Mugabe Critic: Zimbabwe’s ‘Old Friend’ China is Bleeding it Dry

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Harare-based economist and columnist Vince Musewe doesn’t mince words in his criticism of Zimbabwe’s growing financial dependence. Beijing is “bleeding Zimbabwe dry” through loans and Musewe says enough is enough. He is calling on Robert Mugabe’s...

South Africa to Dalai Lama: ‘You’re Not Welcome’ (Really)

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
For a third consecutive time, South Africa has made it clear to the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama that he is not welcome to visit. Most recently, the Dalai Lama was informed he would not receive a visa, forcing the controversial religious...

Cameroon’s Illegal Timber Finds a Market in China

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Cameroon’s rain forests are rapidly vanishing due to widespread corruption, according to a new report from Greenpeace Africa. The environmental activist group alleges that much of the illegally-harvested timber from Cameroon ends up in China where...

Massive Chinese Mining Deal in DRC Back on Track

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The controversial Sino-Congolese mining deal Sicomines has been revived thanks to new financing from China's Exim Bank. This is one of Beijing's biggest natural resources-for-infrastructure deals in Africa. If successful, the deal would...

China Steps up in West Africa to Help Fight Ebola

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
China appears to be leveraging the Ebola crisis in West Africa to radically improve its controversial foreign aid record. In contrast to Western countries, many of whom have evacuated their medical personnel from the region, China has sent teams of...

China & the U.S.: “Complementary Rivals” in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
There is a persistent meme within the international media that China’s rise in Africa represents a “new scramble” for resources on the continent or a new form of colonialism. Beijing-based China-Africa analyst and attorney Kai Xue says, contrary to...

China’s Second Continent: The Howard French Interview

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China may be sincere in its belief that its engagement in Africa is not neo-colonial or imperial in nature but author Howard French argues that may be what ultimately happens if Beijing continues on its current path. In his provocative new book,...

Books

08.06.14

China’s Second Continent

Howard W. French
An exciting, hugely revealing account of China’s burgeoning presence in Africa—a developing empire already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. A prizewinning foreign correspondent and former New York Times bureau chief in Shanghai and in West and Central Africa, Howard French is uniquely positioned to tell the story of China in Africa. Through meticulous on-the-ground reporting—conducted in Mandarin, French, and Portuguese, among other languages—Howard French crafts a layered investigation of astonishing depth and breadth as he engages not only with policy-shaping moguls and diplomats, but also with the  ordinary men and women navigating the street-level realities of cooperation, prejudice, corruption, and opportunity forged by this seismic geopolitical development. With incisiveness and empathy, French reveals the human face of China’s economic, political, and human presence across the African continent—and in doing so reveals what is at stake for everyone involved.We meet a broad spectrum of China’s dogged emigrant population, from those singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, commerce, and even environment (a self-made tycoon who harnessed Zambia’s now-booming copper trade; a timber entrepreneur determined to harvest the entirety of Liberia’s old-growth redwoods), to those just barely scraping by (a sibling pair running small businesses despite total illiteracy; a karaoke bar owner–cum–brothel madam), still convinced that Africa affords them better opportunities than their homeland. And we encounter an equally panoramic array of African responses: a citizens’ backlash in Senegal against a “Trojan horse” Chinese construction project (a tower complex to be built over a beloved soccer field, which locals thought would lead to overbearing Chinese pressure on their economy); a Zambian political candidate who, having protested China’s intrusiveness during the previous election and lost, now turns accommodating; the ascendant middle class of an industrial boomtown; African mine workers bitterly condemning their foreign employers, citing inadequate safety precautions and wages a fraction of their immigrant counterparts’.French’s nuanced portraits reveal the paradigms forming around this new world order, from the all-too-familiar echoes of colonial ambition—exploitation of resources and labor; cut-rate infrastructure projects; dubious treaties—to new frontiers of cultural and economic exchange, where dichotomies of suspicion and trust, assimilation and isolation, idealism and disillusionment are in dynamic flux.Part intrepid travelogue, part cultural census, part industrial and political exposé, French’s keenly observed account ultimately offers a fresh perspective on the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: why China is making the incursions it is, just how extensive its cultural and economic inroads are, what Africa’s role in the equation is, and just what the ramifications for both parties—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future. —Knopf {chop}

The Chinese-African Honeymoon is Over

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
There is a growing sense among Africans and Chinese alike that their once heady romance is now entering a new, more pragmatic phase. Across Africa, people and politicians are becoming visibly more concerned about the surging trade deficits, massive...

