Explaining the Rise of 'Human Rights' in Analyses of Sino-African Relations

Explaining the Rise of 'Human Rights' in Analyses of Sino-African Relations

Shaun Breslin, and Ian Taylor 2008
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This article seeks to unpack why it is that human rights has emerged as an issue in critical analyses of Sino-African relations. Whilst not seeking to minimise some of the real concerns and issues, we aim to contextualise the motives of much of the critique, particularly when it emanates from Western sources close to government. In short, it is asserted that material interests have long tended to dictate the capitalist West’s response to the issue of human rights when it relates to China and in this regard, Sino-African ties and the attendant expressed alarm over human rights is no exception. It is suggested that concern over competition, particularly over energy resources, has reintroduced human rights in to the diplomatic discourse.

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