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RESEARCH PROPOSAL Chapter One: Introduction This study analyses the patterns of political and socio-economic relationship between Nigeria and China from 1999 to 2015. Three main phases stand out in the case of Sino-Nigerian relations: the Bandung period, Post-Bandung period and the Age of Business. The third phase – Age of Business (1999-2015) – is the major period of focus for this thesis with emphasis on key areas in Sino-Nigeria relations which include the economy, political, military and cultural sectors. This period represents the contemporary phase of China-Africa relations, and the form main focus of this study. The main rationale behind this phase is twofold. First, this period fits into the broader discourse of Sino-Africa relations which has gained tremendous importance in African studies and generally the study of international political economy. Studies and scholarly discussions on the ‘new’ and monumental phase of China’s engagement in Africa have gained relevance due to the current increase in trade, investment, and aid figures, and with this increase, attention has been drawn to the meteoric rise of China. In these pertinent discussions, country cases like that of Sino-Nigeria relations are very crucial as they provide the much needed nuance to an emerging discourse. The second reason for the choice of this phase is mainly conceptual. The Age of Business represents Nigeria’s attempt to intensify the neoliberal efforts to liberalize its economy to gain global recognition and attract foreign investors. This therefore serves as a useful case that fits the analytical framework of liberalization in a global era. Nigeria’s post-independence economic experience is largely made up of economic reform linked to Western and global institutions such as the World Bank, and IMF. This first sets the background for a look at the evolution of economic relationships via liberalization, as the country’s attempt to open up its economy to attract international investments and to globalize its economic operations gains momentum with Chinese economic engagement. Also, this sets the foundation for looking at Beijing’s economic agenda for sub-Saharan Africa (in this case Nigeria) vis-à-vis the Western approach through a set of ideas like what the Washington Consensus offered. The depth of the study calls for a macro analysis which can illustrate macro trends, motivations and strategies of Chinese engagement with Nigeria. While the majority of texts on emerging economies in Africa tend to be biased, focusing primarily on China, this study is to narrow the scope