Clips On Chinese “Aid”

Chinese “aid” is coming to Africa. Everyone says that. But how do we understand the Chinese aid- how large it is; how it looks like; whether it is an angel or evil; and most importantly, whether all these are of aid or not?

The following videos may help reach some conclusion by yourself, through others’ eyes. The first 2 clips from Vanguard and BBC are respectively about the famous, (or infamous, as some might say) package of projects in Angola, and the contentious gigantic $6 billion deal in D.R. Congo.

Ms. Lulling summed up well in the third video the concerns on Chinese aid by the transitional donors, namely OECD-DAC members.

A different point of view is from Mr. Oporia-EKwaro, who represents the group of more positive observers.

The author of “The Dragon’s gift”, one of most cited book on Chinese aid, Deborah Brautigam introcuced her understanding about Chinese involvement in Africa by aid, trade and investment.

So, you’re getting it better? OK, let’s start to talk about it!

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2 Responses to Clips On Chinese “Aid”

  1. marisaburton says:

    Tim I’m curious to know you’re personal opinion.

    For me there’s nothing inherently wrong with trading minerals for infrastructure, but do you think the deals are fair? Do the Chinese have too much power in the negotiations? Is it maybe too easy for corrupt presidents to “skim” money off the deals so that the minerals go out but the citizens don’t get all the infrastructure?

    • Tim Fang says:

      Diplomatically speaking, I’m not in the position to answer if they are fair or not. But being cynical would make it easier: it would NOT be completely fair. It is stupid not to take advantage of making profit with someone with low negotiation power. But it would not be completely unfair neither: the Chinese wants also to be favoured for the further deal, not only resources but also commercial and political integration. To the African side, it’s better than nothing, and the money is VERY big.
      Is it easy for corrupt presidents to “skim” money off the deals. I guess it’s possible but fortunately there is only one president in each countries. Haha joking. The fact is that Chinese government doesn’t pay in cash to African states. After signing contract between the Chinese and the Africans, the projects are bidded domestically. Chinese companies arrive. They finish projects, hand over to african owners, paid by Chinese government directly and they go. It requires more skill to “skim” this kind of money compare with those channelled into the government for education, public health, gender issues etc.
      It is worth noting, part of these projects are not actually of aid. They are export credits with commercial interests rate. (for instance, the DRC package of $6 billion consists of $3 bn @ 4.4%, $2.13 bn @ 6.1% and $1.07 bn @ 0%) To private banks, the deals is not enough attractive with its long repayment. I think that makes chinese “aid” so prominent.
      So after all it doesn’t seem that bad to me.

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