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FOCAC 6: This time it’s different

When Chinese president Xi Jinping arrives in Johannesburg to lead the upcoming Forum on China Africa Cooperation summit, he will be greeted as an old friend by his African counterparts. There will be smiles, the customary toasts to “win-win development” and a projection of confidence from both sides that all is well in China’s engagement strategy in Africa. But all ... Read More »

[AUDIO] FOCAC: what to expect at this year’s mega China-Africa summit

The 6th Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that will be held in December in Johannesburg comes at critical time in the Sino-African relationship. The combination of China’s slowing economy, a major slump in global commodity prices and a dramatic 84% YOY plunge in Chinese investment in Africa will no doubt loom over the meeting of president Xi Jinping and ... Read More »

[AUDIO] U.S. not concerned about Chinese competition in Africa… but it probably should be

The difference between US and Chinese foreign policies in Africa was on stark display in July when president Barack Obama made his landmark visits to Kenya and Ethiopia. The president brought along with him a vast agenda that transcended trade, democracy, human rights, gay rights, women’s issues and on and on and on. Compare that to similar visits to both ... Read More »

[VIDEO] U.S. & China compete for influence in Africa

U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya and Ethiopia has been shadowed by China’s rapidly expanding presence in both countries, prompting concern among a growing number of U.S. analysts that Washington’s policy focus on human rights, democracy and civil society may not be resonating in the region. HuffPost Live invited The China Africa Project’s Eric Olander to join a panel ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China, Africa and the Indian Ocean: a new balance of power

For centuries the Indian Ocean was a vital conduit in the British empire, connecting colonies in South Asia with Africa as part of a vast imperial network. Today, the Indian Ocean once again plays as a vital role in an emerging global trading empire, this time China’s. Beijing is developing a strategic trading agenda known as the Maritime Silk Road ... Read More »

Introduction to China-Africa relations : A Q&A with Eric Olander

The following interview was conducted via email with Deng Chuyang, a University of Pennsylvania student who interned in the Beijing office of Bloomberg BusinessWeek in spring 2015. QUESTION: In your opinion, what has changed between Africa and China in terms of their political relationship? How does international community think of this change? (For example, how the US view this change?) ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How the US and China struggle to balance interests & ideals in Ethiopia

In April, visiting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, showered her Ethiopian hosts in Addis Ababa with effusive praise about their country’s budding “democracy.” She expressed her hope that upcoming elections in May 2015 would be “free, fair and credible and open and inclusive.” Her comments were widely panned given Ethiopia’s dismal human rights record, yet ... Read More »

美国之音: 中国是否会在非洲制造从属国?

