China’s African Adventure – James Traub

From The New York Times:

Where the West sees a new need for reform, Beijing sees nothing but resources and opportunity.

Four or five miles along the asphalt road that runs east from Kaala, a small town in central Angola, a Chinese construction company has carved an unexpected right turn, a broad dirt path that runs over a rise through scrubby forest. The path, which has no marking, winds past a basketball court ” recreation for the work force ” and then empties out into a vast plaza of meticulously smoothed earth. Dump trucks ferry loads of dirt back and forth. At the far end of the plaza, obscured by tree trunks that have been uprooted and laid carefully on their sides, are train tracks. The whole scene, invisible from the road, conjures the stupendous designs of the evil genius in a Bond film.[Full Text]

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