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China-Africa 101: Do Regular Africans Approve? Polls & Stories on China’s Likeability

SIMON MAINA / AFP

Many African leaders often praise the Asian country as a reliable partner in Africa. They say their relationship is a “win-win,” and paint an optimistic picture for the future.

Critics, however, are skeptical. They believe that the close relationship between the governments is mired in unethical pursuits. For instance, in November 2014, leading media around the globe reported that African presidents “use aid from China for patronage politics.” New research suggested that the birthplaces or hometowns of African presidents receive a disproportionate amount of aid from China. Roland Holder, professor of economics at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and co-author of the report said, “As soon as a region becomes the birthplace of an African president, this region gets 270% more development assistance (from China) than it would if it were not the birth region of the president.” This, of course, added yet another point in critics’ arsenal.

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