Abstract
China’s recent engagement with Africa has attracted a significant amount of attention among United States (US) policymakers, academics, journalists and think tanks. By exploring this commentary through an emerging dominant discourse on China’s engagement in Africa, this article argues that it is interwoven with a discourse on US engagement in Africa, performing a Manichean dynamics that reflects analysis of China’s engagement in Africa through a US lens. As a result, alternative discourses and insights are silenced as China’s engagement in Africa is interpreted through issues counterpoised to those with which the US distinguishes itself. In establishing this dynamics in the dominant discourse, its rhetorical nature is further demonstrated through alternative discourses on the effects of US and Chinese engagement in Africa. Using alternative discourses to de-center the rhetoric in dominant discourses on the benefits of free markets and the disadvantages of state led development, the US and China become perceived as both engaging in Africa through existing economic and political structures in a shared pursuit of markets and resources. The effects of US and Chinese engagement are discussed in regards to these pursuits. Giving voice to alternative discourses reveals the rhetorical nature of the dominant discourses that reflect more about US values than the implications of China’s engagement in Africa
Keywords 750700 International Relations  C1  360105 International Relations  160607 International Relations  9403 International Relations
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