China And Infrastructure Projects Essay

852 words - 4 pages

Infrastructure projects are crucial to China’s overall goal of getting access to Africa’s natural resources to power its economic engine. During the struggle against colonialism and the immediate period of the age of African independence in the 1960s and 1970s, China sought to back up its ideological support of African states with a measure of economic aid, focused on the building of infrastructure for the newly independence states. It is estimated that China provided more than 900 infrastructure projects to African states, including the railway between Tanzania and Zambia (TAZARA Railway) as the center piece of such demonstration projects (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – China pursues…, ...view middle of the document...

219-224; Corkin, 2008, pp.4-5). Development assistance (for instance, grants and low concessional loans) is a continuing aspect of China’s economic engagement in Africa. It is estimated that China’s EXIM bank had financed over 300 projects in Africa by mid-2007, with strong emphasis on infrastructure projects (Davies et al., 2008, p.3). Infrastructure projects are crucial to China’s overall goal of getting access to Africa’s natural resources to power its economic engine. This linkage of infrastructure development to the acquisition of energy and other natural resources has been called “coalition investment” strategy (Naidu and Davies, 2006, pp.69-83). Chinese aid to Africa won wide acceptance because, apart from its strict conditionality on the lack of dealings of the recipients with Taiwan, it was free of the typical tough conditions attached to aid from Western institutions and actors. South-South cooperation is certainly not expressed as a one-way China-to-Africa flow of aid and benefits. Indeed, as was demonstrated during the May 12, 2008 earthquake in China, African countries were quick to offer moral and material support. For instance, Mauritius contributed $300,000 to aid China’s quake victims, while Morocco provided $1 million in aid support (People’s Daily, 2008; Agence Maghreb ArabePresse, 2008). Furthermore, unlike its previous emphasis on organizations such as the non-aligned movement to foster its relationship with Africa and other developing countries, China has formed its own consultative mechanism to foster dialogue and cooperation with Africa, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which was established in...

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