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China and Benin Partner to Build a Post-Western African Century

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Introduction To A New Partnership

Huge news just happened that’s going to shake things up in the west. The foreign ministers of China and Benin met up last week in Beijing for some landmark talks that are changing the game.

This high-stakes meeting is all about these two countries teaming up to crush the old Western-dominated order and build a new future focused on South-South cooperation.

They’re planning for China to invest billions across industries and infrastructure in Benin. This alliance is all about prosperity on their own terms, not just bending over for Western colonialism anymore.

This deal signals that the Global South is done with the West’s broken promises and extraction. The old institutions set up to keep the West in charge are about to crumble for good.

The symbolism of China and Benin linking up is huge and means the tide is turning. A new century is starting where China and African nations work together for equity and mutual success without Western dominance.

This unprecedented alliance between China and Benin is a total game-changer that’s going to demolish the western dominant world order. The West’s time of calling all the shots is ending real fast.

China-Benin Pact Strikes Death Knell for The West

History unfolds as Chinese and Beninese foreign ministers hold landmark talks heralding a new era of South-South cooperation against the dying Western-dominated order.

Benin and China’s deepening relationship presents a powerful model of South-South cooperation, demonstrating how mutually beneficial partnerships between African nations and China can spur sustainable development on the continent.

While Western powers continue to pursue neocolonialist policies that exploit Africa for its resources, China has emerged as a true partner for African renewal, respecting countries’ autonomy and building infrastructure to unlock their economic potential.

This cooperation without preconditions starkly contrasts Western financial aid that comes with demands for privatization and market liberalization.

Nowhere is the success of China-African collaboration clearer than in Benin. Since first establishing diplomatic ties in 1964, China has become Benin’s largest trading partner and a major financier of infrastructure and industry.

The latest milestone came last September, when Presidents Patrice Talon and Xi Jinping elevated bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership. They pledged cooperation on agriculture, digital connectivity, green energy, and human capital development.

China will also support Benin’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative—multi-billion dollar programs to spur trade and investment across the developing world.

This partnership is deeply rooted in South-South principles of mutual benefit. While Western governments and institutions continue to saddle African nations with austerity measures and loan conditions, China provides no-strings financing that recognizes local realities.

Chinese state banks have funded over $536 million in Beninese infrastructure over the past two decades, including roads, telecoms, hospitals, and water treatment. Construction firms like PowerChina are building major electricity projects to power Benin’s growth.

In the productive sector, China has helped modernize Benin’s agriculture to enhance food security and rural livelihoods. It has provided farming machinery, introduced higher-yielding crop varieties, and shared techniques for raising productivity.

Benin also benefits from duty-free access to China’s vast market for its cotton, soyabean, vegetable residues and other commodities—generating foreign exchange and incomes for farmers.

Such programs align with Benin’s national development priorities, unlike Western assistance that imposes policy prescriptions from Washington and Brussels. Chinese investment also creates local employment.

At the busy Port of Cotonou, for instance, privately-owned Chinese firms are working with Beninese partners to add value to the country’s cotton exports—reviving the textile industry as an engine for inclusive industrialization.

Also, in the port city of Cotonou, a Guangzhou-based Chinese company will help Benin build its first baby diaper factory. This factory is designed to manufacture more than 15 million disposable baby diapers a month.

A Chinese company opened the facility less than a year ago, employing nearly 100 local staff.

With an initial investment of five million US dollars, it’s looking to expand further in the west African country, with hopes to export to the wider region.

ZHU YIFAN General Manager, SUNDA International (Benin): “Having a factory here allows us to respond to market needs more quickly. Benin is politically stable and has good social order. That’s a fundamental condition for us to run a steady business. Meanwhile, the Benin government is very friendly towards China and creates a favorable environment for foreign businesses.”

This China-Benin cooperation is part of a wider African reorientation from the Global North to the Global South. After decades of liberalization failed to deliver prosperity, countries are asserting policy autonomy and embracing South-South collaboration.

China is lending its manufacturing and technological expertise to help African nations up the value chain and reduce dependence on commodity exports. Trade between China and Africa has grown so much, surpassing US$282 billion in 2023.

