China in Africa


Soft power
neocolonial states

How to Cite

Sharma, N. (2023). China in Africa: Soft Power and the Development of Neocolonial States. Cornell Undergraduate Research Journal, 2(1), 75–85.


Through investment, loans, political influence, and migration, China is utilizing an inventive form of neocolonialism on African nations that continues the cycle of underdevelopment. It is a colonialism that does not mirror the tactics and strategies of the Europeans before, but instead creates the façade of partnership and trust for the extraction of natural African wealth through soft power. This study is meant to examine how Sino-African investment is affecting African economies, resources, labor, environment, and diplomacy and argue that it fulfills the requirements of neocolonialism. The methodology for this study is mixed methods, including analytical, applied, and exploratory research. Using secondary sources, such as books, journals, and data sites, the research consists of collecting data and displaying it under different circumstances to support the argument and raise new questions. An example of this is with the
section on labor, where the absence of labor rights is attractive or unattractive depending on the context or point of view of the scenario. Although this creates complexities in the research process, it also opens new inquiries and arguments. Through each section, the attributes of China’s soft power through a continued interest in African resources will show its equivalence as a neocolonial force that keeps African nations dependent on Chinese investment.


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