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Thread: China's Expanding Role in Africa

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    Everyone who does business in Africa bribes. Halliburton bribes, Shell bribes, Total bribes. These companies have given bribes for the past fifty years. The Chinese also bribe and suddenly it is big news?
    Whoa!

    You forgot to mention the one consistent factor... and that is that Africans have always accepted the bribes (from whatever source).

    The Chinese are the new kids on the block sucking in Africa's natural resources and selectively (and cleverly) bribing their way to that end.

    Like the frog in water brought slowly to the boil by the time Africans realise that their country is owned by China it will be too late (as by then China will have become dependent on Africa's resources to the extent that they will be prepared to defend the source and trade routes militarily).

    You posted Orwell's story Shooting An Elephant as a shot at the Brit empire but you obviously missed the following comment from the astute Orwell:

    I did not even know that the British Empire is dying, still less did I know that it is a great deal better than the younger empires that are going to supplant it.
    Now fast forward to today and look back at Burma's last fifty years of glorious independence and how they are begging the world to save them from themselves (their 50 year military dictatorship). Personally in this instance they should IMHO be told quietly that they made their own bed now they must lie in it... quietly (if you know what I mean )

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    True, Burma was a disaster, but Botswana, Ghana, Singapore and India have done much better now than under British rule.

    True, Africans accept bribes, but there isn't a uniform African experience. Some African nations are determined to be basket cases, some are not.

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    If we're speaking of the Chinese willingness to indulge in corrupt practices in Africa, one might note that they are equally willing to engage in corrupt practices in China: it is a very, very corrupt country, and you can bet that Africans aren't the only ones skimming off these projects.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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    At this point in time (t), Africans are terribly bothered about bribes. They actually want to have some infrastructure built.

    If you realise that since the eighties, not much infrastructure has been built in Africa and the Chinese are the only people committed to making infrastructure happen.

    We are willing to take the risk. We have endured two decades of PowerPoint presentations and Excel financial models and capacity building. All that has come out from that are glossy brochures and even more white Toyota SUVs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    True, Burma was a disaster, but Botswana, Ghana, Singapore and India have done much better now than under British rule.
    Don't know much about Ghana other than it took from independence in 1957 until 1992 for political parties to become legal. Can that be blamed on the Brits?

    Botswana was fortunate to find massive diamond deposits one year after independence and now as the diamonds start to run out they have found uranium deposits. That speaks for what has underpinned their economy that has been well managed.

    With a population of 2m Botswana is hardly a great example as case studies go.

    The downside is the 24% HIV positive rate amongst adults and the genocidal behaviour towards its minority San (Bushman) population. Can't understand why this has not attracted international condemnation.

    True, Africans accept bribes, but there isn't a uniform African experience. Some African nations are determined to be basket cases, some are not.
    You are going to have to explain that to me as I don't follow.

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    True Botswana discovered diamonds and uranium, but Nigeria discovered oil. Look how Nigeria turned out and what became of Botswana. You'll have to admit that visionary leadership played a role in putting Botswana where it is today.

    Some African nations like Congo DRC, Nigeria and Chad are determined to be basket cases. You cannot say the same about Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya. Governance is improving there. Unfortunately the Pentagon tends to send US Military to the basket cases, and thus ex-service personnel with African experience tend to have a skewed opinion about Africa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    True Botswana discovered diamonds and uranium, but Nigeria discovered oil. Look how Nigeria turned out and what became of Botswana. You'll have to admit that visionary leadership played a role in putting Botswana where it is today.

    Some African nations like Congo DRC, Nigeria and Chad are determined to be basket cases. You cannot say the same about Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya. Governance is improving there. Unfortunately the Pentagon tends to send US Military to the basket cases, and thus ex-service personnel with African experience tend to have a skewed opinion about Africa.
    I believe we do not visite the same countries when it comes to improved governance in Rwanda or even Kenya.
    It is not because government do not openly act corrupted that they are not. Also, what is the metrics you are using to evaluate good governance: provision of basic services or numbers of financial and political scandales?

