China Africa Relations
China and Tanzania in the New Era: A complicated Relationship
China’s relationship with the United Republic of Tanzania has a long history, spanning back to the independence of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in the early 1960s. Zhou Enlai, Premier at that time, even visited Tanganyika in 1964, just some months before the unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar which created modern Tanzania (Shangwe, p. 81). As China promptly recognized the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, while other countries were hesitant at first, it positioned itself as an unconditional friend to Tanzania. Relations were natural as Tanzania, like many other sub-Sahara nations, was led by a socialist revolutionary government. For young Tanzania, the relationship with China was important as it strengthened its position as an independent country, while China looked for recognition as well. Hence, the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), the all-time governing party in Tanzania, have a long-standing mutual friendship. The good relations resulted in many development projects and other cooperation’s, most famous the challenging Tanzania-Zambia (TAZARA) railway project that today stretches over 1800 kilometers. The first Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere visited China in 1968, and since then mutual visits between the two nations, especially of party officials has remained common (Shangwe, p. 83). Particularly since China's economic opening in the 70s the good inter-party and diplomatic relations were joined by more and more economic and investment cooperation. To this day African countries remain the most favorable towards China, many for very similar reasons as Tanzania (Benabdallah, p. 3).