China’s influence in Africa

CHINA IN AFRICAAs 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.