22 thoughts on “Honors World Regional Geography 2017 – Blog #1

  1. Within the past 20 years, China has developed a strong and meaningful economic relationship with much of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the early stages of this relationship, China depended on African nations to supply natural resources to help with China’s blossoming economy. In return for exporting mass amounts of oil, timber, nickel, and other natural resources, African nations received loans to help fund infrastructure projects. Many of these projects were desperately needed across these nations. China began loaning billions of dollars to growing African nations. While much of Chinese money goes towards infrastructure, such as a new railroad in Addis Ababa, there have also been loans that help fund construction projects of stadiums and even the African Union Headquarters. Today, China continues to give loans and aid to African nations to help with government projects and to connect more rural towns and villages with the global community. In return, African nations allow Chinese contractors and entrepreneurs to run projects and, of course, export their valuable natural resources.
    Recently, a Chinese media company, StarTimes, has started to provide low-cost satellite television services for Kenyan residents. Chinese attempts to help connect and modernize more rural parts of Africa has led to Africans seeing China in a more positive light. These efforts to connect people via affordable television services, eases African reservations about China aiding in domestic projects. Chinese rail and construction firms helped build a rail line that connects East African nations. This rail line is worth over $4 billion. By creating a means to transport resources and raw goods out of landlocked Ethiopia more efficiently, China has stimulated trade with Ethiopia and Djibouti. In addition to building infrastructure and offering affordable television services, China has helped fund projects that have built the neighborhoods, industrial parks, and the African Union headquarters. Despite the jumpstart to infrastructure projects and increasing access to the rest of the world, Chinese investment and involvement in Africa has some clear consequences. Many Chinese workers are doing jobs that Africans believe should go to them. A reason for this is because Chinese firms and corporations are funding and running these projects. While this does increase immigration into African nations, it does take away employment opportunities that local communities need. Additionally, many loans China gives out comes on “Chinese terms.” This means money goes towards what will benefit Chinese trade interests the most. Ultimately building roads and ports for transit does benefit the entire nation’s trade network. But, when local people are not the ones creating, managing, and executing the projects it makes it difficult for the community to become independent from outsiders. Regardless of the potential for exploitation and abuses from Beijing, investing in African nation does have benefits for both sides. By investing and giving loans and grants to African governments, Chinese are stimulating growth in their economies. The money from the Chinese helps fund desperately needed roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure projects. It also helps revitalize neighborhoods and build up urban areas along with increasing rural access to modern commodities such as television and the internet. This investment ultimately helps Africa become more part of the global community. African nations now have the infrastructure, connections, and tools needed to increase their trade networks independently.

    Sources:
    LA Times
    BBC World News
    Al Jazeera News

  2. China’s modern economic ties to many countries in Africa can be tied to their decolonization period, when it declared its commitment to aiding liberation struggles. During the Cold War, China provided military support to freedom fighters in Algeria, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Ghana, among others. Economic and military aid was tied to political favors—a newly formed country’s recognition of Beijing, rather than Taipei, as the true Chinese government, for example. During this period, China also offered low-interest loans for infrastructure projects, such as the Tanzania-Zambia Railroad Project (TAZARA). China funded the project after the World Bank in the 1960s rejected Zambia’s proposal as too risky, convincing Africans that China would step up where the West fell short.

    After the Cold War, China shifted to a policy of noninterference in African countries’ political affairs, assuming a “no (overt) strings attached” attitude to providing economic aid. While this move demonstrated a respect for state sovereignty, it has been widely criticized as it has led to China providing aid to repressive regimes.

    China’s motivations to build ties in Africa after the Cold War were mostly resource-driven. Although China relies heavily on coal for energy, it is the world’s largest oil importer. To keep up with demand, China has invested heavily oil and mining industries in Africa in exchange for advantageous trade deals. Recently, it has begun diversifying its pursuits in Africa, expanding its influence towards developing and modernizing infrastructure, manufacturing, telecommunications, and agriculture. As evidence of this, at the 2015 Forum of China-Africa Cooperation, President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion to African states, promised to train 200,000 local technical personnel, and created a partnership between Chinese and African agricultural firms with the aim of modernizing African agriculture.

    With the growing threat of terrorism and unrest in the region, China has recently had to shirk somewhat from its policy of noninterference. 2,500 Chinese military personnel had been dispatched on U.N. peacekeeping missions in Africa by March of this year, and China established its first overseas military outpost in Djibouti. Additionally, while polls show that most Africans see China’s influence as a benevolent force in Africa, some, particularly Zambia’s president, where Chinese managers shot protestors at a large coal mine in 2012, have seen the rise of anti-Chinese sentiment coupled with increasing accusations against Chinese businesses of violations of local laws and disregard for safety and environmental standards.

    Because of its focus on extracting resources (although China, as previously stated, has begun to pursue development and infrastructure projects as well), some, particularly representatives of the United States’ foreign interests, have accused China of operating within a neo-colonial structure in Africa. These concerns are mostly overstated. The real risk is Africa becoming mired in the tug of war between China and the U.S. for control over oil production and thus a proxy for a neo-Cold War battle for influence in Africa. If African countries, however, learn to manage these competing forces, they could reap enormous benefit. Another potential problem, and certainly a thorn in the side of the United States, is essentially bought political support for China’s goals in the United Nations. For example, most African members of the United Nations (almost a quarter of the total 193 members) support China’s claims on Taiwan and vote against accusations against the Chinese for human rights violations. China has built up a mighty allied force to protect itself and advance its goals in the international arena, effectively buffering it from condemnations from Western powers.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/01/07/china-pledged-to-invest-60-billion-in-africa-heres-what-that-means/?utm_term=.94b246dd53ee
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-africa
    http://origins.osu.edu/article/new-world-order-africa-and-china/page/0/2

  3. As of recent, China has taken a keen interest in investment opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa. This interest is likely not a coincidence; the rapid growth of China over the past few years has fueled Chinese interested in the abundant resources of African countries, however it is important to remember in this Chinese involvement in Africa that the Chinese may not always have the best interests of Africans in mind.
    Chinese economic activities in Sub Saharan Africa has been encouraged by the growth of the Chinese middle class over the past few decades. This growth in population has necessitated an outside source of natural resources in order to allow for the growth. Africa is a good place for China to focus its interests in because it is so rich in natural resources. The oil that can be produced in Africa is essential to providing power for the growing population of Chinese. The trade of resources goes the other direction as well. China is the largest trade partner for the continent of Africa. Africans buy most of their goods from China. Chinese banks are also a big part of the African economy. Chinese banks will give out loans in order to encourage the development of infrastructure in the hope that this infrastructure will make trade with Africa cheaper and faster in the future. This arrangement carries with it risk, but also lots of opportunity for Africans. However, this interest has had some adverse effects. Some of the negatives to all these loans could be the potential for a debt crisis if Africa is unable to pay China back. Also, China is not interested in promoting human rights over business opportunity. It is not unheard of for Africans to work in dangerous conditions for little pay in order to produce resources for China to use in production. As a result, there has been criticism from countries like the US who wants to deny the Chinese from involvement in Sub Saharan Africa. That isn’t to say either side of the issue is in the right. Africans want Chinese business in their countries. They like the prospect of being able to earn money that they can use to help themselves out rather than relying on the foreign aid that countries like the United States can patronizingly hand out. Many African leaders have advocated for the Chinese involvement in their countries by saying that the opportunity for development and investment that the Chinese provide will prove very helpful in the development of their countries. For these reasons, Chinese involvement in Africa can be both a good and a bad thing for the continent of Africa.
    China has become increasingly interconnected with African economic practices and developments in the past several years. This interconnectedness could prove beneficial for the futures of both China and Africa, however it is also important to watch the situation closely because the possibility for adverse effects could cause violations in human rights and disorder in the economy of the continent of Africa.

  4. Trade between the Chinese and Africans has been present for more than 500 years along the eastern coast of the continent. There are records of swapping Chinese valuables such as porcelain for ivory and African animals. Contemporary relations between China and African nations were sealed under the rule of Mao Zedong in China in the 1960s. The entities connected in anti-colonialism efforts and China sponsored many engineering projects, most notably the Tanzam railway. However, the greatest amount of Chinese involvement in Africa has occurred in the last 15 years.
    Loans and transactions perpetrated by state-owned Chinese firms in recent years has turned China into one of Africa’s biggest investors. These firms are collaborating with local African companies to initiate “an era of win-win cooperation between China and Africa,” as stated by China’s President Xi Jinping (Jadesimi). There is a remarkable difference in the world view of Africa that allows China to make this pact. Most western countries, like the United States and European nations, view Africa as a kind of burden, full of unrest, migration issues, and terrorism or a continent they were mostly pushed out of following colonialism. In turn, China sees opportunity in Africa, through its ample amount of valuable natural resources. China has used Africa as a sort of testing ground for its “growing international ambitions, whether through peacekeeping missions or construction of the roads, ports and railways intended to bind much of the developing world, via a new Silk Road, to the Middle Kingdom” (Pilling). It is attracted to the continent’s copious natural resources, such as diamonds, copper, and oil. Recently, Chinese companies have invested billions of dollars in stakes in mines to corner the markets for many of Africa’s resources. In just fourteen years, China has increased trade with Africa immensely: “In 2000, China-Africa trade was a mere $10 billion. By 2014, that had risen more than 20-fold to $220 billion” (Pilling). Trade will only grow between the two entities as President Jinping announced in 2015 that China promised $60 billion for major projects in Africa. The Chinese believe this partnership will produce a large payout in terms of human capital as it is estimated that “by 2050, 25% of the world’s nine billion population will Africans and most of them will be under 30” (Jadesimi). This prosperous trade has the potential to create an extremely stable economy in Africa through the growth of industrialization, infrastructure, public health, and security, among other things. Along with its financial ties, China is also largely involved in the political atmosphere of many African nations with numerous diplomatic ties, more than any other country, and the most peacekeepers on the continent. Although, some Africans have a negative view of China with worries that Chinese companies are pushing out local and their interests in control, African business, the majority of Africans welcome China’s involvement. In 2016, “data from Afrobarometer showed 63% of the 56,000 people polled in 36 African countries responded that China’s influence in their countries was somewhat to very positive,” resulting from China’s investment in African development (Jadesimi). China’s partnership with African nations in recent decades has helped to boost their economies, provide much needed infrastructure, and increase both entities’ interconnectedness with the globe.

    Sources:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyjadesimi/2017/03/14/how-chinas-60-billion-for-africa-will-drive-global-prosperity/#38b1931e38a3.
    https://www.ft.com/content/0f534aa4-4549-11e7-8519-9f94ee97d996?mhq5j=e6.

  5. As China emerges as a leading global economy, its ability to sustain its own consumption has faltered, subsequently leading to the hunt for resources. Despite China’s history of isolation, it has now followed in suit with pretty much every other leading economy by imperializing Africa, primarily in Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa, and Angola. 4 percent of China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) or 22 billion dollars, has been funneled into Africa in order to quench China’s insatiable desire to sustain its own consumption and capability of output and production. Obviously, China continuously competes with the United States regarding trade and must maintain its trade surplus, and therefore the strength of their currency. Not only are resources necessary to actually comprise these goods, but in the process of producing them as well. By no coincidence, China’s biggest industry within Africa is mining. It is important to note that the control of oil is not only an economic advantage but a political one as well. This is one of many examples in which China disregards safety and labor rights in Africa, sometimes not even providing helmets to their workers. This is yet another context that can be used to discuss/argue globalization. While this will undoubtedly bring an extent of development (roads, etc.) to Africa in order to foster the Chinese facilities that pop up, the Chinese will exploit the African workers in many ways. The Chinese could simply take their jobs, or provide Africans with jobs yet exploit their rights and wages. Of course, typically the oppressed in this scenario is initially grateful for any opportunity to increase their income in whatever capacity. The presence of Chinese goods within Africa can also drive out competition by African companies to produce the same goods. All the while, even if Chinese offer them jobs and improve quality of life to some degree, it hasn’t been shown that they bring any technological developments or teach new skills to Africans. In the future, to avoid even further exploitation of their people and development, African countries should utilize their mass bargaining power within the United Nations and elsewhere to insure their rights and Chinese investment in necessary infrastructural development.

