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Afrobarometer: China wins favorable opinions in new Africa survey

Mark Harris

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How do Africans view China’s financial presence on the continent? The most recent Afrobarometer survey stories that on common, 63% of Africans surveyed believed China to be a “considerably” or “very optimistic” affect of their international locations whereas “solely 15% see it as considerably/very detrimental.” As Afrobarometer summarized:  

Findings from Afrobarometer’s 2014/2015 surveys in 36 African international locations, which included a particular sequence of questions on China, counsel that the general public holds usually beneficial views of financial and help actions by China. Africans rank the USA and China No. 1 and a pair of, respectively, as improvement fashions for their very own international locations. Remarkably, in three of 5 African areas, China both matches or surpasses the USA in reputation as a improvement mannequin. When it comes to their present affect, the 2 international locations are outpaced solely by Africa’s former colonial powers. 

Public perceptions not solely verify China’s necessary financial and political function in Africa but in addition usually painting its affect as useful. China’s infrastructure/ improvement and enterprise investments are seen as causes for China’s optimistic picture in Africa, although that picture is tainted by perceptions of poor-quality Chinese language merchandise.

Whereas media stories could describe this as one thing new, in actual fact it’s fairly near earlier public opinion surveys on this subject. For knowledge and hyperlinks, see my previous posts on China and public opinion in 2014 and 2010. For my feedback on a poorly designed public opinion survey that got here to the other conclusion from Afrobarometer’s rigorous methodology, see right here.

The complete Afrobarometer report could be downloaded right here.

picture supply: Afrobarometer.org


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Ideas on China, Africa, Per Capita Revenue, and the Setting

Mark Harris

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Ivindo Nat’l. Park, Gabon. Michael Nichols, Nat’l Geographic

The environmental impression of China-Africa engagement is likely one of the high issues of many who’re important of a rising China in Africa. Others acknowledge the problem as essential, however keep that some from rich international locations wish to impose “Volvo” requirements in “Volkswagen” international locations.

I typically take into consideration how these points emerged in significance in our personal nation, the USA. This morning, I learn a NYT overview of a brand new e-book about President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was the architect of a lot of our authorities’s institutional construction. Following within the footsteps of his presidential cousin Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin “created 140 nationwide wildlife refuges, established 29 nationwide forests and 29 nationwide parks and monuments” however he additionally constructed many “habitat-destroying hydroelectric dams” and put in place the inspiration of our nationwide freeway system.

Roosevelt was a visionary. In 1940, he made a speech at Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park:

We slashed our forests, we used our soils, we inspired floods … all of this so significantly that we have been introduced moderately all of a sudden to face the truth that except we gave thought to the lives of our youngsters and grandchildren, they’d not be capable to stay and to enhance upon our American lifestyle.

In 1940, our revenue per capita (in 2008 adjusted for inflation) was roughly $7,446. China’s revenue per capita in 2015 (in fixed 2010 , in keeping with the World Financial institution) was about $6,416.  For Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding excessive revenue international locations), inflation-adjusted per capita revenue was about $1,651 in 2015.

If environmental issues rise together with revenue, as many social scientists consider, China ought to be approaching a time when sustainability turns into an actual, real, and public concern for its leaders. Certainly, there’s some proof that over the previous decade with the inexperienced credit score motion and the institution of a Ministry of the Setting, that is taking place. But in Africa, it’s miles extra possible that slashed forests, depleted soils, and the encouraging of floods will proceed to plague the lives of fogeys, their youngsters, and their grandchildren, for a few years to come back. And Chinese language firms in search of enterprise will proceed to be a part of this.


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Chinese language Personal Safety Corporations Go to Africa

Mark Harris

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Trainee in Beijing bodyguard coaching camp.  picture credit score CFP

China’s “going out” coverage has landed Chinese language corporations in lots of excessive danger environments. Not surprisingly, this has stimulated the expansion of personal safety corporations (PSC) “with Chinese language traits.” The primary non-public Chinese language safety agency to function abroad was, apparently, a Ningbo firm, in 2004. Though most of those corporations function in actually excessive danger areas equivalent to Iraq or Afghanistan, they’re additionally more and more current in locations like Kenya.

“The demand is big particularly as extra Chinese language enterprises will go overseas impressed by the Belt and Highway initiative. We at the moment are attempting to increase our enterprise to extra nations, together with Pakistan and Bhutan,” one firm instructed the International Instances.

Apparently, nonetheless, Chinese language regulation prohibits residents from having weapons abroad. As International Instances notes, “the largest impediment to Chinese language PSCs going overseas is the truth that the federal government doesn’t assist their efforts.”

In response to China’s Felony Regulation, those that possess weapons abroad – even when they’re doing so in accordance with a international nation’s legal guidelines – could face a most sentence of seven years in jail. As Chinese language PSCs are banned from sending workers overseas, PSCs’ safety guards are technically staff of purchasers, somewhat than PSCs, as soon as they’re despatched overseas.

A number of quick articles present overviews: for Karthie Lee, click on right here. And for Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, right here.

h/t to Ying Xia.


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Orient Categorical: Chinese language Infrastructure Engagement in Africa

Mark Harris

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Save the date for our third Annual China-Africa Analysis Initiative (CARI) Convention, which shall be held on October 13 & 14, 2016 on the Johns Hopkins College Faculty of Superior Worldwide Research (SAIS) in Washington DC. 
This yr’s theme is “Orient Categorical: Chinese language Infrastructure Engagement in Africa,” and we’re happy to have Dr. Jamie Monson, Professor of Historical past and Director of African Research at Michigan State College, as our keynote speaker. 
The complete agenda may be considered right here.To safe your spot at our convention, please join right here.

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