Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Carla P. Freeman
Chapter 9: Official development finance with Chinese characteristics: development cooperation between China and Africa
What we have here – in states like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela – are regimes that . . . collectively represent a threat to healthy, sustainable development. Worse, they are effectively pricing responsible and well-meaning aid organizations out of the market in the very places where they are needed most. If they continue to succeed in pushing their alternative development model, they will succeed in underwriting a world that is more corrupt, chaotic, and authoritarian. China’s engagement with Africa has captured the headlines of the global media in recent years. Labels describing Chinese activities on the continent from ‘neo-colonialist,’ to ‘land grabbing’ or ‘rogue donor’ have gone hand in hand with images of Chinese engagement featuring insatiable state-owned petroleum companies, tens of thousands of migrant workers, many illegal, living in solitary compounds, or huge construction crews and their machines building new infrastructures across the continent from dawn through dark, with often harmful impacts on the local environment and communities. Reports convey a sense that China is buying the continent with overwhelming financial inflows, displacing traditional economic and development partners.
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