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Title: The forest for the trees : trade, investment, and the China-in-Africa discourse
Authors: Sautman, B
Yan, H 
Issue Date: 2008
Source: Pacific affairs, Spring 2008, v. 81, no. 1, p. 9-29
Abstract: Trade and investment are topics central to the China-in-Africa discourse that has strongly emerged from the West in the last few years. Western opinion leaders, along with several African opposition parties, often characterize China's role in Africa as "colonialist," "neo-imperialist" or "predatory." Placing China's trade and investment in the continent in comparative perspective, the paper assesses the empirical validity of such charges, by examining those issues that receive disproportionate attention in the discourse: China's importation of oil from Africa, her exports of textiles and clothing to Africa and to the world in competition with Africa, as well as her ownership of a Zambian copper mine. It is concluded that China, as part of the world capitalist economy, injures African interests in many of the same ways as the principal Western states. The racialized China-in-Africa discourse, however, is largely inaccurate, reflective of Western elite perceptions of China as a strategic competitor, and acts as an obstacle to an effective critique of exploitative links between Africa and the more developed states.
Keywords: Exploitation
Import
International trade
Investment
Trade flow
Trade liberalization
Trade performance
Trade relatins
Publisher: Pacific Affairs, a division of the University of British Columbia
Journal: Pacific affairs 
ISSN: 0030-851X
DOI: 10.5509/20088119
Rights: Copyright © 2008, University of British Columbia
The journal web site is located at http://www.pacificaffairs.ubc.ca
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

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