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Beijing’s 1996 Going Out strategy called for trade
and investment in developing countries to secure energy and raw materials for its
accelerating economy. Two decades later, China’s relationship with Africa is
evolving into a mature, balanced system of economic and political interests.
China is pushing to become the leading exporter of
civilian nuclear technology. Its first domestically designed reactor is a hard
sell abroad due to regulatory barriers and safety concerns, and the market for
nuclear power is stagnant at best. Beijing, however, can afford to offer
incentives to buyers and is not discouraged easily.
China has overtaken the IMF
and the World Bank as the biggest provider of loans to African and Latin
American governments. But that could soon change as slower Chinese growth and huge
investments in Eurasian transportation networks have crimped Beijing’s
finances. The inevitable cutbacks will strain what has been a mutual beneficial
relationship between China and other developing countries.
China’s interest in closer relations with France presents an impressive array of opportunities and risks. Economically, China’s hunger for technology and resources and France’s need for cash and markets make for a good fit between the partners. Yet Paris must weigh the benefits of Realpolitik against the dangers of strengthening a global competitor who may be seeki...
Dr. Emmanuel Martin