Over the past decade, China’s hunger for Africa’s rich natural resources has seen it overtake Europe and America as the continent’s largest trading partner.

The West – for so long the dominant external force in Africa’s affairs – has reacted to this rush of investment with more than a fair degree of unease. Commentators in Washington, London, Paris and elsewhere have openly expressed anxiety that the West’s economic and political influence in Africa is waning and that ‘unless something is done’ this ‘ Battle for Africa ‘ as it has become known, will have damaging strategic consequences down the line.

Yet they know too that China’s often expressed reluctance to interfere in the local politics of other nations – or at least to attach any tiresome conditions about democracy or improving human rights to their investments and aid – is allowing some African politicians to thumb their noses at Western institutions and former colonial powers that have previously tried to make them toe the line. In other words, as seen from outside, it is a narrative about winners and losers, about the big beasts of the global world being rivals in a competition in which China currently has the upper hand. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-zo – Michael’s Blog