Tattered French African Empire Looks Toward China – Howard W. French

From the International Herald Tribune, Howard French, the current Shanghai bureau chief for the New York Times who used to report from Africa, writes about how China is overtaking France as the colonial power in much of Africa:

There was a time, not long ago, when virtually every car on the street in France’s cloistered African client states was French, when no big deal was let without a French contractor’s securing a big payday, and where the downtowns of African capitals pulsed with French businesspeople and “cooperants,” or aid workers.

Fast forward to the present, and here in Chad what one finds is a U.S.-based oil multinational, Exxon, running the country’s biggest and most lucrative business, with Chinese companies investing heavily to match or surpass it. [Full text]



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