Edited by Carla P. Freeman
Chapter 16: Searching for data: increasing understanding of China’s investment in Africa
In August 2012, US Secretary of the State Hillary Clinton made a thinly veiled public criticism of China in Africa, calling African countries to guard against those that ‘come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave.’ In response, China’s official news agency, Xinhua, immediately retorted that ‘Clinton’s implication that China has been extracting Africa’s wealth for itself is utterly wide of the truth.’ This stark exchange is just one example of the frequent clashes between Chinese officials and Western critics regarding the country’s growing economic role in Africa. Scholarly opinions are widely diverse as well. One can get the picture from a special issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly, which presents a set of articles by a large group of leading Chinese and international scholars. These articles express views ranging from sharp criticisms to high praises of China’s investment abroad, in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
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