Like a troupe of wandering entertainers, Chinese officials trumpet at every possible opportunity that their country’s strategy in Africa is one of political non-interference, equality, and mutually beneficial economic agreements, a stark antithesis from the Western colonial scramble of the past.
China’s aversion from formal alliances and her decision not to comment on any of the numerous human-rights abuses that have been committed by some of her closest African partners supports that.
But whereas Chinese economic schemes aim at oil, the major driving factor of her political engagement in Angola is international credibility. China hasn’t forgotten that it was the African support, in the early 1970s, that led to her acceptance into the United Nations (UN).
With over a quarter of the 193 members of the UN being African, China understands the importance that the African continent can have on her global status. Furthermore, the ever important, for Beijing, One-China policy has found many devout followers in Africa. Out of the fifty-four African nations only four recognize Taiwan—quick hint, Angola isn’t one of them.