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Environment Magazine September/October 2008

 

March-April 2014

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Commentary: Models of Chinese Engagement in Africa's Extractive Sectors and Their Implications

In recent years, China has sourced an increasing amount of oil and minerals from Africa. China's imports from Africa have grown from US$5.43 billion in 2002 to US$113.2 billion in 2012; this means a 20-fold increase within a decade. In terms of value, oil and minerals account for over 60% of the total imports in 2012. Angola, Sudan, and Libya were among the major oil suppliers for China during the last decade. Angola even became China's largest oil supplier briefly in 2008 and 2010, surpassing Saudi Arabia. China's rapid expansion in Africa's extractive sectors has attracted global attention. People are eager to understand how China gets natural resources from Africa and how this will impact the continent's development. Some critics are particularly concerned that China is becoming a neo-colonialist power in Africa by taking resources away and leaving nothing behind.

Tang Xiaoyang is an assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University and a resident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy. His research interests include political philosophy, China's engagement in Africa, and modernization processes of developing countries. He is the author of China-Africa Economic Diplomacy (2014) and has published extensively on Asia-Africa relations. He completed his Ph.D. in the philosophy department at the New School for Social Research in New York. He earned his M.A in philosophy from Freiburg University in Germany and his B.A in business management from Fudan University in Shanghai. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, USAID, and various research institutes and consulting companies. Before he came to Tsinghua, he worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, D.C.

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