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Thread: China's Expanding Role in Africa

  1. #141
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Is China not so generous a friend and investor?

    Ho, hum China wonders where the money goes:
    The Chinese government is seeking the secondment of its officials to key Zimbabwe parastatals to ensure that Chinese loans for government projects are not lost to “leakages”, it emerged this week.A Chinese delegation was in Zimbabwe to lay the groundwork for the implementation of economic agreements signed in August by the two countries. There are now concerns from some government officials that the Chinese government is angling for a greater stake in, and control of, Zimbabwe’s natural resources and government entities before the agreements are implemented.


    Mugabe went to China seeking a $4-billion rescue package, but other than the memorandums of understanding, he came back empty- handed.
    The Chinese are also said to have been unhappy with Zimbabwe’s failure to repay previous loans. Sinosure, a leading Chinese insurance company, is reportedly refusing to guarantee loans from Chinese banks to Zimbabwean companies.
    By the end of last year, Zimbabwe’s interest on loans stood at $60-million, according to government officials.
    Link:http://mg.co.za/article/2015-01-23-c...-screws-on-zim
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  2. #142
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    The Economist, 17 Jan 15: China in Africa: One among many
    China has few political ambitions in Africa. It co-operates with democracies as much as with authoritarian regimes. Its aid budget is puny. The few peacekeepers it sends stay out of harm’s way. China’s corporatist development model has attracted few followers beyond Ethiopia and Rwanda. Most fast-growing African nations hew closer to Western free-market ideas. In South Sudan, the one place where China has tried to flex its diplomatic muscle, it has achieved embarrassingly little. Attempts to stop a civil war that is endangering its oil supply failed miserably.

    Chinese immigrants in Africa chuckle at the idea that they could lord it over the locals. Most congregate in second-tier countries like Zambia; they are less of a presence in hyper-competitive Nigeria. Unlike other expatriates, they often live in segregated camps. Some thought, after a decade of high-octane engagement, that China would dominate Africa. Instead it is likely to be just one more foreign investor jostling for advantage.

  3. #143
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    China illegally fishing off coast of west Africa, Greenpeace study reveals

    Number of Chinese fishing boats operating in Africa soared from 13 in 1985 to 462 in 2013, say environmental group, with ships ‘taking advantage of weak enforcement and supervision’

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-study-reveals
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  4. #144
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    An IISS Adelphi paper 'China’s Strong Arm: Protecting Citizens and Assets Abroad' landed today and so joins a growing pile of items to read.

    On the link are a few reviews, taken from that by The Economist's former editor:
    It presents a convincing thesis: that force of circumstance will oblige China to become a global power, regardless of its stated non-interventionist policy.
    Link:http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/...rong-arm-63b7?
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  5. #145
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    I was surprised by the sheer amount of 'Chinese' roudbuilding in Burundi* and Ruanda when I was there. The relationships in question are certainly not free from tenstions but I was told in Uganda that the Chinese ones are much better then the Italian ones, at least in part due the Italian's local subcontractors.

    *Quite a few in Burundi told me about tensions building up due to elections and third term problem. I didn't imagine that we would have fighting and a failed coup...
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  6. #146
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    Default China is Building its First Military Base in Africa

    China is Building its First Military Base in Africa

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    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
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  7. #147
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    (EBC, Mar. 4, 2016)- President Ismal Omar Guelleh has presided over the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new mega gas project, which comprises a natural gas pipeline, a liquefaction plant and an export terminal at Damerjog, Djibouti.

    The pipeline project will enable Ethiopia to export gas to China and support socio-economic development across the region.

    The new 700 km pipeline will transport up to 12 billion m3/y of natural gas from Ethiopia to Djibouti. The liquefaction plant will have capacity to produce up to 10 million t of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year after completion of the project.

    The project, which will be funded by Chinese firm POLY-GCL Petroleum Group Holdings Ltd, will cost approximately US$4 billion. Construction work is expected to start shortly and will take three years to complete.
    http://www.ebc.et/web/ennews/-/djibo...t-gas-to-china
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  8. #148
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    The year 2015 was quite eventful for China-Africa diplomacy. Several high-level officials from both sides visited in each direction; the African Union (AU) and China signed a memorandum of understanding; China concluded an agreement to build a base in Djibouti; and China signed a host of bilateral agreements with African countries.

    The capstone of the year’s diplomatic efforts was Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), hosted in Johannesburg on Dec. 4-5 and gathering delegations from 50 African countries, the African Union, and of course China.

