Chinese aid to Africa is creating pariah states rather than just supporting them, claim the authors of the report, ‘Chinese Aid and Africa’s Pariah States 2000-2011’.
Professors Clionadh Raleigh and Roudabeh Kishi from the University of Sussex, said although China isn’t targeting pariah states with aid, “it is making states into pariahs through providing resources to state leaders who are unafraid to use repression as a means to quell competition. If the state has complete control over its budget, it will use its position to bolster its capacity to repress any potential opposition in order to secure its position,” citing Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Uganda as examples.
Traditional donor aid from the West to African nations usually requires the recipient country to adhere to conditions that support democracy, human rights, electoral transparency and the fight against corruption. Chinese aid is predominately directed towards whichever countries satisfies its needs – which include gaining access to new markets as well as securing its energy requirements – with a recipient’s institutional quality having no bearing on its choices. The crucial factor for Chinese aid provision is that it must benefit China; they also found that countries with a weaker rule of law get more aid as Chinese businesses are allowed to flourish in such environments.