Terrorism: U.S. and China’s Common Enemy in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
While U.S. and Chinese interests often have divergent interests in Africa, they do share at least one common enemy: terrorism. Chinese nationals have been kidnapped and held for ransom in a number of African countries, including South Sudan, Egypt,...

Get Rich or Die Trying: The Chinese Herbal Medicine "Death Sentence" in Uganda

James Wan
Think Africa Press
200,000 Ugandans have signed up to a company believing it will cure all their illnesses and help them make a fortune. But it is more likely to do the opposite.

CCTV Africa: The Frontline of Soft-Power Diplomacy

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Since its launch in 2012, CCTV Africa has grown considerably in its distribution and programming. However, the central question remains as to whether or not anyone is actually watching, to justify the massive investment undertaken by the Chinese...

China’s New Diplomatic Strategy in Africa: Humility

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
Just a few weeks after Chinese premier Li Keqiang admitted that China was going through “growing pains” in its engagement with Africa, Beijing’s central bank chief, Zhou Xiaochuan, acknowledged some of the 2,500 PRC companies operating in Africa are...

Conversation

05.07.14

How is China Doing in Africa?

Tendai Musakwa, Kathleen McLaughlin & more
On his current weeklong tour of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Kenya, Premier Li Keqiang announced a new $12 billion aid package intended to address China’s “growing pains” in Africa. China is by turns lauded for bringing development to the...

Environment

12.23.13

Project to Save South China Tigers in South Africa Lost in Wilderness

from chinadialogue
The Laohu Valley Reserve sits on a rolling plain about 200 kilometers from Bloemfontein, South Africa’s judicial capital. In September 2003, two South China tigers were sent to the reserve from a Chinese zoo. What began as an effort to save the...

Chad Pushes Back Against China’s National Oil Company

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
The Chadian government shut most or all oil operations run by China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) over allegations of an oil spill, poor worker safety, and violations of other environmental regulations. CNPC, not surprisingly, denied the...

China ‘Dog-lion’: Henan Zoo Mastiff Poses as Africa Cat

Michael Bristow
BBC
An animal described as an African lion at a Chinese zoo was exposed as a fraud—when the creature started barking in front of visitors. 

‘Oh Boy! So Many Questions!’ About China in Africa

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Although not universal, there is some concern among Africans that China may be a “new colonial power,” extracting resources and selling manufactured goods. 

Deborah Brautigam Discusses Doing Research on China-Africa Relations

Tendai Musakwa
Professor Deborah Brautigam talks about how she became interested in China-Africa relations, the recent influx of scholarship on China-Africa relations, media reporting on China-Africa issues and how to do quality research. 

Xi In Africa As China's Role Comes Under Scrutiny

Katie Hunt
CNN
“There's a sense from Africans that it’s not an equal relationship. That China is extracting oil and then in return building infrastructure projects with its own companies and own workers and not necessarily transferring the skills to African...

Conversation

03.26.13

Can China Transform Africa?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
Jeremy Goldkorn:The question is all wrong. China is already transforming Africa, the question is how China is transforming Africa, not whether it can. From the “China shops”—small stores selling cheap clothing, bags, and kitchenware—that have become...

China Plays By Its Own Rules While Going Global

Jack Chang
Associated Press
When Venezuela seized billions of dollars in assets from Exxon Mobil and other foreign companies, Chinese state banks and investors didn't blink. Over the past five years they have loaned Venezuela more than $35 billion...

Rally Cry for the U.S. to Catch Up to the Chinese in Africa

Eric Olander & Cobus van Staden
In this episode of the China in Africa Podcast, hosts Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden focus on Delaware Senator Chris Coons' warning that unless the United States places a greater emphasis on Africa, it will be too late to catch up to the...

Eastern Promise in LIttle Africa

Kit Gillet
Globe and Mail
Chasing their slice of China’s raging appetite, tens of thousands of African traders are settling uneasily in the ghettos of Guangzhou.