  6. A booming population and industrial revolution in China led to an increased need for natural resources, which China needed to outsource for due to environmental problems such as deforestation and a lack of oil reserves. As such, the Chinese became interested in Sub-Saharan Africa — a largely undeveloped region that is rich in natural resources. Essentially, Chinese officials offered foreign direct investment and lending opportunities to African nations in exchange for natural resources such as oil and timber. Between 2000 and 2014, Chinese banks and contractors loaned approximately $86 billion, which funded the development of key infrastructure projects which have helped to develop the region (and will continue to do so). In doing this, China has financially contributed to economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades, but has also received criticism from Western societies due to their questionable motives for investment, negative environmental impact, and disregard for development in the region.

    Western societies question Chinese motives and intentions in Sub-Saharan Africa due to what initially fueled Chinese interest in the region — resources. Sub-Saharan Africa, along with the rest of the continent, has historically been subject to exploitation and influence from outside powers. One example of this is the Belgian influence in Congo in the 1900’s. During this time, King Leopold II used Congo as his “own personal playground”, taking natural resources (namely rubber) from Congolese forests to fuel the industrial revolution in Belgium. As a largely undeveloped region still feeling the negative consequences from early colonization and exploitation, these countries are potentially still susceptible to similar exploitation. Chinese investment and influence in Sub-Saharan Africa raises a red flag to Western nations because there is concern that this region will be stripped of it’s natural resources and left with no development potential due to economic degradation.

    This raises an entirely new issue. Many international organizations and political leaders have raised concerns about the negative environmental impact caused by Chinese extraction of natural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa. The most publicized issue is deforestation and the subsequent destruction of many endangered species’ natural habitats. However, from a development standpoint, the negative environmental impacts have a wider impact on future economic development because these Sub-Saharan African countries will be left with no resources or economic opportunities due to a lack of good farmland, precious metals, oil, etc. They will be unable to support a domestic industry to fuel their own development in the future, if this continues.

    In my opinion, the most concerning issue that has risen out of this economic relationship between China and Sub-Saharan Africa is the lack of actual economic development that has occurred within the region. China can point to the foreign direct investment they have provided in the region, which was meant to support new infrastructure and technological advancement. However, the funding was not allocated properly to support development. Sub-Saharan Africa has now become dependent on China for low cost goods, rather than developing their own skill-sets and industries (Esposito). This is going to have a huge negative impact in the long run.

    I believe these three variables created the perfect storm and will impede development in Sub-Saharan Africa for years to come. The Chinese extraction of resources in the region is having a negative impact both environmentally and economically. Environmentally speaking, the Chinese extraction of resources from Sub-Saharan Africa in exchange for lending opportunities seems to be purely for their own gain. Economically speaking, although China had good intentions of providing investment in the region to make up for this, the funds were not allocated properly which created a recipe for future disaster. With little to no resources and the environmental degradation left over from China’s presence, Sub-Saharan Africa will be left with no domestic industries to support it’s development if this continues without regulation. In the long run, I believe this economic relationship will have a negative impact on the economy and people of Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Sources:
    https://www.cnbc.com/2014/12/30/recolonizing-africa-a-modern-chinese-story.html
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-africa
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.464.2086&rep=rep1&type=pdf

  7. A booming population and industrial revolution in China led to an increased need for natural resources, which China needed to outsource for due to environmental problems such as deforestation and a lack of oil reserves. As such, the Chinese became interested in Sub-Saharan Africa — a largely undeveloped region that is rich in natural resources. Essentially, Chinese officials offered foreign direct investment and lending opportunities to African nations in exchange for natural resources such as oil and timber. Between 2000 and 2014, Chinese banks and contractors loaned approximately $86 billion, which funded the development of key infrastructure projects which have helped to develop the region (and will continue to do so). In doing this, China has financially contributed to economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades, but has also received criticism from Western societies due to their questionable motives for investment, negative environmental impact, and disregard for development in the region.

