Magnet of Needs Pulls China to Africa – Dexter Roberts

With the upcoming Africa-China summit, several articles analyze China’s relationship with the continent. From Business Week:

Africa looms large on the radar screens of China’s high and mighty. Chinese President Hu Jintao was there in April. Premier Wen Jiabao did a seven-country swing in June, and Vice-President Zeng Qinghong and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing have made trips this year as well. Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Tanzania are frequent stops for all manner of Chinese pols and ministry officials. In early November, close to 50 African heads of state will descend on Beijing for a first-ever China-Africa summit.

It’s being billed as a celebration of developing world political solidarity. But make no mistake: What’s really going on is a pretty dramatic economic and strategic relationship that has seemingly come out of nowhere during this decade. Trade (largely lopsided towards Chinese exports to Africa) reached $40 billion last year, up from just $4 billion in 1995. [Full text]

See also “Chinese tonic a boon for Africa” from The Australian and “China pouring money into African infrastructure projects” from the San Jose Mercury News.

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