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QZ: China in Africa: One Belt One Road May 15, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, China in Africa, Uncategorized.
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There’s one drawback to the project observers are calling China’s Marshall Plan. The One Belt One Road initiative, marketed as a modern-day recreation of the ancient Silk Road trading route, is about gaining access to new markets for Chinese goods. (Soft power and finding work for Chinese construction companies are important factors too.)

In this way, One Belt, One Road is similar to Britain’s colonial trade routes, used to take natural resources from its outposts as well as ship finished goods back to its colonial subjects, Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden at the China Africa podcast have observed.

African countries are already flooded with Chinese products. Chinese exports to African countries reached $103 billion in 2015, a figure that is likely much higher because of underreporting and smuggled goods. African countries are exporting far less to China than they’re importing. After years of falling commodity prices, now only 10 out of 53 sub-Saharan African countries have a trade surplus with China, according to 2015 data.–  qz.com



China’s campaign to build a massive network of land and sea links connecting Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa is expected to benefit the African countries along the route. Chinese companies will spend at least $1 trillion on roads, ports, and other updates to infrastructure in more than 60 countries that make up the…

via There’s one major pitfall for African countries along China’s new Silk Road — Quartz



 

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Enter the Dragon: China in Africa April 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, China and Africa.
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Chinese-African investment has been dubbed ‘neo-liberalism with Chinese characteristics’. Africa’s trade links with Asian economies, where Africa supplies primary commodities and Asia supplies manufactured goods, simply replicate Africa’s relationship of dependency with Western traditional partners. There are grounds for this argument as many academics and policy-makers perceive China as another capitalist state following its corporate interest and profit motives (Li, Wenping, and Mbaye, 2010). Bond (2006) reiterates, ‘Chinese penetration only presents the ugly face of predatory capitalism’.

The Secularist Conversation

From New Media and Development Communication From New Media and Development Communication

Written by Tane Rogers

Tane throws away all caricatures of ‘evil states’ and carefully evaluates the economic relationship between Africa and China; which is not a straight forward as one might assume.

The economic impact of China’s engagement in Africa has been widely discussed by Western governments, and international and civil society have all expressed worry over China’s increasing presence in Africa.

African organisations are beginning to voice their concerns China’s support for non-democratic regimes and rogue states. This has also raised concerns among Western donors over the negative implications of non-intervention on governance and human rights. Much of the Western critiques on China-Africa relations revolve around issues of democracy, human rights, good governance, accountability and transparency, often failing to grasp the broader picture of Chinese engagement (Mawdsley, 2008).

Beijing has officially pledged its diplomatic and economic support to a wide range of African countries, even…

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China: The Scramble for Africa January 19, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, China and Africa, Colonizing Structure.
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China in Africa: One among many

The Economist, Jan 17th 2015

ACROSS Africa, radio call-in programmes are buzzing with tales of Africans, usually men, bemoaning the loss of their spouses and partners to rich Chinese men. “He looks short and ugly like a pygmy but I guess he has money,” complained one lovelorn man on a recent Kenyan show. True or imagined, such stories say much about the perceived economic power of Chinese businessmen in Africa, and of the growing backlash against them.

China has become by far Africa’s biggest trading partner, exchanging about $160 billion-worth of goods a year; more than 1m Chinese, most of them labourers and traders, have moved to the continent in the past decade. The mutual adoration between governments continues, with ever more African roads and mines built by Chinese firms. But the talk of Africa becoming Chinese—or “China’s second continent”, as the title of one American book puts it—is overdone.

The African boom, which China helped to stoke in recent years, is attracting many other investors. The non-Western ones compete especially fiercely. African trade with India is projected to reach $100 billion this year. It is growing at a faster rate than Chinese trade, and is likely to overtake trade with America. Brazil and Turkey are superseding many European countries. In terms of investment in Africa, though, China lags behind Britain, America and Italy (see charts).

If Chinese businessmen seem unfazed by the contest it is in part because they themselves are looking beyond the continent. “This is a good place for business but there are many others around the world,” says He Lingguo, a sunburnt Chinese construction manager in Kenya who hopes to move to Venezuela.

A decade ago Africa seemed an uncontested space and a training ground for foreign investment as China’s economy took off. But these days China’s ambitions are bigger than winning business, or seeking access to commodities, on the world’s poorest continent. The days when Chinese leaders make long state visits to countries like Tanzania are numbered. Instead, China’s president, Xi Jinping, has promised to invest $250 billion in Latin America over the coming decade (see article).

The growth in Chinese demand for commodities is slowing and prices of many raw materials are falling. That said, China’s hunger for agricultural goods, and perhaps for farm land, may grow as China’s population expands and the middle class becomes richer.

Yet Africans are increasingly suspicious of Chinese firms, worrying about unfair deals and environmental damage. Opposition is fuelled by Africa’s thriving civil society, which demands more transparency and an accounting for human rights. This can be an unfamiliar challenge for authoritarian China, whose foreign policy is heavily based on state-to-state relations, with little appreciation of the gulf between African rulers and their people. In Senegal residents’ organisations last year blocked a deal that would have handed a prime section of property in the centre of the capital, Dakar, to Chinese developers. In Tanzania labour unions criticised the government for letting in Chinese petty traders.

Some African officials are voicing criticism of China. Lamido Sanusi, Nigeria’s former central bank governor, says Africa is opening itself up to a “new form of imperialism”, in which China takes African primary goods and sells it manufactured ones, without transferring skills.

After years of bland talk about “win-win” partnerships, China seems belatedly aware of the problem. On a tour of the continent, the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, said on January 12th that “we absolutely will not take the old path of Western colonists”. Last May the prime minister, Li Keqiang, acknowledged “growing pains” in the relationship.

China has few political ambitions in Africa. It co-operates with democracies as much as with authoritarian regimes. Its aid budget is puny. The few peacekeepers it sends stay out of harm’s way. China’s corporatist development model has attracted few followers beyond Ethiopia and Rwanda. Most fast-growing African nations hew closer to Western free-market ideas. In South Sudan, the one place where China has tried to flex its diplomatic muscle, it has achieved embarrassingly little. Attempts to stop a civil war that is endangering its oil supply failed miserably.

Chinese immigrants in Africa chuckle at the idea that they could lord it over the locals. Most congregate in second-tier countries like Zambia; they are less of a presence in hyper-competitive Nigeria. Unlike other expatriates, they often live in segregated camps. Some thought, after a decade of high-octane engagement, that China would dominate Africa. Instead it is likely to be just one more foreign investor jostling for advantage.

Read at: http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21639554-china-has-become-big-africa-now-backlash-one-among-many?fsrc=scn/tw/te/rfd/pe

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