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AN ASSESSMENT ON THE INFLUENCE OF CHINA ON CAMEROON'S POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

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AN ASSESSMENT ON THE INFLUENCE OF CHINA ON CAMEROON'S POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

The geopolitical dynamics of Africa have seen substantial changes in recent decades, with the increasing influence of China emerging as a pivotal element. Cameroon emerges as a noteworthy case study among the African countries impacted by this issue, owing to its historical connections with France and growing involvement with China (Asante, 2018). A thorough analysis of the historical, economic, and diplomatic variables that have shaped the relationship between China and Cameroon is necessary in order to comprehend the impact of China on Cameroon's political growth. Cameroon, situated in the region of Central Africa, achieved statehood from colonial governance in the year 1960(Athumani, 2021). Cameroon's post-independence trajectory was significantly shaped by its colonial history, which began with German colonisation and then saw a division between French and British mandates during World War I. French influence on Cameroon's governance structures, institutions, and policies was substantial, including political, economic, and cultural aspects. China has seen significant growth in its involvement in Africa since the beginning of the 21st century, primarily motivated by its pursuit of resources, markets, and geopolitical leverage(Bangda , 2022). China's investment and commercial interests have been drawn to Cameroon due to its abundant natural resources, including oil, lumber, and minerals. China's strategy for involvement in Cameroon include the construction of infrastructure, investment in crucial industries, and diplomatic efforts. The economic ties between China and Cameroon have seen substantial growth and development throughout the course of time (Jinping, 2021). China has provided financial support for significant infrastructure initiatives in Cameroon, including the development of highways, ports, and energy facilities. The bilateral trade between the two nations has seen significant growth, with China becoming as one of Cameroon's primary economic allies. Nevertheless, the characteristics of economic connections have prompted inquiries about reliance, the viability of debt, and the repercussions on domestic sectors(Jeffery , 2016).

The varied nature of China's effect on Cameroon's political scene is evident. Political circumstances and expectations frequently accompany Chinese investments, exerting influence on policy choices and governance systems(Deng, 2019). Furthermore, the non-interference stance of China is in accordance with Cameroon's inclination towards sovereignty, so offering an alternative to conventional Western allies who may impose political prerequisites for the provision of aid and investment. In addition to its economic and political dimensions, China's involvement in Cameroon has significant societal ramifications (Pokam , 2022). The influx of Chinese migrants to Cameroon, mostly motivated by economic prospects, has resulted in cultural interactions and sometimes conflicts with indigenous populations. Furthermore, Chinese soft power endeavours, such as the establishment of Confucius Institutes and the facilitation of cultural exchanges, are designed to cultivate a positive perception of China and its system of administration. Therefore, the study assess the influence of China on Cameroon's political development.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The increasing worldwide influence of China, notably in Africa, has prompted inquiries on its effects on the political development paths of recipient nations in recent decades. In the present setting, Cameroon emerges as a relevant subject of analysis, owing to its historical connections with China and its dynamic political environment (Rolland, 2020). Nevertheless, despite the existence of anecdotal evidence indicating China's substantial presence in Cameroon, there is a dearth of scientific comprehension of the exact characteristics and magnitude of China's impact on Cameroon's political progress(Xiaoyang, 2018). The primary objective of this research is to address the current knowledge gaps pertaining to the intricate dynamics between China's engagement and the political progress of Cameroon(Yang , 2015). Through a detailed analysis of these processes, the objective is to provide a valuable contribution to academic conversation, provide insights for policymakers, and foster a nuanced comprehension of China's influence on global political environments.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to assess the influence of China on Cameroon's Political development. The specific objectives is as follows

Investigate historical relationship between China and Cameroon to understand the evolution of their political relationship.

Assess the economic influence of China on Cameroon's political development

Examine the diplomatic relations between China and Cameroon within the context of bilateral agreements, and diplomatic engagements.

Evaluate the societal impact of China's presence on Cameroon's political development

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What is the historical relationship between China and Cameroon to understand the evolution of their political relationship?

What is the economic influence of China on Cameroon's political development?

What are the diplomatic relations between China and Cameroon within the context of bilateral agreements, and diplomatic engagements?

What are the societal impact of China's presence on Cameroon's political development?

1.5 Significance of the study

Understanding the influence of China on Cameroon's political development is crucial for policymakers, scholars, and practitioners involved in African affairs, international relations, and development studies. This study will contribute to the scholarly debate on China-Africa relations, inform policy formulation in both Cameroon and China, and provide insights for other African nations navigating similar dynamics.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on assess the influence of China on Cameroon's Political development. Empirically, the study will investigate historical relationship between China and Cameroon to understand the evolution of their political relationship, assess the economic influence of China on Cameroon's political development, examine the diplomatic relations between China and Cameroon within the context of bilateral agreements, and diplomatic engagements and evaluate the societal impact of China's presence on Cameroon's political development

1.7 Research Methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research and the study will adopt descriptive method of data collection. This will involve the collection of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.8 Definition of terms

Political Development: The evolution, progress, or transformation of a nation's political system, institutions, processes, and practices, aimed at enhancing governance, participation, stability, and the fulfillment of citizens' needs and aspirations. 


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