China’s African affair – Financial Times
From an editorial in the Financial Times:
China has been wooing Africa on many fronts. Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, has just completed the third top-level tour of Africa in less than six months, following visits by Li Zhaoxing, foreign minister, and Hu Jintao, president.
Many African nations now pin hopes on the fulfilment of promises by a nation they view as a model of rapid development. Since the start of the new millennium trade has quadrupled, and is tilted in Africa’s favour. In the first four months China’s imports from Africa, mainly oil, were up by half on the same period last year
However, some Africans see an all-too-familiar pattern in China’s interest in the continent, as a source of extracted raw materials and a captive outlet for its own manufactured goods. The latest mission was meant in part to reassure governments such as South Africa’s that the relationship will produce balanced benefits. [Full text]
See also “PanAfrica: China’s Economic Focus On Africa is Mixed Picture, Scholar Says” from AllAfrica.com, and “Blazing A Trail” from Time Asia.