China's engagement with Africa has barely begun. As far as the stock of foreign investment in Africa is concerned, the Asian giant is still dwarfed by the West 10 to 1, but not for long if Beijing has anything to do with it. For China, Africa is a strategic play, requiring the stamina for which its strategists have always been famous.A long-term project, I might add.
It is true that Beijing is hurting badly from the global economic crisis much more than its Ministry of Commerce's massaged statistics will let on, but it would be analytically unsound to treat any perceived change in Sino-African trends as a panic-response dictated by the souring global economy. China is engaged in a deliberate, calculated, and carefully scheduled re-pricing of risk in its African project.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Ever since the reality of the economic crisis took hold, international attention has remained squarely focused on the governments in both Washington and Beijing. What are they doing? What will they do? What does all of this mean? With respect to Beijing in particular, myths of China's withdrawal from Africa began to surface around the time the China-Congo deal began to flounder and seemingly haven't seized in their cries of armageddon (see here and here, for instance). Well, stop already. Not only is this annoying, it's horribly misinformed. The Asia Times finally gets it right: