China's foreign investment in Africa : evolution and significance for the regional and world economy
Contemporary China is economically involved in nearly all regions of the world. The African involvement is crucial as to a large extent it is related to the exploitation of key deposits and natural resources. China strengthened its position on the continent through the allocation of immense capital, transfer of substantial aid or implementation of huge engineering projects. It enables China to attain three most essential strategic objectives: access to rich natural deposits (especially oil and gas), access to a large market as well as the construction political base and support. A specific policy pursued by China in relations with Africa has aroused controversy. On the basis of the common experience of a long-lasting subordination to the developed countries, the Middle Kingdom treats African countries as peer partners, pursuing the principles of soft equable diplomacy, mutual respect, independence and no interventionism in their internal affairs. Although China explicitly declares the desire to cooperate on the basis of mutual respect and recognition of national identity and independence, in real terms Africa has been exposed over a long time to dependence and all the related negative effects like internal weakness, inefficient allocation of resources, destabilisation and chaos due to the strengthening of authoritative regimes, corruption growth, violation of human rights or ecological catastrophes. It should be borne in mind though that in face of a new wave of inflowing capitalism, Africa is being given an exceptional opportunity to build its own state vision and independently develop its own economy as well as domestic and foreign policies. (original abstract)
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