China received two strong signals of African resistance to its growing presence in the continent on Wednesday. In the central African state of Gabon, the government is preparing to wrest back control of oil assets from three international companies when their contracts expire in 2015, including China’s Sinopec. Separately, Ghanaian authorities detained 124 Chinese workers suspected of illegal gold prospecting. This puts the Chinese government in an awkward position.
Geneva: Top Chinese refiner Sinopec's Addax Petroleum is embroiled in a legal dispute with Gabon over an oilfield in which claims and counter claims total more than $1 billion, sources familiar with the confidential proceedings said. The case adds to questions about whether African enthusiasm for Chinese investment in the continent's resources is fading after an iron ore project in Gabon was placed under review and separately three Chinese licences were revoked in Zambia's coal sector.
Beijing: China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday the government had complained to Ghana's president after 124 Chinese citizens were detained in a crackdown on illegal gold mining. Ghana is Africa's second biggest gold producer after South Africa. As gold prices have hit record levels in recent years, the sector has been increasingly plagued by illegal diggers, including a rising number of undocumented Chinese immigrants.
Johannesburg: China has emerged as a major capital exporter and will reshape global investment routes for years to come. By 2030 China and India combined are expected to account for 38% of gross global investment - equivalent to all high-income countries combined (World Bank, 2013). Though, unlike the initial state-led wave of outbound investment, private firms will lead the way. In fact, we already see evidence of more firms from externalised and entrepreneurial-orientated provinces serving as the lightning rod for China’s contemporary global outreach. The evolution has implications for Africa. It is striking that China’s total foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in Africa is seemingly trivial, hovering at around USD20 billion.
New York: If you believed the conventional wisdom, this week's meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was bound to be fraught. The leaders of the world's two largest countries, only a month removed from a standoff in the Himalayas, were meeting. Acrimony was sure to follow, right? No. Instead, Li said he offered India a "handshake across the Himalayas" and mused about how China and India could increase their trade to $100 billion by 2015. China and India, you see, aren't as antagonistic as pundits make them out to be.
New Delhi: India is not competing with China in trade with Africa and is considered a "trusted friend" by the countries of the continent which is "very valuable", Vice President Hamid Ansari said today. "We are not having the same approach as that of China. Our approach is different. The Indian approach is not just to give the fish, it is to teach how to fish. So we don't compete with China," he said while returning after attending the 50th anniversary Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
Johannesburg: China has fine-tuned its statecraft in Africa and morphed into the world’s most radical pragmatist. What can Africans do to gain from China’s new strategy? China’s approach is broad and opportunistic, because it did not have a competitive edge over Western firms. Nonetheless, three nations are the fulcrum on which the Chinese-African relationship must balance: Angola, Nigeria and South Africa.
Lagos: Is it really fair what is going on between China and Africa of which Nigeria is key? While proponents of China’s dominance of Africa trade and investment believe the continent has seen a lot of benefits infrastructure-wise, other critics argue that the relationship has been purely a mercantile transaction between business elites and politicians.
Hong Kong: Bafana Ndendwa has conflicting feelings when he sees the increased presence of Chinese companies in Africa. On one hand, the managing director of a construction company in South Africa believes companies such as his can learn from their Chinese counterparts who are doing business in the continent. On the other hand, those companies are cutting into his profits. "I have lost many projects to Chinese companies because they offer much lower construction costs," Ndendwa said. Even though Ndendwa said he thinks co-operation between African countries and China should continue, he fears the possibility of being put out of business, and he has called on African governments to better protect the interests of the local people.
Juba: South Sudanese president Salva Kiir Mayardit said on Tuesday that the Chinese government has approved a major loan scheme to help his country improve infrastructure, adding that the agreement shows the level of cooperation between the two countries. Kiir made the remarks while opening the National Legislative Assembly after return from recess during which reiterated his commitment to return the country to war at all cost (sic).