“Seven Capital Vices” of China in Africa:
How Capital Are They Really?
By Andrey Kortunov August 04 ,2018
PICTURE: President of China Xi Jinping arrives for the second day of the Summit at the Sandton International Convention Centre. Image credit: GovernmentZA/ flickr)
The recent tenth BRICS Summit in Johannesburg and the forthcoming China-Africa Cooperation Summit in Beijing bring the Chinese-African relations to the center of political and academic discussions. The Chinese advance in Africa since the turn of the century have been spectacular: from a relatively low key player, Beijing has grown into the largest trading partner and into one of the main sources of FDI for African countries, by far surpassing highly volatile US investments. This trend is hardly surprising – the booming Chinese economy needs more and more energy and raw materials, it is aggressively cultivating foreign markets to sustain its export-led industries. With significant excess capacities, Chinese financial institutions are relentlessly exploring new opportunities to park their huge currency reserves. So, why not Africa? However, the Chinese role in the continent – like any Chinese step beyond its borders – is subject to a scrutiny by foreign politicians and experts, who are not always unbiased and fair to Beijing. Let us go through a standard list of “seven capital vices” or “seven deadly sins”, which they in the West routinely attribute to the Chinese posture in Africa.