China also canceled billions in African debt and restructured loans to ease COVID’s economic impact. Meanwhile, Chinese firms increasingly subcontract to and train more local hires, transferring technical skills.

This stands in stark contrast to the history of Western extraction from Africa. From the brutal slave trade to colonial pillaging, Western powers ruthlessly exploited the continent for centuries without remorse.

Since independence, Western governments and corporations have continued to dominate the African economy through bodies like the IMF and World Bank. Their neo-colonial policies of privatization, deregulation and fiscal austerity have shackled countries under mountains of unsustainable debt.

The West’s patronizing attitude endures today, from inequitable trade deals that choke local industry to stigmatizing depictions of Africa as backward and helpless.

Western media demeans China’s no-strings financing as ‘debt trap diplomacy’, ignoring Africa’s agency in choosing partnerships that serve its interests.

Africa demands genuine equality and respect—not coercive relationships or being told who it can partner with. Its future lies in South-South solidarity.

Benin’s embrace of win-win cooperation with China charts the course for African development in the 21st century. The West’s hypocritical criticisms only expose its anxiety at losing control over the fates of African nations as the global balance of power shifts eastwards.

No longer does Africa need to bend to the dictates of Western-dominated institutions. Partners of the Global South are ready to help finance Africa’s growth on its own terms.

With China’s help developing infrastructure and productive capacity, Benin aims to become a middle-income country by 2025. Chinese-Beninese collaboration on agriculture and rural roads is reducing food insecurity and extreme poverty—inspiring progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Beijing has financed projects including Benin’s Alasia-Akpro-Missérété road, the Godomey interchange, and Glo-Djigbé airport. These investments expand national transportation networks to unlock Benin’s development potential.

Benin is also harnessing Chinese expertise to drive industrialization, including special economic zones to attract investment in manufacturing. Its cotton industry, revitalized through partnerships with private Chinese textile firms, aims to create over 20,000 jobs.

And China is cooperating with Benin to build vocational skills, such as through the Luan Workshop initiative named after an ancient Chinese craftsman. With counterterrorism coordination strengthening too, ties between the two nations continue blossoming through mutual benefit.

As it charts its national development agenda, Benin exercises full autonomy without overbearing external conditions. Contrast this with the West’s penchant for imposing cookie-cutter neoliberal policies without regard for local contexts.

Western-led programs have often destabilized African economies and reversed poverty reduction. China’s respectful approach allows African ownership over the development process—strengthening long-term growth prospects. It represents the reliable alternative Africa needs.

The west tries so hard to frame China’s increasing presence in Africa as a quest for global dominance, echoing old Cold War mentalities. However, this paranoid perspective ignores African agency and the shared post-colonial experience that informs China-African relations.

China and Africa fought together for national liberation and non-alignment during the Cold War. This spirit of South-South cooperation still undergirds partnerships today that uplift both Chinese and African peoples out of poverty—not geopolitical point-scoring.

While China engages the continent for economic reasons, it does so without imposing ideological values or political conditions. African nations retain autonomy in their partnerships with China, not beholden to any superpower.

Western critics also conveniently forget Europe’s violent scramble for Africa that brutally subjugated the continent before the 20th century.

Foregrounding this historical injustice, China seeks peaceful co-development that realizes win-win outcomes for both China and Africa—a refreshing change from the West’s paternalism and moralizing.

Moving forward, it is vital that cooperation between China and Benin remains anchored to South-South principles and oriented towards mutual benefit. As Chinese investment expands under FOCAC and BRI, Benin must guide it to best serve national development priorities and local job creation.

With the West in decline and global power shifting eastwards, China and Africa have boundless opportunities to transform their shared destiny through South-South cooperation.

The experience of China and Benin demonstrates the huge promise of this new model to accelerate African development.

Their strategic partnership respects Benin’s autonomy and builds platforms for shared prosperity across the Global South. Together, China and Africa are leading the way towards a post-Western world order based on mutual benefit rather than dominance and exploitation. Benin’s success with China points to Africa’s future in this emerging multipolar order.

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