Posted by: bklunk | November 5, 2006

China and Africa

e-lam has icked up on the recent African summit meeting in China.  China has many reasons to pursue close relations with African states and, goodness knows, most of Africa could use the help.  But what about China’s support for the Sudanese government? 

Update: China Pledges Billions to Africa

    As an update to the previous blog posting, China and Africa have just finalized trade talks that would send billions of dollars to Africa from China. (link) China’s president Hu Jintao announced that China plans to increase China’s trade with Africa from $39.7 Billion in 2006 to around $100 billion dollars by 2010.

    One of the criticisms of this agreement that I brought up in my last blog was the issue of human rights. Would this agreement cause more abuses of human rights and could it fuel more corruption within the African countries. China addressed this issue by saying “Chinese assistance to Africa is sincere, unselfish and has no strings attached.”

    Human rights groups are speaking out against the Chinese government by saying that they are only fueling corruption in the impoverished countries. But officials from African countries assure that Chinese companies can become key players by investing in our development processes.”


   One interesting part of the trade that could be beneficial was China’s humanitarian efforts. China plans to train professionals for new schools, hospitals, and anti-malaria clinics which China will build. China also plans to give 4000 scholarships to the African youth.

    China’s plan could be hit or miss. It could help Africa climb up the economic ladder or if corruption is present, it could throw them of the same ladder. But one positive aspect is China’s specific plan to build schools and hospitals. Aid in Africa is very poor, so any attempts would result in vast improvements.

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Responses

  1. I think the aid pledged by China to Africa is an interesting bit of news that was hard to find in American media for whatever reason. I agree with the blogger that it will be interesting to see how the relations play out and how corruption will factor in. I am glad to see a world power assisting Africa especially in the areas of welfare and education. Africa is really the last market left open for investment and even oil has not been seriously invested in by the Western markets. The problem I see with this deal is in China’s human rights record. Zambian workers have accused Chinese owned mines of ill-treatment and China still has economic ties with Sudan. China says that it is strictly doing business and has no political agenda. Hopefully that business with be in benefit of both markets. The last thing Africa needs is more corruption and exploitation.

  2. I question the motives of China. There is obviously something in it for them. They need oil and to what lengths are they willing to go to get it. In Sudan, China has economic ties and so has blocked any attempt by the UN to put a stop to the bloodshed. In this case, China is not helping the situation; it is just providing the means for it to continue, both from a political and economic standpoint. Is this going to be the trend in all their relations with Africa? Is this just going to be another means, like colonialism, that suppresses the people in this region of the world? Unless China is willing to work humanely and ethicly with African nations, it’s almost better that they not invest. That’s a strong statement to make, but their record is full of violations and brings to question their true motives in getting involved in Africa.


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