Blog entries from: China in Africa: The Real Story

Digging into the myths and realities

1 to 10 of 49

April 15 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Tue Apr 15 2014, 12:52:00

What is Africa exporting to China? A reader asked me: why are 26% of African exports to China reported as "unspecified"? This HS 98 "Special Classification Provisions, Not elsewhere specified" category has grown hugely over the past few years. I've pasted the trade data below (all in millions). In 2007, this category was about 1% of total imports. By 2013, it's up to 25%. What is in this category? Readers' insights welcome.


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April 3 2014

April 2 2014

March 30 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Sun Mar 30 2014, 11:54:00

The LA Times has just published an article on Chinese land investments: "China Looks Abroad for Greener Pastures," that quotes me. As in so many of these cases, a long interview turns into a tiny sound bite. I wish the sound bite had been extended to capture my warning that websites like Land Matrix are highly unreliable, that there is actually very little new Chinese investment in agriculture in Africa, and that the investment that does exist, so far at least, is not about growing food to send back to China. Alas, I don't think any of those points came out in the article.

a h/t to Bob Thompson

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March 28 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Fri Mar 28 2014, 13:30:00

Just read a great opinion piece by Patrick Dunleavy and Chris Gilson, bloggers at the London School of Economics, on why blogging is one of the most important things an academic can do today. Their focus is on the quick dissemination -- for public consumption -- of academic research (and I quote):

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March 25 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Tue Mar 25 2014, 14:19:00

An interesting conference on China and Africa (mainly Mozambique) in Maputo hosted by the Institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE). Their website has links to some of the presentations and papers. Several are in Portuguese and the others are in English. I haven't read any, but I note that the impressive Sergio Chichava did a presentation on representations of China in the Mozambican press, and there is also a paper by the father of African studies in China, Li Anshan. Well done IESE.

h/t to Lynn Salinger, reporting from Maputo.

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March 24 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Mon Mar 24 2014, 13:30:00

Four exciting events on the schedule for China-Africa watchers who will be in Washington, DC in the next two months:

1. On Friday, March 28, 9:00 am - 11:00 am at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, the Sister Cities program will report on their China-Africa Initiative, with Lula Chen from Sister Cities, adviser Prof. Tang Xiaoyang from Tsinghua University, and others.

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March 14 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Fri Mar 14 2014, 15:35:00

The following is a guest post by Motoko Aizawa:*

"Inside out, and outside in, but not inside in." According to John Ruggie, now the Berthold Beitz Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, this was the mantra that the Chinese offered as a way to steer Ruggie's mandate as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises. Cryptic? Here's the translation: It would be OK for Ruggie's business and human rights mandate to address the behavior of Chinese companies doing business outside China ("inside out"), and it's OK for foreign companies operating inside China ("outside in"), but it's not OK for the Chinese companies operating in China, or "inside in," as ...

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March 11 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Tue Mar 11 2014, 19:12:00

Photo credit: Feng Lei, China Foto Press Gamma

Is China providing trillions in aid to Africa? Apparently Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe thought so, and they were disappointed when their effort to reap a mere $30 billion in budget support fizzled in the face of the reality: Chinese finance is far more modest than this. Official aid is especially limited. And unlike the West, China rarely gives direct budget support. When it does, the amount is generally tiny: $5 million.

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March 7 2014

From China in Africa: The Real Story Fri Mar 7 2014, 10:27:00

The publishing house Taylor & Francis is giving open access to dozens of journal articles on China-Africa issues (including one of mine, with Zhang Haisen). For people outside of universities, which can access these for free, this could be very useful. One warning: some of these are fairly dated and the research has moved on considerably since then. And the quality of these articles also varies quite a bit, with some based on very solid empirical foundations and others relying more on news media and secondary sources. Caveat readers.

Here's the publisher's description of this bonanza:

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