China's engagement in Africa is generally portrayed simply as African countries being exploited for their mineral wealth by a wealthy political and economic superpower. Is this always the case? Certain African countries have been able to use China's involvement in the region to grow their economies and solicit renewed interest from previously disengaged foreign powers by using their relationship with China to bolster their political capital. In this thought provoking and original work Lucy Corkin demonstrates how Angola has been amongst the most successful of African nations in this role. The concept of 'African agency' covers a wide range of different countries with very different capabilities and experiences of engaging with China. In each individual county there are a myriad of actors all with increasingly discernible agencies. Uncovering African Agency; Angola's Management of China's Credit Lines casts a fascinating new light on China's involvement with her largest African trading partner and through this shows how different African states and the governmental actors within them are able to exploit the relationship to their best advantage.
Lucy Corkin is a Research Associate of the Africa-Asia Centre at School of African and Asian Studies (SOAS), University of London, from which institution she holds a PhD in Politics. She was previously Projects Director at Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) in South Africa. She was a visiting scholar at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro’s BRICS Policy Centre. Lucy has participated in ground-breaking research on China’s relations with African countries. She speaks English, Portuguese, French, Afrikaans, and Mandarin Chinese.
’This is a superb work and punctures the myth of African countries in thrall to China. Lucy Corkin's deep account of how the Angolan Government exercises its agency, and how it negotiates with China, is revelatory. The work is nuanced and balanced and important.’ Stephen Chan, School of Oriental & African Studies, UK ’This exceptionally rich and informed book punctures much of the myth about China’s operations in Africa. Based on detailed primary fieldwork in Angola and China, Corkin shows the limits to the China’s impact on Africa lens. This is a relationship driven as much by Africans as by the Chinese. Read it, and be informed by evidence rather than prejudice!’ Raphael Kaplinsky, The Open University, UK ’This book is an immense achievement. It provides a finely detailed look at a critical relationship, and an illuminating analysis that is both empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated. Highly recommended for scholars, policy makers and anyone seeking a better understanding of how China really works in Africa.’ Deborah Brautigam, Johns Hopkins University, USA, and author of The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa 'This book provides timely insight into the highly relevant and dynamic research field of China-Africa relations by studying the evolution of China’s relationship with Angola through the concession of oil-backed loans to this country. Despite the difficulties that are involved in obtaining relevant data in both China and Angola, challenging contexts for any researcher, and in a field in which there is very little research to begin with, Corkin’s book stands out as a rich empirical qualitative study, which is based on almost 200 indepth interviews conducted in both China and Angola as well as the use of Portuguese and Chinese-language-based texts, an achievement in and of itself.' South African Journal of International Affairs '... well-researched ... This book shows how the Angolan elite extracts maximum