Chinese-Namibian relations are by both governments classified as an “all-weather friendship”. Based on the Chinese support to the anticolonial liberation struggle, the strong political and economic links emerged since the turn of the century. The Chinese presence in Namibia has added to the new socio-economic realities to an extent, which provokes strong and differing responses from Namibians. While the new elite is in favour and support of the exchanges, among ordinary Namibians resentments bordering to xenophobia are clearly visible.
This article takes stock of the Chinese activities in Namibia and offers an assessment of their impact as well as a summary concerning the anti-Chinese sentiments. It concludes with an analysis of the nature of a development state and its absence from Namibian governance and policy.
This is the revised version of a paper originally presented to the conference ”Africa, New Powers, Old Powers” organised by the University of Bologna and the Working Group on “Europe and Transitions in (Southern) Africa” of the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) at the University of Bologna, 4 and 5 May 2017.