In these years, several African states sent emissaries to China.
In the first decades, modern relations between Africa and the People’s Republic of China (established in 1949) were significantly shaped by the Cold War and Sino-Soviet relations.
That same year, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu seized power, ousting President Joseph Kasavubu and ending the Congo Crisis – only to embark on installing a dictatorship in the years to come.
China didn’t fail to notice that here was a new Congolese President who ruled the country with an iron hand and had a firm grip on power.
Both driving forces of Chinese Africa policy were at full display: The PRC was showing that it was supporting Africa’s struggle against imperialist and neo-colonial US and Belgian intervention as well as fighting its diplomatic war against Taiwan – which was entertaining diplomatic relations with the government of Cyrille Adoula in Léopoldville.In January 1961, Beijing strongly condemned Lumumba’s assassination, organised a mass rally in Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium to protest the killing and (rightly) blamed the United States and Belgium for the crime.China went on and lent its support to Lumumba’s former deputy, Antoine Gizenga.In 1955, 23 Asian and 6 African states met in Indonesia to deepen relations between the two continents.Moreover, the participants sought to distance themselves from both the US-led ‘first world’ and the Soviet-led ‘second world’ by condemning colonialism, hegemonism and imperialism.