Chinese economic involvement in the sub-Saharan oil-rich countries: The case of Angola, Nigeria and Sudan

Maja Julia Turek

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this study is to uncover the actual trends behind the Chinese economic involvement in Africa. The report is conducted in a form of comparative case study based on the examples of three oil rich sub-Saharan states. The analysis is structured with the help of seven elements of Structural Theory of Imperialism. The author aims to find out to what extent China exercises its economic dominance over the African states. Furthermore, the research challenges the negative press opinions that it is only China that gains from the relationship and analyzes the impact of Chinese involvement in Africa via all three categories of economic interaction: Chinese aid, mutual trade and Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It is intended to find out whether the Chinese presence in Africa is marked solely by the signs of exploitation and oil seeking or whether China actually provides the African states with a support for their future development. The final purpose of the study is to examine what is the role of oil in the relationship. The research allows to draw a conclusion that despite the fact that one can observe the evidence of Chinese economic dominance and a clear tendency of oil-seeking, one cannot conclude explicitly that China is the only party benefiting from the relationship. The role of People's Republic of China in Africa can be called “new support for development” and the negative impact it has on the African economies might actually be a result of the inefficient local governance rather than a result of Chinese dominant or exploitative strategy. The originality of this study stems from its focus on all three categories of economic interaction: aid, trade and FDI; its emphasis on oil and on applying an old-days' theory of imperialism to the present reality. The findings enable the reader to gain deeper understanding of the subject and form their own opinion based on sources other than the controversial Western press articles.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages96