Friday, December 07, 2007

It's all about Angola

Poster for the China-Africa Summit, Beijing, 2006

Last year I was around in Beijing when the China-Africa summit was on. The summit was deliberately orchestrated to prove China's commitment to the African nations. China is dealing with regimes the West boycotts on political and humanitarian grounds. As these regimes have few other rich nations to trade with left, China has stepped in to buy their natural resources at bargain rates. Angola is one of those countries and is now China's main supplier of oil, having overtaken Saudi Arabia. But China is also involved in the political and economic life of these countries, training future African government ministers in Beijing alongside future Communist Party cadres and Chinese companies building new 5 star leisure complexes for the elite across the continent.
China's involvement is realigning world politics but we hear very little about it in the West. This Radio 4 programme highlights some of the political, social as well as economic ramifications of China's relationship with Africa.
You can listen to the programme here.

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