China’s growing security role in Africa Suggestions for a European response
Tom Bayes, International Consultant
As it emerges as a global security actor, Beijing is actively pursuing a greater role in African peace and security – which it established as a priority area for Sino-African ties in 2018. In recent years, China has stepped up military diplomacy, training and arms sales on the continent (becoming the second-largest supplier); mediated conflicts; and expanded its role in UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKOs) both quantitatively and qualitatively. Beijing has also located its first overseas military base on the continent, in Djibouti.
Coupled with its considerable economic and diplomatic influence on the continent, China’s growing engagement with African security raises new challenges and opportunities for Africa and its existing security partners, including European actors in the EU and NATO.
This #MDPD paper on democracy and development draws on fieldwork in eight African countries, including interviews of senior military officers, government officials, politicians, researchers and civil society actors, as well as foreign diplomats and officials of international organisations.