Tuesday, November 10, 2009

china and africa

Socialist Banner has carried several posts on the expansionism of Chinese capitalism in the continent so we are not at all surprised by the announcement that China has pledged to give Africa $10bn (£6bn) in concessional loans over the next three years.

We can understand the need for the Chinese to camoflage this as a form of humanitarian aid yet we are not at all convinced .

Last month a little-known Chinese company invested $7bn (£4.16bn) in a mining deal in Guinea, despite the international condemnation there has been for the country's military junta. In September the army in Guinea opened fire on demonstrators killing 150 people.Of course there are plenty of major Western companies operating in countries with oppressive governments.

The Egyptian independent MP Mustafa al-Gindi sees it as a battle between East and West for the biggest share of African spoils. He believes the old relationships in Africa are now being tested and he is hugely fearful of China's way of doing business.
"There is huge competition between East and West for Africa", he said. "And whatever they say, it is a fact that the Chinese come to Africa not just with engineers and scientists - they are coming with farmers. It is neo-colonialism.

"There are no ethics, no values, there is only one thing, 'I want the land and I don't mind how we get it'."

China is keen to invest billions of dollars of its foreign reserves. A lot of that money is tied at the moment to assets in the United States and to the weak dollar. Investment in new African projects offers a useful alternative.

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