    What did we learn about China-Africa relations from this meeting?
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...at-that-means/

    Hangzhou — The fifth China-Africa Think Tanks Forum opened on Friday in Yiwu City of east China's Zhejiang Province, focusing on China-Africa industrial cooperation.

    The two-day event, organized by Zhejiang Normal University and Yiwu city government, has attracted more than 350 government officials, academics and business people from China and over 40 African countries.

    Trade with China accounts for 20 percent of the total trade volume in Ethiopia, said Arkebe Oqubay Metiku, economic adviser to Ethiopia's prime minister. "Thanks to China's investment, Ethiopia now has the first electrified railway system in Africa."

    In late 2015, China promised 60 billion U.S. dollars in funding to promote China-Africa cooperation and boost the development of African countries.
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201604181240.html
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  9. #149
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    China’s first overseas military base in the small African country of Djibouti is “probably the first of many” the country intends to build around the world, which could bring its interests into conflict with the U.S., according to American intelligence officials. “China has the fastest-modernizing military in the world next to the United States,” according to insights provided Thursday by U.S. intelligence officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the information.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...bases-globally
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  10. #150
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    China's growing involvement in South Sudan's civil war differs from its past approach to non-interference, though there is debate on the long-term implications as its role in African, and global, security affairs expands.
    China's announcement of plans to vastly expand its first-ever overseas military base in Djibouti follows a dramatic display in July, when two Chinese navy vessels steamed across the Indian Ocean towards the dock
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201710030330.html
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  11. #151
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Adam,

    That is an interesting article, which reflects others awhile ago now on whether China would assert itself and protect its investments in Africa.

    Plus the link shows it originated from the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post, at the end it acknowledges it first appeared as an ICG article.

    China's long term record in Africa has been marred by poor performance, such as the first TanZam railway (since completely renovated) and Chinese traders in particular unsettled many communities - too competitive for them.

    Why two PLAN ships should be significant eludes me. There is a regular PLAN deployment to the anti-piracy patrolling and if one looks deeper "showing the flag" visits.
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  12. #152
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    China's long term record in Africa has been marred by poor performance, such as the first TanZam railway (since completely renovated) and Chinese traders in particular unsettled many communities - too competitive for them.
    The Chinese could wind up being their own worst enemies with that 30 Year Plan of theirs to rule the world.

    A Chinese museum has touched the nerves of Africans online after a video was posted online showing a seemingly racist exhibition where Africans were displayed alongside wild animals.
    The video, originally uploaded on Instagram by a Nigerian Edward E. Duke, showed Chinese art lovers admiring the exhibits at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan ahead of the national Golden Week holiday.
    The exhibits include a photograph of a roaring lion next to an African man with the same expression; a pensive monkey next to another man; elephants and giraffes next to African children among others.
    http://www.africanews.com/2017/10/12...s-to-animals//
    Last edited by AdamG; 10-22-2017 at 11:46 AM.
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  13. #153
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    Addis Ababa — The Chinese-built 756 km electrified rail project connecting landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti officially started commercial operations on Monday with a ceremony held in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
    Contracted by two Chinese companies, the first 320 km of the rail project from Sebeta to Mieso was carried out by the China Rail Engineering Corporation (CREC), while the remaining 436 km from Mieso to Djibouti port section was built by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).
    http://allafrica.com/stories/201801020364.html
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  14. #154
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    I know just the man for the job....


    (CNN)Chinese personnel at the country's first overseas military base in Djibouti have been using lasers to interfere with US military aircraft at a nearby American base, activity that has resulted in injuries to US pilots and prompted the US to launch a formal diplomatic protest with Beijing, two military officials told CNN.

    The US issued a notice to airmen "to exercise caution when flying in certain areas in Djibouti," which "was issued due to lasers being directed at US aircraft on a small number of separate occasions over the last few weeks," according to the notice obtained by CNN.
    "During one incident, there were two minor eye injuries of aircrew flying in a C-130 that resulted from exposure to military-grade laser beams, which were reported to have originated from the nearby Chinese base," the notice said.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/03/polit...ica/index.html
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  15. #155
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Buying African votes in the UN.

