China turns toward Africa
This post contains commentary followed by an extensive list of articles on China's role in Africa.
While the rest of the world often views Africa in the context of a donor-recipient relationship,
The question on everyone’s mind is what effect – for good or for evil –
My guess is a little bit of both.
What makes the Chinese different from the Americans is that they are willing to do business virtually anywhere and with anyone. On the one hand, that is a positive. The Chinese are more willing to invest in post-conflict countries and to open businesses or broker trade deals in environments that many American or European companies would deem too risky.
But that also means the Chinese are willing to do business with some very questionable people. In the case of oil-rich
(For my part, I have never been completely sold on this critique. China is playing the same game all world powers play. How much training, military equipment, economic aid, and other implicit or explicit support has the United States given to questionable regimes in the last fifty years? (Not to mention engaging in full-out war). I would bet it would outstrip China by some exponential factor.)
On balance, I suspect most African leaders welcome Chinese involvement. If anything, it offers governments an alternative to American and European hegemony and the prescriptions of Western-run institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. Competition may give African governments more bargaining power vis-à-vis donor governments and perhaps force some to see
Use the links below to learn more about a really interesting and emerging topic.
Photo: Chinese President Hu Jintao receives Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in Beijing this past July.
"China Wages Classroom Struggle to Win Friends in Africa," Howard French. New York Times,
"China's Soft Power in Africa: From the "Beijing Consensus" to Health Diplomacy" by Drew Thompson.
“From China With Love” by Janet Wilhelm. Mail & Guardian.
China-Africa trade jumps by 39% BBC News
“La Chine à l’assaut du marché africain” by Jean-Christophe Servant. Le Monde Diplomatique.
“China’s foreign minister in Africa bolster energy interests.” Associated Press. January 12, 2006.
"China Oil Firm Buys into Nigeria” Chris Hogg. BBC News.com
“CNOOC Announces $2.3B Nigeria Investment” by Peter S. Goodman.
"Dueling Priorities for Beijing in the Horn of Africa" by David Shinn, Joshua Eisenmann.
"Sudan: China's Outpost in Africa" by Yitzhak Shicor.
"Beijing's Arms and Oil Interests in Africa" by Ian Taylor.
“China’s Africa Safari” by Paul Mooney. YaleGlobal Online.
“Asia, Africa on way to new strategic partnership” Xinhua.net
“La Chine et l’Afrique: Entre Engagement et Intérêt” Géopolitique africaine, 2004.
“We Love China” by Lindsey Hilsum. Granta
“A rising China counters US clout in Africa,” Christian Science Monitor. March 30, 2005.
“What are the politics behind China’s race to develop Sudan?” by Rob Crilly, Irish Times. November 25, 2005.
“China’s interests in Sudan bring diplomatic cover” Reuters, December 17, 2005.
“Zimbabweans protest at Chinese aid for Mugabe” This is
“China in Africa: the CNOOC Nigerian Oil Deal” Jewels in the Jungle (with some really interesting comments by Nigerian readers)
“The future of Africa is not China” Chippla’s Weblog
China’s trade with Africa – good news or bad news? Ethan Zuckerman. My Heart’s in
“CNOOC: “It’s a good deal” Nigerian Times
“Chinese Censorship Specialists in Zimbabwe” Committee to Protect Bloggers
"Cultivating responsible trade ties between China and Africa" makes it onto the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland) agenda: