In the most recent Ebola outbreak which started in March affecting mainly a handful of West African countries, the whole epidemic issue was at the centre of the global spotlight.
Every media outlet, every platform and every corner of the world was concerned about the issue and specially about how an event taking place in a remote latitude could affect the local environment. Due to the peculiarity of the disease and its high rate of infection, every border in the world was shaken by each new headline. European countries have a strong connection with Africa because of their colonial ties and also for its geographical closeness. However, conscious than a worldwide outbreak could have devastating consequences globally, different countries outside Europe have taken seriously the threat by assigning resources to control it (BBC News 2014). The Chinese case is very peculiar do to its interest in the African continent. Its investment have increased considerably in the last decade to the point of reaching more than U$13 Billions when a few years ago was less than 5% of that ((Men, J & Barton, B. 2013). From 2009 the trading between Africa and the Asian giant has overcome the one with the US. Also, the loans and funding in the same year were more than $20 Billions but all that was not reflected when the Ebola crisis took place. A handful of European countries contributed to the campaign to stop the outbreak with more than the U$8.3 millions that China did which was closer to the budget assigned by the Venezuelan government whose GDP is not in the same league. An staggering $200 million were given by the US whose investment in the region is similar to the one of China (Sanchez, R 2014).
In the current times when the BRICS are raising, they all have failed to step up to the challenge but Russia, Brazil and India are not as established in Africa as the Chinese are (Carmody, p. 2013). It goes without saying that every aid given to the campaign has an underlying intention and that if the problem spirals out of control, Ebola would start affecting European soil sooner than the Far East, but what then was the point in investment on shaken states compromised by a pandemic issue which would affect border controls, working conditions and generate general market uncertainty. As the new big global player, the Chinese government does not lived up to the title and acts more like a third world country.
A global superpower takes proactive course of action when facing international crisis, specially if its interests in the scene are being compromised instead of waiting passively for the dust to settle.
BBC News. (2014) Ebola: Mapping the outbreak. Available at:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28755033 [Accessed on: 10 November 2014]
Carmody, P. (2013)The Rise of BRICS in Africa: The Geopolitics of South-South Relations. Zed Books
Sanchez, R. (2014) What countries have pledged to fight Ebola… and how much they’ve paid into the fund. Available at: http://telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/ebola/11179135/What-countries-have-pledged-to-fight-Ebola…-and-how-much-theyve-paid-into-the-fund.html [Accessed on: 10 November 2014]
Schneider, J. (2014) China in Africa: investment or exploitation? Available at: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2014/05/china-africa-investment exploitation-201454154158396626.html [Accessed on: 10 November 2014]