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    I believe we do not visite the same countries when it comes to improved governance in Rwanda or even Kenya.
    It is not because government do not openly act corrupted that they are not. Also, what is the metrics you are using to evaluate good governance: provision of basic services or numbers of financial and political scandales?
    A simple metric like provision of basic services and female literacy rates will separate the laggards from the leading nations.

  9. #129
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingJaja View Post
    A simple metric like provision of basic services and female literacy rates will separate the laggards from the leading nations.
    In that case Butan is the most developed country in the world.
    Basic social services and women litteracy is one indicator but it does not measure governance just Human development.

    If you want to evaluate governance, you have to go through transparency of public market, strategic ressources commercial deals... And also respect of Human Rights, freedom of speetch and political opinion, rally and parties, public institution control, parlementary control of government actions...

    Kenya for instance has a huge problem of political violence. I do not know if you are aware but during last elections the country felt in ethnic cleasing and 6 are now to be judged at ICC. And distributio of basic services like water and electricity is more tan problematic in Nairobi (may be not in 5 stars hotels...)
    Rwanda has been supporting rebellion in DRC and is deeply involved into illegal mining trade in the great lakes. I would recommend you to read the UN security expert panel reports on DRC.

    A strong regime with no contestations and a hiigh level of litteracy does not mean good governance, it barely mean old fashion control of the press.
    Last edited by M-A Lagrange; 03-26-2012 at 11:05 AM.

  10. #130
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    Kenya for instance has a huge problem of political violence. I do not know if you are aware but during last elections the country felt in ethnic cleasing and 6 are now to be judged at ICC. And distributio of basic services like water and electricity is more tan problematic in Nairobi (may be not in 5 stars hotels...)
    Rwanda has been supporting rebellion in DRC and is deeply involved into illegal mining trade in the great lakes. I would recommend you to read the UN security expert panel reports on DRC.

    A strong regime with no contestations and a hiigh level of litteracy does not mean good governance, it barely mean old fashion control of the press.
    Kenya doesn't have a problem with political violence. Since 1999 about 50,000 Nigerians have died due to political and religious violence. The violence Kenya took the World by storm simply because Kenya isn't a usual hotbed of political violence.

  11. #131
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    Default Chinese criminal gangs

    One of the downsides to the Chinese presence in Africa:
    Angola has extradited 37 Chinese nationals, accused of extortion, kidnappings, armed robberies and running prostitution rings. They allegedly targeted other Chinese, kidnapping businessmen for ransom and sometimes burying victims alive.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-19378660
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  12. #132
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    Default China's Expanding Role in Africa

    On SWC we sort of understand the importance of logistics; railways are an important factor in politics and economics - even if in the West the auto-engine reigns supreme.

    Two recent BBC News reports. First from Ethiopia:
    Across the Ethiopian countryside 2,000km (1,243 miles) of railway is being built, the first phase of an endeavour to create a new 5,000km network....The centrepiece of the new rail system is the planned line between Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, and the neighbouring country of Djibouti.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24869433

    Then from Kenya:
    Kenya has formally launched a new....railway which should extend across East Africa to reach South Sudan, DR Congo and Burundi. The first section will link the Kenyan port of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, reducing the journey time from 15 hours to about four.
    What is the common political factor, first Ethiopia:
    Both projects began in early 2012 and are joint ventures between the Ethiopian government and Chinese companies that successfully bid for the $3.3bn (£2.2bn) Addis-Djibouti contract, and the $500m LRT project.
    And Kenya:
    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed the deal in August in Beijing.
    Now what comes after such a large Chinese investment? SWC does have a thread on China's increasing role in the developing world (maybe not the thread's title).

    Incidentally China's last big railway investment, the TanZam railway which opened in 1975 has been plagued with problems for many years. Last I heard it was due for renovation.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-08-2014 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Copied here 8th March from Railways thread
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  13. #133
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    Over the last decade, America has quietly expanded its military presence throughout Africa in an attempt to counter Chinese and other emerging nations’ influence, while consolidating control over critical strategic resources and trade routes.

