Kenya – China bilateral foreign relations: 1963-2012
Aullo, Elizabeth A
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This study analyses foreign relations with particular focus on the bilateral relationship between Kenya and China. Although the two countries had contact with each other dating back to 15th century AD, Kenya and China began their official relations soon after Kenya’s independence in 1963. Great interest has developed in the last century over China’s interest in the African continent including Kenya. The influx of Chinese nationals in Kenya and the huge infrastructural contracts that Chinese companies have won particularly in the last decade is part of the reason why this study has been conducted. Globalization has had major impacts on the foreign policies globally and different countries are tackling its effects using various strategies. The increased Kenya-China bilateral relations can be partially explained as a consequence of globalization and this has been discussed in the study and the relations between the two countries lean on the idealist-liberal theories of international relations. Though there are numerous positive aspects that have been attributed to the Kenya – China foreign relations, including the effectiveness in carrying out construction work for major projects in Kenya, there have been concerns as well. The infiltration of cheap sub standard imports from this Asian country and huge trade deficits, or imbalance of trade in favour of China are issues that need to be addressed. Linking of the increase of Chinese nationals and illegal trade of ivory has been a great worry not only in Kenya, but globally. The study examines Kenya and China foreign policies towards each other and gives an analysis of their bilateral relationship. The findings show a positive impact on the socio political and economic development of Kenya as a result of the relationship, but do not prove the sustainability of this development to be dependent on this relationship.