China ‘like a brother’ to Africa, says former envoy as US summit approaches
If President Barack Obama wants free advice on how the US can start catching up with China’s record-breaking trade with Africa, here it is: “You must take Africa as an equal. This is the basic condition of success.”
The speaker is Ji Peiding, one of the architects of China’s spectacular economic and trading expansion with Africa over the past 20 years. Last year two-way trade exceeded $200bn, with South Africa accounting for about 10%.
“In reality, Africa accounts for only a tiny percentage of China’s overall foreign economic activities: China’s investment in and trade with Africa represents 3% and 5% of its global investment and trade respectively,” researcher Yun Sun writes.
Even politically, “the continent is of small importance to China’s foreign policy agenda, with Africa playing a largely supportive role in China’s overall international strategy”, she says.
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