Friday, November 10, 2006

China, Africa forging closer ties

On November 10, 2006, Dr. Wenran Jiang was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on the recent China-Africa Cooperation Summit. The summit wrapped up yesterday with news of a further $1.9-billion (U.S.) in trade and investment deals between China and Africa, on top of the $10-billion in loans and assistance China offered on Saturday.

"This summit was quite unprecedented," said Wenran. "No other power has the will or ability to pull this off. It really marks the emergence of China as a dominant power in a faraway continent that was previously the back yard of the European powers."

You can read the article here.

On November 5, Dr. Jiang gave an interview on the same topic with the Guardian, read here.

The New York Times also interviewed Dr. Jiang on November 3, with a focus on China's strategic presence in Africa. “African leaders see China as a new kind of global partner that has lots of money but treats them as equals,” said Wenran. “Chinese leaders see Africa, in a strategic sense, as up for grabs.”

Dr. Jiang said that unlike in the cold war, when China’s foreign involvement was motivated by ideology, Beijing now had a commercial strategy as the developing world’s biggest beneficiary of globalization to unite with the region most conspicuously left behind.

It will be up to each country’s leaders, and ultimately each country’s people, to decide how to use the wealth, he said. “From China’s perspective the Western powers and Western companies have had their chance in Africa and really nothing has happened,” he said. Read the article here.

City safari … Beijing was festooned with posters of African wildlife in the run-up to the summit, with the main shopping street adorned with wooden animals.
Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters

A policeman in Beijing passes by a billboard promoting the China-Africa diplomatic forum this weekend.
China Photos/Getty Images