China’s trade with Africa

Jacob Kushner, “China’s Congo Plan,” The American Interest, 10 January 2014

The Chinese are by no means the world’s first to seek their fortunes in Congo. But unlike the Western powers whose legacy is burdened to this day by colonialism, China’s footprints in Africa have been relatively “conflict-free.” During the first decade of the 21st century, at least 230,000 Chinese immigrated to Africa—as many as one million by some estimates. They opened import businesses, electronics shops, pharmacies and restaurants. Chinese trade with Africa blossomed, and China began looking for ways to help some of its state-owned companies to do more business across the continent than ever before. Two Chinese state banks began loaning money to companies willing to make bold investments. China’s Export-Import Bank, the smaller of the two, now provides more loans to sub-Saharan Africa than the World Bank, loans increasingly used to develop African infrastructure. By 2006, Chinese companies were investing more than $6 billion per year in roads, railways and other public infrastructure projects across Africa. By 2015, the figure is expected reach $50 billion. …
Continue reading