More coverage of the China-Africa summit now ongoing in Beijing. From the New York Times:
China’s enthusiasm for Africa has raised concerns among many in the West while the United States is distracted by its efforts to curb terrorism, and France, Britain and other former colonial powers exert less influence in Africa than they once did.
China does not follow the international lending standards intended to fight corruption in the region. It has embraced the leaders of Sudan and Zimbabwe, two countries that are under heavy pressure to improve their poor human rights records. Major oil companies have complained that China uses its influence to secure business opportunities for its state-owned companies.
Chinese officials say those concerns are overblown or hypocritical, and they deny that they have a grand scheme to create an exclusive sphere of influence in Africa. But China has nearly $1 trillion in foreign currency reserves, boundless entrepreneurial energy and a strong drive to compete there on its own terms. [Full text]