Sino-Southern African relations, which span over five decades, have evolved in both purpose and sincerity over the years. While early engagements were anchored in mutual support for territorial sovereignty and human rights through China’s widely publicized policy of noninterference, current relations are primarily driven by the demand for Southern Africa’s resources by Chinese firms. This is in addition to their search for markets and contracts in the region’s buoyant construction sector. Having provided support to independence struggles in Southern Africa, in search of support for the “One China” campaign, Beijing returned to the region at the dawn of the new millennium through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) policy package which subordinates every facet of the relations for economic gain. China’s recent activities in Southern Africa suggest that it will balk at nothing to protect its economic interests even if it means aiding pariah regimes to violate human rights.

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