“Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing is sweeping through Africa on a concerted charm offensive – signing economic deals, raising Beijing’s diplomatic profile and highlighting along the way China’s newly trumpeted policy of strategic partnership with Africa. There is no doubt of Africa’s importance in fuelling China’s remarkable growth.
“China’s rapacious energy needs are increasingly shaping its foreign policy, especially in regions like Africa, rich in natural resources and eager for investment.
“China is surely interested in Africa’s immense natural resources. But unlike Europe and America, China would not be coming to obtain such resources while turning a blind eye to the despicably pathetic poverty that plagues large parts of Africa south of the Sahara. After all, China is a developing country with a per capita GDP lower than those of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.”
US influence is waning on the continent – “forget about America. All it does is buy Nigeria’s oil and nothing more” – but will China be any different?