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Beyond Resource Acquisition? Analyzing Chinese-­‐backed Projects in Africa, 2002-­‐2012

Beyond Resource Acquisition? Analyzing Chinese-­‐backed Projects in Africa, 2002-­‐2012

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Published by: PotomacFoundation on Apr 23, 2013
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05/14/2014

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BeyondResourceAcquisition?
 AnalyzingChinese-backedProjectsinAfrica,2002-2012
SabraSimmondsGOVT451ProfessorKarberDecember7,2012
 
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 Abstract
TheincreasingnumberofChinese-fundedandChinese-backedprojectsandinvestmentsinAfricahasreceivedconsiderableinternationalattentionoverthepastdecade.
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WhilemanystudieshavepresentedmotivationsandreasonsbehindChina’sAfricaninvestment“pivot,”therehavebeennosystematicdetailedaccountsofactualChineseinvolvementintheregion.Thiscanbeattributedtoamultitudeoffactors,mostnotablythePeople'sRepublicofChina(PRC)lackoftransparencyinreportingitsinvestmentsandprojectsinAfrica,theinabilityofmanyofthehostcountriestoaccuratelyaccountforallChineseactivitywithintheirterritory,and,perhaps,China’sdesiretoconcealthetruenatureofitsinvestments.ThegoalofthispaperistoidentifyChinese-fundedandChinese-backedprojectsintheAfricancontinentfrom2002to2012.Withthisinformation,IwillanalyzeandinterpretthetrendsinChina’sAfricaninvestmentportfolio,thegeographicdistributionoftheseprojects,andthesectorsinwhichtheyoccur.MostscholarshiponChineseprojecttrendsinAfricaexcludesprojectssmallerthan$100million
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andutilizesChineseoutwardforeigndirectinvestment(OFDI)trendstohighlightChina’sincreasingengagementandpresenceinforeigncountries.
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However,inrelyingsolelyonOFDIlevels,smaller-levelprojectsare
1
ThetermChinareferstothePeople’sRepublicofChina(PRC).Forthepurposesofthispaper,thePRCexcludesthespecialautonomousregionsofHongKongandMacau.TheRepublicofChina(Taiwan)andregionswithdisputedbordersareexcludedfrommydefinitionofthePRC.
2
AllmonetaryvaluesareinUnitedStatesdollarsunlessstatedotherwise.
3
Forexample,theHeritageFoundation’sextensivedatasetexcludestransactionssmallerthan$100millionbecausethey“arenotimportantinthetotals.”SeeDerekScissors,"ChinaGlobalInvestmentTracker:2011,"HeritageFoundation,(6January2012),<http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/01/China-Global-Investment-Tracker-2011>[accessed3November2012];HarryG.BroadmanandGozdeIsik,
 Africa'sSilkRoad:ChinaandIndia'sNewEconomicFrontier 
,(Washington,DC:TheInternationalBankforReconstructionandDevelopment/TheWorldBank,2007);PeterGammeltoft,"EmergingMultinationals:
 
3
oftenignored.Forexample,whereasChina’smulti-billiondollarinvestmentsinAfrica’soilandmineralsectorsarewidelycited,Chinesefirms’constructionoftelephonelines,agriculturaltraining,andbuildingofhospitalsreceiveslittleattention.ThefirstsectionofthispaperprovidesabriefhistoryofSino-Africaneconomicrelations.Thesecondsectionfocusesontheimportanceofforeigndirectinvestment(FDI),highlightingbothglobalandChinesetrendsinOFDIontheinternationalstageandontheAfricancontinent.Inthethirdsection,IpresentmyanalysisofChineseprojectsinAfrica.ThefourthsectionconcludeswithananalysisofChina’sinvolvementintheregionandsuggestionsforfutureresearchonChinese-backedandChinese-fundedprojectsintheregion.
I.HistoryofSino-AfricanEconomicRelations
Sino-Africaneconomicrelationsarenotanewdevelopment.IntheColdWarera,Chinaprovidedeconomicaid,alongwithdiplomaticandmilitarysupport,topro-MaoistliberationandsocialistmovementsinsouthernAfricatooffsetSovietinfluences.
4
DuringtheCulturalRevolutionofthe1960s,thePRCcontinuedtosupportideologicallysimilarAfricannations,primarilythroughitsOverseasDevelopmentAssistance(ODA)program.TheTamZamrailwaylinkingtheportofDaral-Salaam,Tanzania,toKapiriMposhi,atowninZambia’scopperbelt,isanotableexampleofChina’sODAinaction.ConstructedbytheChinesebetween1970and1975,thedecisiontobuildtherailwaywasnotresource-
OutwardFDIfromtheBRICSCountries,"
InternationalJournalofTechnologyandGlobalization
,vol.4,no.1(2008):5-22;andXiaohuiLiu,TrevorBuck,andChangShu,"ChineseEconomicDevelopment,theNextStage:OutwardFDI?"
InternationalBusinessReview 
,vol.14,no.1(2005):97-115.
4
ChrisAlden,
ChinainAfrica
.(London,UK:Zed,2007).17.

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