Tuesday, August 20, 2013

African Trade: China, India and others

Nice report by BBC News "China and India: The scramble for business in Africa":
Throughout Africa - at building sites, on the street, and at ports and airports - the Chinese presence is growing.

Competing for a slice of the wealth along with traditional stakeholders are new ones such as Brazil and South Korea - and India, China's neighbour.
India's $65bn (£44bn) of trade with Africa is dwarfed by China's $200bn.

Chinese companies are active across the continent with big infrastructure projects, including ports, railways and sports stadiums.
Hmm. No mention of U.S. companies vying for work?

But, to follow on, the BBC is helpful with, a report of $5 billion deal between China and Kenya.

Kenya is on the outs with the U.S. and the EU due to issues with Kenya's president, whose spokespeople suggest nothing but good things from their relations with China:
In a statement, his office said the deals with China were a "massive boost" to his government.

"The rail link, particularly, is important in the context of East Africa's shared goal of ensuring quicker movement of peoples, goods and services," it quoted Mr Kenyatta as saying.

It will link the Kenyan border town of Malaba with the port of Mombasa, one of the busiest in Africa.
Funny, I remember the days when China was attacking the "exploitation" of Africa by western countries. Now, in Wikileaks released message, a U.S. government official brightly notes:
"China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons," he says. "China is in Africa primarily for China."
I would think any person who ever attended a "Great Powers" course might understand that.

I suspect the Africans and the Chinese do.

So, if you find yourselves asking why China might need a blue water navy to protect its sea lanes - you might consider the routes from Africa to China and the chokepoints that they might see as problematic.

You might also speculate about the experience that Chinese fleet is getting operating in the Indian Ocean as part of the anti-Somali pirate forces.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:08 AM

    How do you say Cecil Rhodes in Mandarin? Sounds like the last half of the 19th century, with a slightly different cast of characters (for those that haven't studied it, the Indians were there, though in a marginally different role).