China Stakes Claim in Africa

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$200 million later, Beijing has built the African Union’s HQ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This is though more than a mere gift but a symbol of China’s enhanced assertiveness in securing trading ties and access to the continent’s resources. (Above Photo – AU HQ in Ethiopia & Opening Ceremony with leaders from around African continent). China’s mercantilist strategy has rapidly realized gains on the continent, particularly in the Sub-Sahara region. The trade generally has been Africa’s petroleum, minerals and natural resources going to China while everything from inexpensive electronics to chickens going to Africa. What has been attractive to many of Africa’s ruling class is that this trade and aid comes without preaching or demands for democracy/more open societies. (For example, Beijing did not particularly appear bothered by the Ethiopian regime's dismal human rights record in Ogaden and beyond - although Washington and EU appeared less sensitive as well until recent arbitrary jailing/conviction of 2 Swedish journalists). The relationship though has not been free of grumbling and controversy. Many local African producers, from textile to agriculture believe Chinese products are undercutting them and consciously eradicating domestic competition. Chinese exporters are developing effective monopolies in countries as Zimbabwe to Liberia. Further, the rapidly expanding trade links have facilitated illegal trade and poaching sparking a sharp rise in rhino and elephant killings. Risks of effective extinction are hitting several African species. (See Film Report – “Black Rhino Extinction” - diplomaticallyincorrect.org/films/movie/black-rhino-extinction/29125 Still, after centuries of exploitation from European powers and perceived hypocrisy from Washington, many Africans welcome the Chinese as an alternative. Let’s also not forget more recent dumping of hazardous waste. Not certain that many Africans want to embrace Beijing’s methodology or certainly potential domination, but it does provide some leverage/bargaining power with respect to the old masters. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey - FOLOW mo @MuhamedSacirbey Facebook-Become a Fan at “Diplomatically Incorrect”





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DiplomaticallyIncorrect

"Voice of the Global Citizen"- Diplomatically Incorrect (diplomaticallyincorrect.org) provide film and written reports on issues reflecting diplomatic discourse and the global citizen. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey (@MuhamedSacirbey) is former Foreign Minister Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina at the United Nations. "Mo" is also signatory of the Rome Conference/Treaty establishing the International…

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