THE EU, CHINA AND AFRICA: COOPERATION IN THE SPHERE OF SECURITY
One of the trends currently observed in world politics is the growing global influence of China and African countries. These actors are beginning to make an ever greater contribution to the formation of a new – multipolar – world. This trend is of particular importance in relation to Africa – a continent that is experiencing permanent political instability and an associated lag in economic development. The main security problems in Africa include armed conflicts between certain groups of the population for access to natural resources; clashes between tribal and confessional communities; the proliferation of Islamic and Christian terrorist groups; electoral crises; piracy. While the EU retains its role as the main trade and economic partner of African countries and also cooperates with the latter in the field of security much more than other international players, China’s aspiration to become a global power prompts Beijing to participate more actively in solving security problems of the continent. Although most agreements signed between the PRC and African countries focus on trade, economic and social relations, the growing interdependence between national interests of China and domestic African politics encourages Beijing to reconsider its approaches to interaction with particular African regions. Moreover, since the participation of European states in peacekeeping missions has been gradually decreasing since the mid-1990s, the role of developing countries, including China, in ensuring security on the African continent has steadily increased. Expanding security cooperation in the EU-China-Africa format is a European initiative, but trilateral cooperation is still limited, primarily due to a noticeable difference in the approaches of China and the EU to Africa. Nevertheless, it is gradually being established in the format of joint participation in peacekeeping operations, as well as in the context of the fight against piracy and terrorism.