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The Honors College has a variety of courses on topics from Afrofuturism to Engineering Metaphysics to Photography and everything in between.
UH 229-014: Introduction to Africa-China Relations
Since 2000, The People’s Republic of China (China) spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Africa, investing in the continent’s natural resources, underwriting massive infrastructure projects and wooing its leaders. The campaign bought China friends and allies in multilateral institutions such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization, undermining the West’s once-reliable lock on the postwar world order while fueling its economy back home. Regarding Africa, the Chinese Government’s Second Africa Policy Paper of 2015 stated that the relationship between Africa and China should be one of “mutually beneficial cooperation” and argued that “China has always sincerely supported Africa’s development”. Chinese and some African government officials support the paper’s arguments by speaking of Africa-China relations as a “win-win” partnership, “traditional friendship”, and “brotherhood” predicated on mutual marginalization by the West.
Still, China and individual African countries remain highly unequal in their economic and political strength and global significance. There is also great heterogeneity amongst the African Union’s 54 states, which are at different stages of development and who possess a broad diversity of political and social systems, in their responses to and engagement with the People’s Republic of China. Is it possible in this situation to have symmetrical, “win-win” bilateral relations?
Focusing on three key interaction points—pre-colonial encounters, Maoist Era Solidarity (1955-1978), and ‘Going Out’ (1999-Present)— students will become acquainted with the actors, institutions, and domestic and global conditions driving engagement between continent and country. Ultimately, the course aims to provide students with the opportunity to critically discuss and analyze Africa-China’s historical, socio-economic, political, and cultural relations and their implications for Africa’s future.