Soviet Union and China

Soviet Union and China

Since independence, Houphouët-Boigny has considered the Soviet Union and China malevolent influences throughout the Third World. Côte d'Ivoire did not establish diplomatic relations with Moscow until 1967, and then severed them in 1969 following allegations of direct Soviet support for a 1968 student protest at the National University of Côte d'Ivoire. The two countries did not restore ties until February 1986, by which time Houphouët-Boigny had embraced a more active foreign policy reflecting a more pragmatic view of the Soviet Union and his quest for greater international recognition.

Houphouët-Boigny was even more outspoken in his criticism of China. He voiced fears of an "invasion" by the Chinese and their subsequent colonization of Africa. He was especially concerned that Africans would see the problems of development in China as analogous to those of Africa, and China's solutions as appropriate to sub-Saharan Africa. Accordingly, Côte d'Ivoire did not normalize relations with China until 1983, becoming one of the last African countries to do so.


Country Studies main page | Ivory coast Country Studies main page | Celebrity