The popular perception of China’s steadily growing presence in Africa has long been viewed with skepticism among France’s political, media, and academic elites who have historically regarded the continent, particularly francophone countries, as a traditional sphere of influence.
Most analysis and media coverage on the issue tends to frame Chinese engagement in Africa in a rather negative perspective. That was on full display this week when many of France’s largest news publications including Le Monde, Le Point and La Tribune among others all re-published an article by Thierry Vircoulon, coordinator of the Observatory for Central and Southern Africa at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).
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