China’s Relations with African Countries: Strategic Perspective (Case of Madagascar)


It is beginning to play an increasingly important role in many areas such as economics, political, and socio-cultural. This is a great new rising power at the beginning of the 21st century. This explosive growth of China has generated significant debates among policymakers, scholars and business leaders on a number of levels. China is now building relationships in several countries especially in Africa. There have been a number of contacts between China and African states in recent decades. This paper seeks to understand this recent shift in China’s relation with African countries such as Madagascar.

Historical Background In 1955: 29 African and Asian states create the “Third world” to strengthen its base in Africa and Asia; Since 1960s: . The Chinese leader Mao supported the African independences. China supports the ambassadors of the emerging countries against Western interference in their internal affairs at the United Nations. In 1978: Deng Xiaoping decided to open the Chinese economy by establishing a new form of socialism; Since the 1990: African economies have opened up for the Asian powers including China; China becomes the spokesperson for developing countries within the WTO (world trade organization)

Partnership China-Madagascar: China has become increasingly active on the African continent in recent years and this activity has drawn the attention of scholars and journalists, among others. Diplomatic Relations: Madagascar and China established diplomatic relations November 6, 1972 and bilateral relations between the two countries continue to consolidate, develop and to strengthen since. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972, their relationship and cooperation in the economic, commercial and various grow without ceasing.

In recent years, the leaders of both countries attach great importance the development of relations and exchanges of high-level increase, which gives great impetus to the rapid development of bilateral relations of friendship and Malagasy cooperation. The Minister of Foreign Affairs established the first diplomatic relations between China and Madagascar during the transition (1972-1975); The celebration of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between China and Madagascar held on 6th November 2012.

Several high Malagasy personalities visited China since the 1990s such as the President of the Republic Albert ZAFY in 1994; Madagascar President Marc RAVALOMANANA arrived in Beijing in 2008. During the current transitional period, Ambassador of China Shen Yongxiang has presented his credentials to the Head of State Andrinirina RAJOELINA. Several high Chinese leaders such as the President of the National People’s Congress Chen Muhua; the Second Prime Minister Jiang Chungun and the Vice President of the Republic Hu Jintao was visited Madagascar.

Economic Relations: If China’s economic weight is felt in African countries, in particular Madagascar by its commercial dynamism, the country begins to be an investor not negligible. Since 2005, the partnership agreements between Madagascar and China have continued to increase. For example, the establishment of a cement factory, the construction of a large 5 star hotel by a Chinese group, the future construction of a hospital. And even well before the year 2005, investment in China has already had its place in the economy, be it in the industry “trade”.

China is the largest partner of Madagascar in terms of imports; 95% of products from Madagascar benefit from the Chinese treatment tariff exemption; The agreement of economic and technical cooperation between China and Madagascar was signed in 2006. Several Chinese companies investing in Madagascar in the infrastructure, energy, the exploitation of oil and raw materials. Bilateral cooperation in the economic and commercial widens constantly rapidly increasing bilateral trade, investment activates the day and exchanges in cultural, educational and human intensify.

The consultations between the two countries in international affairs reinforce more. Cultural Relation: During 40 years of partnership, China has provided more than 350 scholarships and has trained more than 860 government officials and journalist. CONFUCIUS Institutes were established in three provinces of the Big Island. Impact and perspective: The Chinese presence opens a new perspective for developing countries and it presents many more choices in terms of policy and developing model. It allows exploitation of natural resources with higher prices of raw materials and facilitates access to international aid.

It promotes the diversification of investment, a new spirit based on the expression win-win more attractive. China’s growth is pushing up global demand and therefore the price of commodities exported by African countries. In addition, China has become the main partner of several African countries: it provides cheaper manufactured goods and reduces their dependence on their ways traditional trading partners. In the case of Madagascar, the local market is still underdeveloped in that 20% of the population live in urban areas and in this context, the abundance of Chinese products (food, textiles, toys, shoes, appliances, … Markets Local penalizes local industries to the extent that the price of Chinese products is well below the cost of local industries and supply is abundant. The competitiveness of local industries is low compared to the value of a product Chinese including textiles and food products. In the Capital Antananarivo, expansion and Chinese domination can be analyzed via the rapid development of a shopping center Behoririka (name of district) in the middle Capital in the image of Chinatown. Added to this is the development of restorations.

However, these imports improve the well-being of people in that price consumer goods from China are within the powers of purchases population. The development of these businesses creates jobs but the salary level remains insufficient compared to the level of wages in the private sector in Madagascar. Chinese competition also exerts downward pressure on the cost of investment. Chinese equipment (transport, agriculture) is very cheap an alternative to higher quality goods. However, the lifetime of the equipment is not long compared to the same type of equipment from Europe.

Chinese growth will boost African exports but will also increase volatility. China opened its market by treating preferential tariff least developed countries, but this has not yet been impacted on African exports. In the case of Madagascar, export to the China is still insufficient compared to the values ?? of imports and has been a decade. This increases the trade deficit Malagasy and may undermine the external reserves position of the Central Bank of Madagascar. If Europe the main export destination from Madagascar, China still relatively low and represents 2. 2%.

In terms of trade between China and Madagascar, relationships become increasingly important during the last decade. Current trends regional trade showed a significant increase and the value of continuous imports from China, and a modest increase in export exports Madagascar to China. Changes in imports and exports of Madagascar with China do not evolve at the same rate, resulting in an imbalance of trade. The exchanges are obviously in favor of China. CONCLUSION In short cooperation with China is mutually beneficial and China has promoted the cultural development in Madagascar.

Projects underway in Madagascar, which involve Chinese aid, are also very visible. In terms of foreign direct investment, the weight of Chinese investors is not negligible and is around 10%. The majority of Chinese capital from Hong Kong. Chinese companies are among the providers of jobs in Madagascar. If the participation of France in the capital is very dominant in Madagascar, China’s participation has increased by 0. 8% to 10. 9% over the same period and has a negative influence on the situation in France.

This attests to the strengthening of the position China and offset somewhat the impact of French colonization of the current situation. The friendly cooperation in the field of education, health and trade, have borne remarkable fruit. We think that with the principle of mutual benefit, cooperation between China and Madagascar will have a bright future. REFERENCES • http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/world-africa-13864364 • http://www. irinnews. org/Madagascar • http://www. state. gov/p/af/ci/ma/ • file:///F:/feed%20back%20de%2040%20ans. htm • file:///F:/CCTV%20mirrroir%20d%20afrik%20frappe%20chinoise. htm file:///F:/mada%20chine%202. htm • http://www. xinhuanet. com/english/home. htm • Perspectives economiques en Afrique. OCDE. 2006 • Plan cadre des Nations Unies pour l’assistance au developpement (UNDAF) Madagascar 2008-2011. Systeme des Nations Unies. Juin 2007 • Rapport National sur le Developpement Humain Madagascar 2006 : Les technologies de l’information et de la communication et developpement humain. PNUD. Avril 2007 • Les echanges entre la Chine et L’Afrique : Situation actuelle, perspectives et sources pour l’analyse , Jean Raphael Chaponniere, STATECO N°100, 2006.