China plays host to the African Development Bank

China Monitor - Issue 19 - Jun 2007June 2007 – Issue 19

Last month, China played host to the African Development Bank’s annual general meeting that was held in Shanghai. After last year’s Africa summit in Beijing, it is not an exaggeration to say that the best place to network with Africans – outside of Addis Ababa – is China!

The result from China’s “constructive engagement” strategy of Africa and the impact it has had on the continent has even surprised the architects of China’s Africa policy. When Beijing launched the first Forum on China-Africa Co-operation summit in October 2000, its Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not have predicted the positive manner in which the African leaderships have responded to the Chinese. Perhaps this is indicative of the declining political and economic allegiance that Africa has traditionally had towards Europe.

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The 2008 Beijing Olympics

China Monitor - Issue 18 - May 2007May 2007 – Issue 18

Eight is considered a lucky number in China. So much so that the Beijing Olympics begins at exactly 8pm, on the 8th August, the eighth month, 2008 – triple eight! The hosting of the Olympics signals China’s arrival on the world stage and reflects its integration into the global community.

The Olympic Games will, however, not change China. China has been changing itself since the late 1970’s – reforming its moribund system and transforming its economy and society at a very rapid pace. Infrastructure expenditure does not have its origin in the hosting of the Olympic Games. The Chinese central and provincial governments have been spending vast sums on infrastructure development over the past three decades. The Olympics have just resulted in an increase in spending by the Beijing municipal government with over US$ 20 billion being spent on infrastructure.

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China’s involvement in African Infrastructure

China Monitor - Issue 17 - Apr 2007April 2007 – Issue 17

Poor infrastructure is a major impediment to economic development in sub-Saharan Africa. Even in Africa’s leading economy South Africa, we are all too aware of the constraints to growth that result from a lack of investment in the country’s infrastructure. Lack of rail capacity, poor port management and clogged roads all prevent sustainable growth potential from being unlocked.

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The environmental impact of China’s engagement in Africa

China Monitor - Issue 16 - Mar 2007March 2007 – Issue 16

China’s phenomenal achievements in development over the past three decades have come at the expense of its environment. Indeed, practically all Asian society has yet to balance the environmental protection with rapid industrialisation.

As China’s investment footprint in Africa grows, its presence will expand into new sectors, not just energy, mining, construction and telecoms. An outcome of last year’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) summit was China’s commitment to invest in Africa’s agriculture and aquaculture sectors.

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Evaluating Chinese President Hu Jintao’s tour to Africa

China Monitor - Issue 15 - Feb 2007February 2007 – Issue 15

This past month Chinese President Hu Jintao traveled once again to Africa. He has visited 17 African states over the last ten months – more than any other head of state – including South Africa’s frequent flyer president, Thabo Mbeki. China’s political focus on Africa is unprecedented in Beijing’s relations with any state or region. Considering the very regular visits of China’s top leadership to Africa, the Chinese obviously see us as important.

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