China is back in Africa in a big way, as the FT reports today, but this time Beijing's foreign policy is shaped by China's voracious development needs. We are only just beginning to grapple with the implications. The report concludes by saying:
For Africa, therefore, China's hunger for resources is a blessing that pulls in not just investment in Angolan oil or Zambian copper but in roads and schools too. But it could turn into a curse if it turns African leaders away from the hard choices of political and economic reform.
Thanks to a British Sudan Watch reader in the UK for pointing us to the report
- and for posting the following comment at "Sudan rejects help to quell death and anarchy in Darfur"
Signs of a clash of civilisations. "Anarchy in Sudan threatens the stability of Africa. . . Drinking water is more important than oil."
But economics may be more important than politics, in 'one-size-fits-all'. An editorial today comments that China's commercial dealings with Africa could undercut "efforts by the African Union and western partners to make government and business more transparent and accountable. In summary, China's partnership "could turn into a curse if it turns African leaders away from the hard choices of political and economic reform."
The list of Sudan's trade partners suggests that China's economic involvement in Africa is becoming very influential. Is this a good or a bad thing?
Incidentally, China is still not a member of the G8 world economic grouping.