What crisis? 16 of China's biggest projects in Africa - it's all billion dollar territory in here

Earlier this year, Chinese state news agency Xinhua published that the country has so far in Africa completed some 1,046 projects, built railways to a total of 2,233 kilometres, and laid 3,350 km of highways. According to the largest public database of Chinese development finance in Africa, researchers claim that there are currently 3,030 active projects in Africa. China is clearly racing to deliver on commitments made in 2012 when then-president Hu Jintao offered $20 billion in loans to African countries, doubling its previous pledge.

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Abstract

Chinese “aid” is a lightning rod for criticism. Policy-makers, journalists, and public intellectuals claim that Beijing uses its largesse to cement alliances with political leaders, secure access to natural resources, and create exclusive commercial opportunities for Chinese firms—all at the expense of citizens living in developing countries. We argue that much of the controversy about Chinese “aid” stems from a failure to distinguish between China's Official Development Assistance (ODA) and more commercially oriented sources and types of state financing. Using a new database on China's official financing commitments to Africa from 2000 to 2013, we find that the allocation of Chinese ODA is driven primarily by foreign policy considerations, while economic interests better explain the distribution of less concessional flows. These results highlight the need for better measures of an increasingly diverse set of non-Western financial activities.

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