China in Africa: threat or promise?

Escrito el 9 noviembre 2010 por Gayle Allard en África, China

As China´s hunger for natural resources continues to soar, its interest in Africa intensifies. This has led it to make major investments on the continent, some of them in troubled countries with widespread human rights violations, such as Sudan. It was not long ago (2006), that the Chinese vice-president, on a tour of Africa, made a loaded comment: “We won´t ask questions.”
Un médico asiático atiende a un joven africano.

What effect is large-scale Chinese investment having on Africa? Some observers, such as economist and author Dambisa Moyo or Rwandan president Paul Kagame, defend China´s involvement in Africa on the grounds that only China, with its hugely abundant cash, is providing the large-scale infrastructure investments that African countries need. Many academics worry that as China props up corrupt or failed states, it will aggravate poor governance in a region where it is already a serious problem.

In a recent empirical study of Chinese investments in Africa, I discovered that Chinese FDI was in fact more closely associated than global FDI with corrupt states. It was also more tightly linked than global FDI with countries that had high levels of metal and ore exports.

If this is indeed the situation, should we be worried? Or is this simply a natural and innocuous trend in the FDI flows of a country hungry for resources, in a region where resources are abundant?


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Rita 11 noviembre 2010 - 01:14

Point-of-view is an interesting animal. I really appreciate the numbers on global FDI v China FDI with corrupt states. I wonder what the figures would look like global FDI v China FDI in less economically mature states. Would it show that China invests in countries that are globally less mature on an economic level more so than global FDI? Is the definition of corrupt a potential cultural difference in how business is done, so it maybe considered the, “cost of doing business” with these states? Curious.

Javier Tomás 12 noviembre 2010 - 11:06

I live in Africa and I can tell you that Chinese, first, Koreans, second, and Turkish, third, are getting a lot of investments and projects in the region.

Don´t see anything wrong on this, they just have better prices that us, for example.

Even in Niger, in the middle of the dessert, you can find them.

Francisco 17 noviembre 2010 - 04:19

When Turkey and Brazil decided to help Iran in the uranium affair, they asked for support to others powers. China agreed to help them. Two or three days afterwards China supported the iniciative of the Occidetal powers to condemn Iran and to impose sanctions against the persian country…
Money, busines and more money.

“We won´t ask questions.”

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