The Impact of China's Development Finance and Aid on the African Continent

The era of Western dominance is coming to an end. With the relative decline of Western power, the hierarchy among states is being shaken up. How this will affect the international order also depends on the distribution of ideas, norms, values and beliefs. The current Western international order, founded on a liberal ideology, is under pressure with the as ascendence of China to the top of the international hierarchy of states. This thesis investigates how development finance and aid is a foreign policy tool for China to undermine the normative foundations of the Western international order. The thesis focuses on the African continent, given its aid dependency but also due to Africa's growing importance on the global (political) arena. A quantitative research is being carried out on the impact of Chinese development finance and aid on the typically Western ideals, norms and values. Results show that these financial transfers have a negative (significant) effect on the ideals, norms and values associated with the Western ideology. The level of democracy, the degree of civil liberties and individual (liberal -political) rights are negatively influenced by Chinese development finance and aid. In addition, the public opinion regarding undemocratic forms of governance and stricter government control of companies and media become more positive in recipient countries when it receives more Chinese development finance and aid. Key words: International (liberal) order, Hegemonic transition, The rise of China, Africa, Development finance and aid, Democracy, Civil liberties, Individual rights.
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