Kishore Mahbubani, a scholar on government policy, claimed (YouTube link) that China is trying to develop Africa more than any other country. What benefits would China gain by developing Africa geopolitically?

  • 2
    Africa is a continent, not a country
    – Caleth
    Jul 1 '19 at 8:40

A market, a manufacturing base, a source of raw materials, and a network of allies

Not everything that a country does is always defined by narrow self-interest. However a more economically developed Africa would be an expanded market for China to trade with.

African countries are already major suppliers of raw materials. China would like to obtain these at preferential rates.

China itself currently has a large manufacturing sector, and is competitive compared to Europe and America in part because wages are lower. As China becomes richer its people will expect higher wages and so China will look to Africa to make consumer items for its people.

Finally by being engaged with the development of African countries, China will make political allies, which has the potential to be useful in future international disagreements or conflict.

  • 4
    Good answer, but you should perhaps also include "potential source of raw materials". With 25% of the world's population but I believe less than 10% of the world's surface area, and an even smaller percentage of the world's arable land, China is going to be desperately short of food and raw materials unless it establishes itself overseas in some way. It is much the same position as Britain was in in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - but on a far larger scale.
    – WS2
    Jun 30 '19 at 11:28

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