China's Economic Development and Africa
QUESTION NO: 7
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO
3 OF 20 FEBRUARY 2007
DR A N LUTHULI (ANC) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN
Whether China's economic development, that necessitates her to
make inroads into Africa in search of raw materials, is giving rise to another
form of colonialism or neo-colonialism in Africa; if not, what is the position
in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details? N209E
involvement of China in Africa cannot be viewed as another form of colonialism
or neo-colonialism. China's increased engagement with the continent presents an
opportunity for a valuable contribution to Africa's growth and development. During
his recent visit to South Africa President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic
of China articulated China's foreign policy as a policy based on non-interference
in the affairs of other countries.
China does co-operate with Africa on
many issue in the United Nations.
Since 2000, China's trade with Africa
has nearly tripled to US$39, 8 billion in 2005. Trade between China and Africa
reached $55.5 billion in 2006, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year. China exported
$26.7 billion to Africa, an increase of 43 percent over the previous year, while
China imported goods worth $28.8 billion from Africa, up 37 percent. Raw materials
and agricultural products are still major African exports to China, and the export
of high-tech products is also on the rise.
By the end of 2005, China had
invested $6.27 billion in 49 countries in Africa, in sectors such as trade, production
and processing, resource development, transportation, agriculture and development
of agricultural products.
According to trade analysts trade between China
and Africa could reach US$110 billion in the near future. China is now Africa's
third largest commercial partner after the US and France, and second largest exporter
to Africa after France. It is notably ahead of former colonial power Britain in
Regarding China's role in Africa, some of its activities
are conducted under the Forum for China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC). In January
2006 China had already released a policy document on Africa that clearly spelled
out their policy of engagement with Africa. During the FOCAC meeting in Beijing,
November 2006, it was agreed that NEPAD should be the overall framework within
which China-Africa relations would be developed. It was also agreed to create
favourable conditions to grow China-Africa trade in a more balanced manner.
February 2007, President Hu Jintao followed up on the announced programme of support
with a visit to 8 African countries, including Cameroon, Liberia, Sudan, Zambia,
Namibia, Mozambique, the Seychelles and South Africa.