China methodically entered the African continent over the last two decades. Their first priority was to acquire natural resources through various industries and accumulate a hard asset portfolio by developing and/or purchasing ownership in existing operations. Gold is one of their favorite targets. Their second goal was to assuage Sino-African political influence amongst ruling governments to allow capital and expertise to march in and construct massive infrastructure projects. Much mainstream media (MSM) coverage has taken place in recent months, but the siren sound rang loud and clear long ago in 2009 when the following book was published. I highly recommend obtaining a copy because it remains relevant.
China Safari (2009): On the Trail of Beijing’s Expansion in Africa
Serge Michel, Author; Michel Beuret, Author; Paolo Woods, Photographer
The Chinese scramble to mine Africa – Mining.com, Dec. 2015
China snaps up $4.5bn worth overseas mining assets in just six months… “Most firms are after existing operations and companies, rather than trying to build mines from scratch.” – Mining.com, Jul. 2016
In order to document China’s 2018 footprint in Africa, it would take a full-page link garden and then some. The West is now suddenly concerned after the realization that they missed the African boat by taking their eyes off the dragon’s long-term plan and influence. The Silk Road project (aka Belt and Road Initiative) is set to extend its tentacles beyond the Eurasian continent and add a maritime route adjacent to the African continent. U.S. politicos have taken note by launching a probe into China’s current military footprint in the region.
U.S. House panel to probe China military footprint in Africa – Africaland Post, Mar. 2018
Belt and Road initiative aligns with African nations – The Telegraph, Sep. 2016
As recently as May of 2018, a large number of African countries are considering the adoption of the Chinese yuan as a reserve currency, which would boost China’s internationalization efforts and add a cherry on top of the yuan’s inclusion into the IMF basket of currencies. 17 top central banks and government politicos from 14 member countries in The Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) met in Zimbabwe to discuss the yuan’s incorporation into reserves and trade. Most of the reserves in the MEFMI region remain in USD, but the increasing status of a Chinese economy and growing trade with Africa will likely alter the reserve balances. As an example, trade with South Africa ballooned by 15% on a yearly basis during the first quarter of 2018.
A larger number of African currencies depreciated by a large margin in recent years, so Chinese companies still prefer to settle business transactions using the USD. Despite a rising trend of yuan-denominated payments in trade, it still remains rare amongst African countries. Africa’s economic scale is small, but as their GDP grows in the future, China’s dealings will grow and African countries’ use of the yuan will become more frequent. Achieving a level of dominance in Africa is guaranteed, as they have successfully established their footprint well ahead of time.
Welcome to the 25th SAITEX and CTW South Africa 2018… “In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping set out the strategy of rebuilding the Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road known as the ‘The Belt and Road’ initiative. The proposal caught the interest of the global community, and quickly gained the support of nations along the route. After the great success of CTW in Kenya, the China Trade Week was encouraged by the ‘Africa Union’ to expand its exhibition scope. As a result, the China Trade Week South Africa will take place from 25th – 27th June at the Gallagher Convention Centre Johannesburg in South Africa, along with Saitex and Big Seven.” – CTW South Africa, Jun. 2018
Chinese influence grows as US flounders in Africa… “As the unfolding tariff war between the US and China looms ever larger, Africa finds itself in a bind as the world’s greatest superpowers vie for trade supremacy. While some say that Africa will be forced to pick sides, Africa wisely shows signs of wanting to maximize both partnerships. Yet recent events show Africa moving ever closer to Beijing while Washington undergoes an apparent crisis of confidence in its approach.” – African Business, Sep. 24
10 massive projects the Chinese are funding in Africa – including railways and a brand-new city… “China is Africa’s biggest and strongest ally and in recent years has pumped millions of dollars into the continent, funding one mega project after another. At the close of the 2018 China-Africa Forum for Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in Beijing, the world’s second biggest economy announced that it had set up a new R900 billion ($60 billion) kitty meant for Africa’s development as part of a raft of new measures to strengthen Sino-Africa ties.” – Business Insider, Sep. 25
China’s influence on the continent is not always smooth as they begin to hit a few stiff pockets of resistance while they grab what they want under the guise of a modern-day Robin Hood.
‘Say no to China’: Anger mounts in Zambia over Beijing’s presence… “’China equals Hitler’ said the sign held up in the Zambian capital Lusaka by a protester opposed to Beijing’s tightening grip on the economy of the southern African nation.” – AFP, Sep. 23
Why fears of China’s neocolonialism in Africa ring false in the face of numbers that tell a different tale – South China Morning Post, Sep. 25
Why Accusations Against China for ‘Debtbook Diplomacy’ Are a Hoax – African Agenda, Sep. 7
China’s Exploitation of Africa – Lew Rockwell Interviews Doug Casey, Sep. 3
Are China’s financial dealings in Africa a debt trap or bailout? – Daily Nation, Sep. 23
One thing I have noticed about China’s influence in Africa, aside from its good intentions while skimming rewards off the top to the benefit of its own economic ambitions, is that the accumulation of debt obligations their African friends are taking on feels like an IMF proposition in dragons’ clothing. Nothing about this situation appears to be Robin Hoodish. Instead, it reeks of more colonialism in the modern era.
Welcome to Africa’s version of Hip Hop Gangsta rap with a Sino-African flavor.
Olamide, Wizkid – Kana (Official Video)
Plan Your Trade, Trade Your Plan.
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