As an African American, or rather, an American African (I’m white and African born), I hear a constant flow of stories about China’s increasing influence in Africa. They’ve clearly taken a long term view on Africa, perhaps motivated by their projected energy and natural resources needs. If you subscribe to the US view that free trade is good, then this is a good thing. [You can’t have it both ways folks!]
Whether or not you think it’s good for the continent, the data is surprising:
- The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is the single largest shareholder (40 percent) in the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, which controls Sudan’s oil fields and has invested $3 billion in refinery and pipeline construction in Sudan since 1999. Sudan now supplies 7% of China’s total oil.
- In March 2004, Beijing extended a $2 billion loan to Angola in exchange for a contract to supply 10,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
- In July 2005, PetroChina concluded an $800 million deal with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to purchase 30,000 barrels of oil per day for one year.
- In January 2006, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), after failing to acquire American-owned Unocal, purchased a 45 percent stake in a Nigerian offshore oil and gas field for $2.27 billion and promised to invest an additional $2.25 billion in field development.
- In April 2003, approximately 175 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and a 42-man medical team were deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo on a peacekeeping mission.
- In December 2003, 550 peacekeeping troops, equipped with nearly 200 military vehicles and water-supply trucks, were sent to Liberia.
- China has also deployed about 4,000 PLA troops to southern Sudan to guard an oil pipeline and reaffirmed its intention to strengthen military collaboration and exchanges with Ethiopia, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sudan.