Is China’s International Economic Policy Targeting Africa? And Why Should We Care?

It is no secret that China’s economy has been growing and developing at a rapid rate for many years. Energy is a critical element in this expansion, and oil is an important source of energy. Many observers feel that to feed its need for energy, China has particularly targeted Africa. And to be sure, there have been a number of deals between Chinese oil companies with African governments. But, has the drive for oil led China to focus its economic activity on Africa?

In this paper I will look at the bilateral trade between China and other countries from 1990 through 2006. When looking at the overall picture, does it appear that China’s trade is predicted by general factors, or is it the case that China has particularly strong trading relationships with African countries that have oil?