    Western societies question Chinese motives and intentions in Sub-Saharan Africa due to what initially fueled Chinese interest in the region — resources. Sub-Saharan Africa, along with the rest of the continent, has historically been subject to exploitation and influence from outside powers. One example of this is the Belgian influence in Congo in the 1900’s. During this time, King Leopold II used Congo as his “own personal playground”, taking natural resources (namely rubber) from Congolese forests to fuel the industrial revolution in Belgium. As a largely undeveloped region still feeling the negative consequences from early colonization and exploitation, these countries are potentially still susceptible to similar exploitation. Chinese investment and influence in Sub-Saharan Africa raises a red flag to Western nations because there is concern that this region will be stripped of it’s natural resources and left with no development potential due to economic degradation.

    This raises an entirely new issue. Many international organizations and political leaders have raised concerns about the negative environmental impact caused by Chinese extraction of natural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa. The most publicized issue is deforestation and the subsequent destruction of many endangered species’ natural habitats. However, from a development standpoint, the negative environmental impacts have a wider impact on future economic development because these Sub-Saharan African countries will be left with no resources or economic opportunities due to a lack of good farmland, precious metals, oil, etc. They will be unable to support a domestic industry to fuel their own development in the future, if this continues.

    In my opinion, the most concerning issue that has risen out of this economic relationship between China and Sub-Saharan Africa is the lack of actual economic development that has occurred within the region. China can point to the foreign direct investment they have provided in the region, which was meant to support new infrastructure and technological advancement. However, the funding was not allocated properly to support development. Sub-Saharan Africa has now become dependent on China for low cost goods, rather than developing their own skill-sets and industries (Esposito). This is going to have a huge negative impact in the long run.

    I believe these three variables created the perfect storm and will impede development in Sub-Saharan Africa for years to come. The Chinese extraction of resources in the region is having a negative impact both environmentally and economically. Environmentally speaking, the Chinese extraction of resources from Sub-Saharan Africa in exchange for lending opportunities seems to be purely for their own gain. Economically speaking, although China had good intentions of providing investment in the region to make up for this, the funds were not allocated properly which created a recipe for future disaster. With little to no resources and the environmental degradation left over from China’s presence, Sub-Saharan Africa will be left with no domestic industries to support it’s development if this continues without regulation. In the long run, I believe this economic relationship will have a negative impact on the economy and people of Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Sources:
    https://www.cnbc.com/2014/12/30/recolonizing-africa-a-modern-chinese-story.html
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-africa
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.464.2086&rep=rep1&type=pdf

  8. Africa and its Sub-Saharan region is an interesting area in the world as it contains some of the poorest communities, while also owning much of the world’s fossil fuels and precious minerals. Consequently, heavily consuming nations often exploit this region for its resource wealth. One of these nations, China, has been invested in Sub-Saharan Africa for over a century. One can determine the potential effect on the region after analyzing the history of China and African relations. The account of relations between these two entities can be separated into three different phases, in which the third phase contains the notable impact on Africa and the Sub-Saharan region.
    The first phase of the Chinese and African relationship spans from the 1850s to the 1950s resulting from a spike in the demand for colonial labor in China. This sets up the ensuing relations that will be created between the two. The second phase begins with the Bandung Conference in 1955 and stretches through the Cold War into the 1990s. The Bandung Conference solidified political relations between the People’s Republic of China and African nations. China began offering economic and military support to the region as well as supporting the African independence movement in order to challenge the rest of the Cold War superpowers. The final period of the relations between China and Africa is where one can see the most effect. From the 1990s onward there is a significant movement of Chinese oil, mining, and construction companies into Africa and the Sub-Saharan region. The third phase is characterized by rapid growth and increased involvement the two parties.
    China’s modern day investment strategy in Africa is an extremely aggressive one. The Chinese value co-existence with African nation’s interests, a stark contrast to Western investor’s agenda of building democracy and reducing poverty. Undercutting foreign investments, Chinese companies have established themselves in industries ranging from oil and gas to tourism.
    Through this strategy, the Chinese were able to build a large network of aid, trade, and investment in nearly 50 countries.
    With China’s large and ever increasing presence in Africa, it is capable of instigating a great amount of change in the area. The growing industry and infrastructure in the region appear to show the advancement of the third world in a prosperous direction, but with China’s newfound access to raw materials and energy resources along with its involvement in local politics, this could be the start of a new colonial era in Africa. The Chinese are aiding the people of Africa, but also competing with African business at the same time. African merchants will now compete with local Chinese industry while African producers struggle to keep up with the Chinese corporations. These effects are more pronounced in the Sub-Saharan region where resource production is a vital part of the economy. The relationship between Africa and China could very easily turn into a colonialist relationship in which African countries are run by the Chinese state.
    It is no surprise that China, as a superpower, holds relations with Africa, but these relations seem very unique compared to those of other powers. China leaves Africa in charge, while merely assisting through humanitarian aid and the side effects of its economic presence. This presence, however, has the potential to take over the economy of wealthy states in Africa such as those in the Sub-Saharan region. China is on the brink of either pushing the third world into prosperity or beginning a new age of colonialism.