Caixin Media

12.16.12

Mobile Phones Souring Africa’s Image of China

Every day, about a dozen mobile phone wholesalers field orders and manufacturer offers from offices inside a nondescript, five-story building on Luthuli Avenue in downtown Nairobi.The building doesn’t look like a hub for global commerce, nor does it...

French Firms Must Fight China for Stake in Africa -- Moscovici

Joe Bavier
Reuters
Finance Minister says France must go on the offensive and fight the growing influence of China for a stake in Africa's markets...

Chinese ‘Soft Power' Expands in Africa with CCTV

Ronald Yick
Global Voices
Chinese government state-controlled media, China Central Television (CCTV), launched its African regional bureau in Nairobi, Kenya on January 11, 2012. While its presence has diversified the media landscape in Africa, media watchdogs and...

Pursuing Soft Power, China Puts Stamp on Africa’s News

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
China’s investment prowess and construction know-how is widely on display in this long-congested African capital. A $200 million ring road is being built and partly financed by Beijing. The international airport is undergoing a $208 million...

Environment

07.11.12

Why Big Dams Don’t Work

from chinadialogue
The record of Africa’s large dams is one of widespread environmental destruction to the continent’s major river systems, upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods; forcible resettlement and human rights abuses; corruption and cost...

Africans in Southern China

Sandra
On June 19, I saw the oft-retweeted images on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, which showed black people in Guangzhou city protesting together. My first reaction: This image was from three years ago. Only after an online search did I realize the image...

King Cobra and the Dragon

Solange Guo Chatelard and Scott Corben
Al Jazeera
What is the reality in the African nations with the longest standing links to China?

Reports

05.01.11

China and Africa: Small Hydro Power Cooperation

Leon White
He Jianan
Global Environmental Institute
The development of Small Hydro Power (SHP) in China has been a success for rural electrification yet to be replicated in the rest of the world. This paper introduces basic technical, financial, and policy principles of SHP and examines the factors...

Sinica Podcast

08.06.10

China in Africa

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The world is abuzz over a number of recent large-scale infrastructure-for-resources deals China has signed in Africa. While some observers see these agreements as a force for good in local economic development, others have gone so far as to call the...

Reports

08.01.10

Addressing the Environmental and Social Governance Challenges of Chinese Mining Companies Operating in Africa

Carole Biau
He Jianan
Global Environmental Institute
There is growing concern about the environmental and social implications of China’s overseas involvement in Africa, especially in environmentally-sensitive sectors such as mining and other extractive industries. In particular, Chinese firms are...

Reports

08.01.10

Addressing the Environmental and Social Governance Challenges of Chinese Mining Companies Operating in Africa

Carole Biau
Global Environmental Institute
The growth of China’s consumption of base metals is reflected in increased overseas engagement in mining activities, particularly in Africa. There is increasing concern about the environmental and social implications of China’s overseas involvement...

Reports

11.25.09

China’s Assistance and Government-Sponsored Investment Activities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Thomas Lum
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In recent years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has bolstered its diplomatic presence and garnered international goodwill in the developing world through financing infrastructure and natural resource development projects, assisting in the...

Reports

02.25.09

China’s Foreign Aid Activities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

Thomas Lum, Hannah Fischer, Julissa Gomez Granger, Anne Leland
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
In the past several years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has bolstered its diplomatic presence and garnered international goodwill through its financing of infrastructure and natural resource development projects, assistance in the carrying...

Reports

08.24.08

Energy Interests and Alliances: China, America and Africa

Angelica Austin, Danila Bochkarev, and Willem van der Geest
EastWest Institute
According to conventional wisdom, the United States and China are locked in a high-stakes competition for energy resources around the world, particularly in Africa. Against the backdrop of highly volatile oil prices, mounting concerns about global...

Reports

12.01.07

Africa-China-U.S. Trilateral Dialogue

"The Brenthurst Foundation, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Council on Foreign Relations, Leon H. Sullivan Foundation
He Jianan
Council on Foreign Relations
Over the course of the last thirteen months, delegates from Africa, China, and the United States have met three times in an effort to identify strategies of cooperation among their respective nations with the goal of accelerating economic...