Horn of Africa: China – Today Current Affairs
- Recently the first “China-Horn of Africa Peace, Governance and Development Conference” was organized.
- This is the first time that China aims to “play its role in the field of security”.
- The conference held in Ethiopia saw the participation of the foreign ministries of the following Horn countries- Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.
Today Current Affairs
Horn of Africa:
- The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in Northeast Africa.
- Located in the eastern part of the African mainland, it is the fourth largest peninsula in the world.
- It is located along the southern border of the Red Sea and extends for hundreds of kilometers in the Guardafui Channel, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. The Hindu Analysis
- The Horn of Africa is equidistant from the equator and the Tropic of Cancer.
- The Horn includes biodiversity areas of the Ethiopian Plateau, the Ogaden Desert, the highlands of Eritrea and the Somalian Coast. The Hindu Analysis
- The Horn of Africa refers to the region comprising the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.
- The region has experienced imperialism, neo-colonialism, cold war, ethnic conflict, inter-African conflict, poverty, disease, famine, etc.
Recent Projects in China :The Hindu Analysis
- In January 2022, China emphasized its three objectives in Africa, including controlling the epidemic, implementing the results of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), and maintaining common interests while fighting the politics of hegemony.
- The entire region of Horn participated in the 2021 Forum, which adopted four resolutions:
Dakar Action Plan : The Hindu Analysis
- The two sides appreciate the development of relations between China and Africa, recognizing that the Forum has strongly promoted the development of relations between China and Africa in the past 21 years since its establishment, and promotes international cooperation with Africa.
China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 : The Hindu Analysis
- It was designed to set out the directions and objectives of medium- and long-term cooperation and promote closer ties with China and Africa for a shared future.
Sino-African Declaration on Climate Change : The Hindu Analysis
- It aims to enhance coordination and cooperation in the multilateral process on climate, as well as jointly protect the legitimate rights and interests of China, Africa and other developing countries.
Announcement of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC : The Hindu Analysis
- Under the theme “Strengthening China-Africa Partnership and Promoting Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Common Future in the New Era,” as well as the development of FOCAC and the China-Africa Comprehensive Strategic and Cooperative Partnership Commitment to strengthen both unanimously adopted the Dakar Declaration of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC.
- FOCAC promotes China’s role in the infrastructural and social development of the Horn.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, China donated over 300,000 vaccines to Ethiopia and Uganda and 200,000 to Kenya and Somalia. Sudan and Eritrea have also benefited from China’s vaccine diplomacy.
China’s primary interests in the region:
Infrastructure : The Hindu Analysis
- The African Union Headquarters was fully financed by a landmark Chinese project in Addis Ababa with US$200 million.
- China has also invested in the Mombasa-Nairobi rail link in Kenya, in addition to already working on railway projects in Sudan.
- It also has a viable military hardware market in Ethiopia and has built over 80 infrastructure projects in Somalia, including hospitals, roads, schools and stadiums.
- 14 infrastructure projects in Djibouti are being financed by China.
Financial help : The Hindu Analysis
- Ethiopia is one of the top five African recipients of Chinese investment and has approximately US$14 billion in debt.
- China accounts for 67 percent of Kenya’s bilateral debt.
- In 2022, China promised to provide 15.7 million US dollars in aid to Eritrea.
Natural Resources (Oil and Coal) : The Hindu Analysis
- China is also interested in Ethiopia in minerals such as gold, iron-ore, precious stones, chemicals, oil and natural gas.
- Beijing (China) has continued to invest in South Sudan’s petroleum industry since its 1995 entry.
Maritime interest : The Hindu Analysis
- China’s first and only military base outside its mainland is in Djibouti.
- In 2022, China indicated its desire to develop the Eritrean coast, which would connect landlocked Ethiopia to Chinese investments.
- The US anticipates that China wants to build another military base in Kenya and Tanzania, which will increase its military presence in the region.
Significance of Horn of Africa for India:
Growing interest in Africa : The Hindu Analysis
- India’s interest in Africa is growing for political, economic and security reasons, especially the sub-region – the Horn of Africa.
Proximity to oil producing area : The Hindu Analysis
- The Horn of Africa is strategically important because it is close to the oil producing region of the Middle East.
- About 40% of the oil produced in the Middle East passes through the shipping lanes of the Red Sea.
Shipping Route : The Hindu Analysis
- Djibouti is the main point of this shipping route. This is the reason why countries like USA, France and China have military base in Djibouti.
- With India’s economic development dependent on new sea lines of communication, Delhi declared that its national interests were no longer confined to the subcontinent, but extended “from Aden to Malacca”.
India’s concern over China’s presence:
Dominance in the Indian Ocean : The Hindu Analysis
- Djibouti, located on the north-western edge of the Indian Ocean, could become one of China’s “string of pearls” and a threat to India’s military alliances and assets, including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
- China has intensified activities in the Indian Ocean, which India considers to be in its sphere of influence in recent times, citing anti-piracy patrols and freedom of navigation. This has forced the Indian Navy to tighten surveillance of strategic waters.
China’s desire to control important shipping routes : The Hindu Analysis
- Indian Ocean shipping lanes hold 80% of the world’s oil and one-third of global bulk cargo. China seeks to secure its energy and trade transport links along an important shipping route.
Affecting Indian Ocean Countries : The Hindu Analysis
- The Indian Ocean is also emerging as a major destination for countries that play a major role in global affairs. China wants to create goodwill and influence in the countries of the Indian Ocean by investing in projects such as ports, roads and railways.
- China is looking to expand its presence in the Indian Ocean and is building ports and other infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
Expansion through OBOR : The Hindu Analysis
- The Indian Ocean has a prominent place in China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative to build a new Silk Road.
- India has distanced itself from OBOR.