    Citations:
    -https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/ejdr.2009.24
    -http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.603.8309&rep=rep1&type=pdf

  9. The promise for the rapid development of African nations has peaked interest for foreign investors who wish to have a low-risk, high reward global investment. One of the major investors in the rapidly changing African continent is that of the rising superpower China. Chinese investments have historically poured money into the infrastructure and public services of these African nations in hopes to promote economic growth further; however, now we are also seeing an increase of spreading on private companies which look to develop the African economy in the coming decades further. The Chinese-African partnerships which have arisen have been compared to neo-colonialism, wherein Africa is not promoting self-reliance for these African nations and instead further relying on their already developed industries. However, other economists see these partnerships as nothing more than Global Souther cooperation, wherein there’s nothing inherently exploitive arising from the influx of Chinese money in Africa. Following the end of the Cold War the world economy would be changed in favor of a Globalist view, this shift in ideology has promoted Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) throughout the continent of Africa and has been a significant catalyst for the growth of their economies. Foreign Direct Investment provides a kickstart for the development of a global economy, by allowing for state productivity to increase from the diffusion of knowledge and technology. However, along with these investments comes tremendous pressure, there is much stress placed upon these countries for the rapid growth of their economies. This has resulted in the over usage of certain industries, such as forestry, cash crops, and the mining of natural resources. Many states have failed to truly improve their situations as much of the investment goes straight into their economies, not allowing them to improve internal infrastructure for things such as schools and hospitals. These failures to provide for the internal improvement of African states is what has warranted criticisms of foreign investment, in relation git to the continuation of neo-colonialism. China’s determination to invest in the Global South is interesting due to their historical position as receivers of investments from other developed states as well. Overall Chinese investment into the African continent has provided various nations with further resources to pursue economic growth, these opposites; however, are paired with the stressors and obligations of economic partnership with stronger nations, and through the pressure of investments, many African nations are struggling to provide the right lifestyle for their citizens properly.

