Sunday, January 18, 2015

China in Africa: One among Many

The Economist published on 17 January 2015 a brief commentary titled "China in Africa: One among Many."  The sub-title is "China has become big in Africa. Now for the backlash."

The statistics used in the article suggest it is referring only to Sub-Saharan Africa and not all 54 countries in Africa.  A main theme is that Africans are increasingly suspicious of Chinese firms and their unfair deals and environmental damage.  It concludes that after years of talk about "win-win" partnerships, "China seems belatedly aware of the problem."

While there is some truth to the criticism in the article, it strikes me as somewhat overwrought.  The most useful point is that we should not lose sight of the fact that collectively countries such as the US, UK, France, India, and Italy count for much more trade and investment in Africa than does China. 

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