    China will write off any amount owed by indebted countries or developing nations, President Xi Jinping said. China is offering US$60 billion in financial support and a debt write-off to impoverished African nations- no strings attached, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday
    *
    The Chinese official laid out the extensive financial strategy to African leaders, with plans to invest US$5 billion in African exports, US$ 10 billion for "development financing" and US$15 billion in grants, interest-free loans, and concessional loans; a credit line of US$20 billion. Xi said their friendship was time-honored and that China's investment in Africa came with no political strings attached.
    https://www.telesurtv.net/english/ne...0903-0005.html

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  16. #156
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Double-tapped.
    Good multi-article-cited background piece -

    At a time when local fishermen in Somalia are struggling to compete with foreign vessels that are depleting fishing stocks, the government has granted 31 fishing licenses to China. Since assuming power last year, this is the first time that Somali president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has given fishing rights to foreigners, news site BBC reports.
    https://face2faceafrica.com/article/...ights-to-china
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  17. #157
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    TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China may be preparing to seize some major assets in the African nation of Kenya, as a result of debt-trap diplomacy. African media reports that Kenya may soon be forced to relinquish control of its largest and most lucrative port in Mombasa to Chinese control.

    Other assets related to the inland shipment of goods from the port, including the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), may also be compromised in the event of a Chinese port takeover.

    Kenya has reportedly taken extremely large loans from the Communist government for the development of some major highways, and especially for the SGR, which forms a crucial transport link to and from Nairobi for the import and export of goods through Mombasa.

    In November, Moody’s noted that Kenya is at high risk of losing strategic assets because of debts owed to Beijing. Local media began to express concern that Chinese lenders may be angling to seize assets, since it does not appear the Kenyan government will be capable to repaying the loans.

    https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/new...CtLiUwTYLGnCbQ
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  18. #158
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    Default Is this why Djibouti is important to China?

    Thanks to a photo essay in the RUSI Journal (behind a pay wall) on 'Climate Change and Djibouti' referring to the Chinese mining millions of tons of salt from Lac or Lake Assal - is that the reason for their commitment? Never seen this aspect being mentioned before.

    A quick search confirmed the Chinese mining. See:http://www.lukasspieker.com/blog/845...alt-lac-assal/ and:https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fe...203157690.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-01-2019 at 08:37 PM. Reason: 102,549v today
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  19. #159
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Assessing the Risks of Chinese Investments in Sub-Saharan African Ports

    A useful map caught via Twitter and the article is full of detail, for example which ports are completed or not.
    Link:https://www.csis.org/analysis/assess...-african-ports
    davidbfpo

  20. #160
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    David,

    Sometimes I think these studies miss the real essence of the threat. Normally we should encourage the development of economic infrastructure in Africa regardless of what country provides that assistance. Africa’s rise economic rise is long overdue, and failure to support the African nations and regional organizations develop in a way that can provide jobs to rapidly expanding youth bulge will lead to instability far beyond Africa. We have already seen the beginning of this instability with the mass migration into Europe, and it will only get worse if current trends continue.

    Is China part of the solution, or part of the problem? To see the threat clearly, first you have to disregard the communist party narrative, it sounds great, but it is a lie. Like a block of ice, this lie rapidly evaporates when exposed to the sunlight. China’s ports benefit China and corrupt African officials in most cases, as in any situation we shouldn’t paint with too wide sh, because there may be situations that deviate from the norm. To sustain China’s miraculous economic growth (much like Japan’s phenomenal growth previously), China understandably needs access to resources. These resources include oil, minerals, fish, and food (agriculture), and let us not forget access to endangered species. China also wants to expand its market for Chinese goods, to include the deadly counterfeit drugs they frequently sale to various African nations. Most of the above equates to the reinforcing the 'resource trap' that much of Africa has been trapped in for decades. An economy that is dependent upon a particular resource, and often one primary market to sell it to, for various reasons tends to breed corrupt politicians that control the trade and see no incentive to diversify their economy. Rich in oil or another resource, yet suffers from massive poverty.

    To add to this burden, China is pushing its ideology, which is socialism with Chinese characteristics. In reality, it is authoritarian capitalism. China is now exporting its tools and methods to enable dictators to enforce control over its population (smart city technologies, facial recognition, internet monitoring and control, social credit system, etc.). Authoritarian governance simply locks bad into place, further limited the ability of the nation to evolve economically and politically, which serves China’s purposes perfectly.

    I can only speak for myself, but I wouldn’t mind China displacing the U.S.A. as the world’s superpower if they embraced the liberal, rules, and norms based international order. When the USA replaced the UK as the world power, there were no significant disruptions, since we generally had the same values (minus the UK’s colonies). However, a China-led world order would be very, very different. Human rights progress would be reversed, all religions would be under threat, democracy would be at risk, and instead of a win-win approach to economic development, China would seek to generate a global economic order that solely benefited China. This world will become increasingly destabilized, and the risk of major wars will increase.

    China “could” do much good in Africa and the world writ large if it wasn’t led by a racist, Han, communist party that embraces an agenda that threatens what most people hold dear.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-24-2019 at 03:46 PM. Reason: 103,236v today

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