Is China good for Africa? A Round-up
Michael Smith at Pure FX
Chinese investment in Africa has become a widely publicised issue, as democracies in the West ponder both Chinese intentions and whether they themselves have not missed an opportunity.
But is widespread Chinese presence in Africa a good thing? To help you decide, here is collection of some of the best articles and debates on the subject out there.
China here to make a living? Xan Rice entitles his Guardian article China’s Economic Invasion Of Africa. In fact though, he characterises the attempts of Chinese migrants to make a livelihood in Africa as benign.
Or Chinese empire building? Telegraph writer Damian Thompson describes China’s relationship with Africa in terms of exploitation. This is less out of empathy for Africans though, than an anti-Chinese stance.
Colonialism or partnership? In this Council on Foreign Relations article, two academics debate whether China’s presence in Africa can be described as colonialism or partnership.
Good intentions marred by bad eggs? The Economist provides a more balanced view, arguing that Chinese investment in the continent is huge, but that corrupt businessmen are giving China in Africa a bad name.
Must Africa improve its game? South African wine exporter Tom Lynch says that Africans must be strong negotiators to get all their partnership with China is worth.
The US-China power struggle. Perhaps not surprisingly, CNN journalist Teo Kermelioti characterises China’s investment in Africa as America losing out. He pay little attention to the consequences for Africans of China’s presence.
The official stance. In this African Executive interview, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan explains his view of the African-Chinese relationship. It reads though like propaganda.
The environmental cost. In another Guardian article, Christina M. Russo details how the Chinese presence in Africa has prompted a huge rise in the demand for illegal ivory.
So what do you think?
Is the Chinese presence in Africa neo-imperialism disguised as commerce, or genuine partnership? Have Chinese businessmen taken advantage of their hosts, or must Africans do more to extract a fair price for their labour and resources?
Give us your thoughts in the comments.
This is a guest post from Michael Smith at foreign currency exchange specialist Pure FX.