Saturday, February 07, 2009

China-Africa Relations:

When China broke ground last month on a $120 million headquarters for the African Union, the chief organization of African nations, Wu Bangguo, one of China’s top leaders, called the gift “another example of the growing friendship between China and Africa.”

The sleek, glass-and-steel building will offer a concrete symbol of warming ties between China and Africa.

China’s investment in Africa has surged in recent years and trade between China and Africa is expected to reach $100 billion this year, surpassing the United States for the first time, according to Chinese experts.

Beijing’s motivations, however, are less clear. China has characterized the burgeoning relationship as benevolent, a rising tide that is spurring African development and sating Chinese demand for energy and raw materials.

But China’s spending spree is also redrawing political alliances and some analysts say they fear the United States is losing influence on the continent.

In July, Eric Edelman, the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “China’s full court press to establish influence and connections in Africa and Latin America may be seismic in its future implications for the United States.”

Other experts say they worry that China’s trade is undermining international efforts to promote political change in Africa. Activists argue that China’s investments in Sudan — where China has financed close to $1.3 billion of infrastructure projects in recent years — have weakened global efforts to enforce peace in the restive Darfur region, for example.

While China “looks at Africa strategically as a continent that has resources that it needs to drive its economy forward,” concern has grown in the United States and Europe that Beijing’s influence will have negative effects, said Wenran Jiang, a Univ ersity of Alberta political economist.

“There are some people who argue that China has an evil design in terms of geostrategic gains,” Jiang said.

China’s growing presence is on display throughout Africa. Between 2001 and 2007, China’s trade with the continent grew from $11 billion to $73 billion annually, while Beijing’s aid to African states nearly doubled.

In 2006, which Beijing dubbed the “Year of Africa,” Chinese companies spent more than $7 billion in the continent. Last year, they invested another $4.5 billion on projects to build railroad lines, roads, hydroelectric plants and other operations, according to an August report by the World Bank.

But concerns persist that China’s basic tenet of non-interference in the affairs of foreign governments has undermined efforts to stamp out corruption and end bloodshed in Africa. U.S. companies, for example, were forced to leave Sudan in the 1980s because of civil war and sanctions imposed by Washington.

Chinese firms face no restrictions from Beijing and have taken advantage of the lack of competition. Chinese companies have financed more than a billion dollars of infrastructure projects in Sudan.

Activists argue that the investment has weakened attempts by nations, including the U.S., to force Sudan’s leaders to end fighting in its Darfur region, which has killed at least 200,000 people.

As Sudan’s leading trade partner and major investor, China “provides Khartoum with the resources needed to carry out violence against the people of Darfur,” the nonprofit groups Save Darfur Coalition and Dream for Darfur said in a March statement.

For their part, Western companies worry that Beijing’s growing influence might help China win lucrative contracts. Several major oil companies have said that Beijing has used its political clout to win business for Chinese state-owned firms.

The New York-based U.S. Council on Foreign Relations found in a 2006 report that Chinese “soft loans” and other incentives “bolster its competitive advantage” in acquiring natural resources.

U.S. and European firms developed promising African oil fields and mineral deposits many years ago and control the most lucrative areas. But many African leaders are grateful for China’s growing role and might be swayed to favor Chinese firms in the future, said Chris Alden, a director at the South African Institute of International Affairs.

“Right now, the best natural resources are still in Western hands, but that can change and maybe we’re seeing the beginning of that change,” he said.


Anonymous said...

I can understand the global Pan African world having mixed responses to China's massive investment in Africa.

As the Mother Continent all civilizations need of her resources; minerals and food; oil and jewels etc.

However, we are a wiser civilization now; I trust since
[ 1884-1885] and the Berlin Conference when Europe carved her up, the 15th century when Europeans enslaved her people and 20th century when the United States ecenomically colonised her through the IMF.

A rising Africa has to trade with other thriving nations like China, India and the West but it has to be on her terms or at least negotiable terms to our advantage. We must learn from our History!!!.

China has a record of being racist toward African students and their record in Tibet is not helpful. She has a 1,319,175,337 population US CENSUS BUREAU and needs energy and raw materials.

African leaders should have the confidence to bargin in the interest of Africa and her people and not let sections of Africa become a colony of China. Learn from Tibet!!!. It took 400 years plus to figure out the European psyche and 'free' ourselves from him and that is with using his language.

The Chinese psyche is another study but we have to get past his language!!!!!

Yes, encourage trade and investment with other civilisations....but let them kneel before Mother Africa as her children and honour her first. Selah

Anonymous said...

The saying goes, " Whenthe Christian missionaries arrived in Africa, we had the Land and they had the Bible; when they left we had the Bible and they had the Land!"

Today we can say, " The Chinese arrived with billions of dollars to invest in 2009 and we had the resources of oil and minerals; when they left...oh they are not planning to leave?"

Well this is not the 15th century and Spiritual Africa is not lookin g for another god from outside of herself; that does not look like her. Her spiritual leadership is teaching that the restoration of African sovreignity is not in religion, money or politics but her Spirituality.

In this dispensation, China will not replace Europe! Another Spiritual force is walking on African soil. It is a force which is at one with the elements of the Earth. One that is aligned with the Universal corrective Forces'

So China, please keep your motive in check as you invest and court your mother Africa and her people. This Corrective force is wind, monsoon, tsunami, earthquake, tornado etc.

Mother Africa is PEACE to all her infant civilizations. But if they dishonor or try to deceive and exploit her; the Rt. Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey will speak for her to the elements.

Mother Africa welcomes you in peace. She is now in charge of her resources, not her children; but most importantly she is in divine favour with her Creator! She will judge the Earth in Righteousness.

We hold you on your creed as held by Confucius

Confucius (Chinese: 孔夫子; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ; Wade-Giles: K'ung-fu-tzu), lit. "Master Kong,"[1] (September 28, 551 BC – 479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese thought and life.

His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China over other doctrines, such as Legalism (法家) or Taoism (道家) during the Han Dynasty[2][3][4] (206 BC – 220 AD). Confucius' thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as Confuciusism"

Rainforest Hebrew Prophetess

Anonymous said...

March is international Women's Month and March 8 International Women's Day marked throughout the world.

To the Mother Continent, Ghan Eden ( Garden of Eden/ Paradise) I give honour to you and the royal heritage, majestic stature, the origin of the people chosen by Yah and the great peoples, crafts, languages, flora and fauna, ancient wisdom; divine elders, Kings, Queens, Empires and great leaders.

You are the greatest mother/woman of all peoples on earth. As we mark International women's month; I refuse to remain quiet and not let it be known that 'Africa' Ghan Eden is the greatest Divine Mother.
Never forget your children of the Diaspora; always keep our place home for us and in your heart.

A productive and regenerative International Women's Day Mother 'Africa' Emah Eden.

Rainforest Echoes of a Daughter of Paradise.