and its government; if they are of any concern at all to the Chinese leadership – as it relates to Africa.

Reference List

Bartholomees, J.B. Jr., 2008. National security policy and strategy, 3rd Ed. [Online] US Army War College Guide to National Security Issues II, p.128. Web.

Eisenhower, D.D., 2009. The white house. P.2. (Provided by the customer).

Foreign relations, 2010. [Online] Diplomatic Mission to South Africa. Web.

Haggins, R.T., 2008. America’s pursuit of the national interests: Past, present and future. [Online] Strategy Research Project, p.24. Web.

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DemoEssays. "Chinese and American involvement in Africa." February 18, 2022.