As one of the key drivers of the African international political economy of the last two decades, China growing economic involvement on the continent has sparked mixed responses. Is Beijing South-South Cooperation model just a rebranded version of the old North-South relationship or China is actually contributing to helping Africa securing and playing a more important new position on the global scene? This paper analyses the validity of the Chinese win-win foreign policy discourse using the Lobé iron ore deal signed by the state-owned company Sinosteel with the Ministry of Mines of Cameroon as case study. To that end, the paper discusses the conceptual pillars of the Chinese leadership’s economic cooperation approach with Africa in general. Regarding the mining cooperation with Cameroon in particular, the paper shows that China having an essentially ‘utilitarian’ relationship with Cameroon, the deal reflects more Beijing’s ambition to expand and consolidate power in its ambition to achieve global hegemony than actually catering for Cameroon’s development needs. The paper further argues that the Lobé deal has not provided enough evidence to convince tall the Cameroonian stakeholders that it can be regarded as an example of a mutually profitable cooperation deal as announced by Chinese authorities.
Key words: China, Cameroon, mining, win-win cooperation, Win-lose relationship.
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