    The United States, like its allies Britain and France, has long maintained influence and indirect control in Africa through financial institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and African Development Bank. It has exerted political influence using aid organizations such as USAID and NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and others.

    However, recent years have seen an unprecedented military expansion which has gone almost entirely unnoticed by the US public.
    http://rt.com/op-edge/us-expands-mil...et-africa-081/
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  14. #134
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    COLOGNE/MUTARE- China is reportedly scheming to set up a military airbase in Zimbabwe's controversial Marange diamond fields of Manicaland province, as Beijing and Harare ratchet up military cooperation and closer than before foreign relations, The Telescope News has heard.

    China has no known military bases in Africa, and insists on it's non-interference of internal politics stance of her allies on the continent, thus raising eyebrows as to whether Beijing could finally be making a paradigm shift in it's foreign military policy, in response to the Asian giants growing economic interests here.
    http://www.thetelescopenews.com/inde...nd-fields.html
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    Inside China: Long march to Africa

    Anyone listening out there?

  16. #136
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    JMA,

    Yes China's expanding role has been noted far beyond SWC. It takes many forms, the vast majority - certainly in terms of money - are commercial investments and some can have a strategic impact - see post 132 on two massive railway investments.

    The cited article refers to Djibouti, a small state that appears to rely on renting out space to all-comers; for a long time to the French, then the USA and now others - for supporting anti-piracy seaborne patrolling. I am sure existing tenants will watch the PRC's arrival closely.

    As for Zimbabwe I suspect the PRC is one of the few major trading, non-African states that is happy, if not eager, to trade with Mugabe and partners. Building a air force base (AFB) appears to be cyclical for non-African powers, I recall the huge AFB in Botswana built by the USA years ago and never used IIRC.
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  17. #137
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    Default A second empire?

    A South African review of Howard French's book 'China’s Second Continent - How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa', published; the author is a former NYT journalist:
    The main strength of China’s Second Continent is the fact that French has intimate knowledge of China, having lived and worked in the country. He also has experience of Africa where he reported on West and Central Africa for the New York Times. His insights into the lives of the Chinese in Africa are presented through the prism of their own history.
    Link:http://mg.co.za/article/2014-10-09-t...r-new-pioneers

    A link to Amazon.com:http://www.amazon.com/Chinas-Second-...cond+continent
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  18. #138
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    Related asymmetric threat response

    A Chinese drugmaker with close military ties is seeking fast-track approval for a drug that it says can cure Ebola, as China joins the race to help treat a deadly outbreak of a disease that has spread from Africa to the United States and Europe.

    Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd has signed a tie-up with Chinese research Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) last week to help push the drug called JK-05 through the approval process in China and bring it to market. The drug, developed by the academy, is currently approved for emergency military use only.
    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/1...to-cure-ebola/
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  19. #139
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    Default China says "We are not imperialists, investors yes"

    Not exactly the Chinese foreign ministers exact words. He did say this though:
    Politically, we always speak up for African countries and uphold justice. Economically, we help African countries to enhance development to achieve prosperity. “In China’s exchanges and cooperation with Africa, we want to see mutual benefit and win-win results. I want to make clear one point, that is, China will never follow the track of western colonists and all cooperation with Africa will never come at the expense of the ecology, environment or long-term interests of Africa.
    Link:http://www.theguardian.com/global-de...ca-colonialism
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  20. #140
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    The absolute and relative scale of Chinese road-building certainly has a big impact on many African countries. It is quite relaxing to drive on them, especially compared to the classic alternatives at long as there are few drivers on the road earning their wage there...

    The biggest differentials in Chinese vs Western investment seems to be the trend in 'boots on the ground'. Western companies tend to sub-contract more while the Chinese do most, apart from the manual labour, in-house. According to persons I have spoken with, this makes often a big difference in outcome.

    P.S: Obviously the words of the Chinese FM are not exactly the truth and Chinese activities come at a sometimes high price. We will see in the long run how the scorecard will be.
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