Contextualising China’s Foray into Human Rights and Peace & Security in Africa

Photo © Eric Kanalstein/ UNMISS/ Flickr

The deepening of China’s engagement with Africa has also prompted the broadening of its interests on the continent.

This has resulted in China’s expansion into increasingly riskier territories, which means there is a greater urgency to protect its interests from the political vagaries endemic to conflict-affected African states. This evolution marks a shift away from traditional perceptions of Chinese engagement in Africa as being limited to its economic interests, towards one where China becomes a politically interested and invested actor. This trend is paralleled by a macro-level reorientation of China’s foreign policy goals, where it envisions itself playing a stronger norm-setting role in the global arena. This policy insights paper explores the values and imperatives that motivate China’s engagement in peace and security, human rights and human security in Africa.