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A Silent Invasion? African Views on the Growing Chinese Presence in Africa: The Case of Equatorial Guinea

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image of African and Asian Studies
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The literature on African perceptions of the Chinese presence in Africa tends to present two different perspectives on this issue. The works based on opinion polls typically emphasize the positive nature of African views on China, whereas the qualitatively grounded research often point to the presence of both positive and negative perceptions in African discourses on China. Due to the traditional friendship between Beijing and Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, the Equatoguinean people seemingly have a positive image of China, but the recent fast mounting Chinese presence in the country has started to raise mixed feelings among the bulk of the population. The local political and economic privileged classes who have benefitted most from the growing Chinese presence in Equatorial Guinea tend to be more supportive of this new phenomenon, whereas a minor group of small entrepreneurs and the main opposition parties are firmly critical of China. The present paper intends to shed some light on these contradictory views through a systematic study of the Equatoguinean people’s attitudes towards China and the Chinese, which elucidate three independent variables as the basis of judgment: (1) the nature of the traditional relationship between Africa and China, (2) occupation, and (3) political affiliation.


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Affiliations: 1: Centre for East Asian Studies, Autonomous University of Madrid, Email:


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