Clifton Pannell, emeritus professor of geography in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in CounterPunch about China’s interest in Africa.
Historically, the African continent has been plundered by foreign powers, mainly but not exclusively European, who have extracted valuable resources, corrupting African elites and destroying feeble attempts at democracy throughout the continent.
China’s approach is different from other traditional colonial powers. Its main interests in Africa are searching and exploiting oil and mineral resources and creating new markets for Chinese goods. Building and repairing infrastructure also provides jobs for Chinese technicians and laborers. China has shown relatively minimal interference in African countries’ domestic affairs but provides generous aid and loan packages.
“Its oft-stated policy in dealing with African states is to stress the notion of mutual benefits, and it has long promoted itself as a partner in solidarity with African states in opposition to colonialism and economic dependency,” said Pannell.