By Zhao Hongshen, Voice of America 华盛顿—中国继续拿下非洲重大基础工程项目,同时大举放债。有媒体人观察中国在非洲的开发模式时担心,负债累累的非洲是否最终会成为中国的从属国或者纳贡国。不过,分析还认为,中国在非洲的行动还是有别于昔日老牌殖民主义国家。 中国最大贷款银行工商银行4月29日同赤道几内亚签署总价值20亿美元的基础设施建设框架协议。另外,中国还在非洲拿下投资大单。4月27日中铁建下属的中非建设有限公司签订系列建设项目订单,总金额55亿美元。其中尼日利亚奥贡州城际铁路项目商务合同35.06亿美元,津巴布韦一处住房工程项目19.3亿美元。该公司现在是非洲最大轨道交通承包商。 上述重大工程的融资细节尚不清楚。不过,众所周知,许多非洲国家为自身基础设施建设需要,向中国大规模举债。假如债务违约,这些国家对中国的依附是否会更强? 资深记者欧瑞克(Eric Olander)兼多媒体平台“中国非洲项目(China Africa Project)创始人,目前正在越南越南胡志明市,他在接受美国之音采访时表示,非常担心中非关系中出现这种依附现象,尤其是加纳、津巴布韦、莫桑比克等非洲小国。 欧瑞克说:“现在中国借给非洲国家越来越多的钱,所以我担心,这些小的非洲国家可能还不起中国这些钱,因此他们的主权会受到伤害,中国(对这些国家的影响)会更大。虽然这些非洲国家不是(中国的)殖民地国家,当然不是,但是可能很会像以前的从属国。” 新西兰先驱报说,中国历史上对东南亚小国的统治模式就是这种从属或者纳贡制。中国不向那里派军,不派行政长官,而是通过财权控制这些国家。这些国家首领除进京觐见,“别无选择”。原因很简单,他们欠中国钱。 不过,欧瑞克说,中国目前在非洲的做法同老牌殖民国家似有不同,相比之下还是有进步。他说: “我要强调,中国与非洲的国际关系跟以前欧洲和美国的外交政策相比,我觉得是比较健康,一定比较健康。一方面我批评中国,另一方面,我觉得中国现在的做法,相比以前殖民地国家,以前美国对非洲国家的政策,我觉得是比较好,一定会进步。” 记者请他具体谈一下。他说:“你知道,以前英国在好多非洲国家要控制文化,教育,信仰,还有经济,政治,什么都要控制。殖民地国家是这样的。殖民地国家无所谓人权问题,教育问题,无所谓文化影响。他们说,我们什么都控制,不给这些人权利。我认为,中国的看法完全不一样。” 欧瑞克说,中国曾经是西方殖民主义的受害国,历史伤疤很深,不大可能轻易忘记。然而,中国在非洲制造出“从属国”或者“纳贡国”确是不无可能。非洲国家面临的这种风险,比所谓帝国主义和新殖民主义要大得多。 米尔德拉德·巴拉萨是肯尼亚“非洲环境记者网络”组织秘书长,她接受美国之音采访时提起前不久内罗毕一家中餐馆晚上拒绝黑人顾客进入的事件。她说,事件凸显中国公司,包括许多到非洲的中国淘金者,经济上进入非洲国家的同时,很多方面没有融入当地社会。 她说,在非洲国家的中国公司,很多是将国内人马全班带来,实行内部封闭管理,成为“国中国”。非洲本地人的受益机会没有那么多,更何况非洲妇女。她说:“我们的观察是,大部分中国公司从中国带来他们的人员。在肯尼亚,他们参与许多道路施工工程,修了很多道路。尽管那不是我们非洲妇女从事的传统行业,但是妇女还是希望,中国能够给我们带来更多参与发展的机会,使我们妇女能够从中受益。” 有评论说,中国参与非洲发展战略是“资源中心战略”,用中国官方的话说,“不附带任何政治条件”。还有评论说,中国在非洲是“闷声发大财”,因此少了昔日殖民帝国“全面渗透”的架势和色彩。不过,鉴于孔子学院已在非洲29国落地,学校总数42所,人们对中国在非洲纯打经济资源牌的战略产生怀疑。 肯尼亚妇女界人士巴拉萨说,中文将引入肯尼亚小学教育。她对美国之音说:“两年内肯尼亚的小学将引入中文教育,我想是从明年开始。我要说的是,这不是什么佳音,也不是我所支持的,对此我很不高兴,而且并不以此为荣。” 不过,这位肯尼亚妇女界人士告诉美国之音,肯尼亚政府对公众说,学中文好,可以更好欢迎中国人的到来,接触中国文化。但是她说,政府还让我们学英语,学法语,现在又学中文,这到底是为什么? Read More »

[AUDIO] The Spy Cables: Chinese espionage in Africa

Buried in the trove of secret intelligence documents known as “The Spy Cables” obtained by Al Jazeera and The Guardian is a passing reference to allegations Chinese spies broke into a South African nuclear facility in 2007. Interestingly, this was the only mention of Chinese espionage in Africa during the period covered in the Spy Cables documents from 2006 through ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s mystery deal with the African Union

It’s not really news anymore when China announces yet another massive infrastructure construction deal in Africa. Typically these deals are done at the national level so when Beijing and the African Union signed a major transport infrastructure MOU in late January it did raise some eyebrows. Both sides praised the deal as a major event but neither revealed any specifics ... Read More »