  10. Over the past few years, China has had rapid economic growth with an expanding middle class that has fueled an unprecedented need for resources. This powerhouse has focused on securing long term energy supplies needed to sustain its industrialization and as a result has turned to find secure access to oil and other raw materials across the globe. In this effort China has turned to Africa. Through significant investment in a continent known for political and security risks, China has boosted African oil and mining sectors in exchange for extremely advantageous trade deals. This has faced criticism from western and African civil society over controversial practices, as well as its failure to promote and sense of decent governance and human rights. However, much of Africa has shown itself to be content for the gestures. A large issue is the fact of Beijing’s complex relationship with the continent to avoid any interference in the affairs of the African governments. China is one of the largest consumers of oil and has surpassed the United States as the largest importer of oil in recent years. To solve this, crave for resources, China engages in a form of commercial diplomacy that most other countries can’t match. Beijing pitches vast trade, assistance and investment deals on frequent trips to resource-rich countries, and can retain almost an unparalleled ability to provide a low-cost finance project and cheap labor for these infrastructures. As of 2009 China has been Africa’s largest trade partner, ranging in multiple materials from iron ore, metals and other agricultural products. In turn China exports machinery, transportation, communications, and manufactured goods to Africa. Opinion surveys have shown that most respondents in African countries view China in a favorable manner, both in terms of the influence they are given, and the contributions gifted. Several African leaders have seen China’s interest in helping the continent of Africa grow as a rare event and blessing since other western civilizations don’t have the same foothold. On the contrary, grievances range from poor compliance with safety and environmental standards to unfair business practices and violation of local laws. Some simply see China as just another competitor and doubt the sincerity of the countries interests. Specifically, in 2011 Michael Sate won Zambia’s presidency in part by tapping into anti-Chinese sentiment after an issue arose when Chinese managers shot protesters at a large coal mine. In 2013, Sansui Lambada Sansui’s, governor of Nigeria Central Bank at the time, wrote “we must see China for what it is: a competitor” He added later: “Africa must recognize that China-like the U.S, Russia, Britain, Brazil and the rest-is in Africa not for African interests but its own.” Laborers have complained about low wages, harsh working conditions and unreasonable expectations, and the ability for Beijing to control these business in Africa has dwindled. This is a severe problem as the African people are in a position that is advantageous for large corporations in China. Tensions have arisen as the conclusion seems to point to a less sincere approach from China, even though many support their actions. We must recognize these tactics played by larger and more developed countries on areas less developed by society, and act to reduce these patronizing and unfair practices.
    Sources:
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-africa

  11. Trade between China and the continent of Africa dates back more than five-hundred years. However, in the past few decades, foreign investment from China has increased drastically. In 1994, both the China Export-Import Bank and China Development Bank were created in order to promote Chinese foreign direct investment and support the commercial initiatives of Chinese companies. Since 2001, SINOSURE, China’s export and credit insurance corporation, has provided insurance against the risks involved with foreign direct investment. Also, a sovereign fund for the development of foreign direct investment was created in 2007. It is through these State agencies that Chinese foreign direct investment is mainly financed.

    Today, China has become Africa’s biggest trade partner, passing the United States in 2009. Around fifteen percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s exports go to China, and between fourteen and twenty-one percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s imports are from China.

    In recent years, China has also surpassed the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer, and it is the world’s second-largest oil consumer. This is largely due to the rapid growth of China’s economy. Hoping to sustain its rapid economic growth, China has made a series of trade deals and engaged in extensive foreign direct investment with the resource-rich countries of Africa. In addition to seeking energy security, China’s policy towards Africa was likely shaped by their desire to forge strategic partnerships and increase their international support.

    This has produced a variety of positive effects for Africa. Increased imports from China has lowered the prices of many goods, increasing the purchasing power of the African consumer. Chinese investment has led to improvements in Africa’s agricultural sector, as well as in their infrastructure. Also, the increased competition between China and Africa’s traditional investors of Europe and America has led to some social improvements such as higher wages.

    However, there are also negative consequences to Chinese investment in Africa. Cheaper Chinese imports have made it difficult for local producers to remain competitive. Some have even blamed the collapse of local African industries on China as a result of their increased exports to Africa. Also, there are reports of Chinese enterprises violating the social rights of African workers by underpaying employees and failing to comply with labor standards.

    Chinese foreign direct investment in sub-Saharan Africa is a complex topic that varies greatly depending upon the nation being discussed. Overall, it seems to have had both positive and negative effects on the continent of Africa. However, it is questionable as to how long China’s current foreign investment practices will be continued.

    Sources:

    https://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/GEP/GEP2015b/Global-Economic-Prospects-June-2015-China-and-Sub-Saharan-Africa.pdf
    https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis_includes/countries_long/China/china.pdf
    https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-africa
    http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/html/10.11648.j.jfa.20160403.15.html#paper-content-2
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/46d5/da638000dc01c1b5fb7121435e062d051c71.pdf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s