New Silk Road & BRICS

China Remains Committed to Africa’s Development

Jan. 14, 2018–Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Rwanda and Angola over the past two days, the first of four African nations he will visit on his first trip abroad in 2018. With Rwanda assuming chairmanship of the African Union for 2018 at the end of January, Wang discussed with Rwandan Foreign Minister  Mushikiwabo and Pres. Paul Kagame, preparations for this year’s summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). The aim of the summit will be to “dovetail China’s Belt and Road Initiative with African countries’ development strategies, thus boosting industrialization and modernization, and raising the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Africa to a new level,” Xinhua reported as Wang’s message.

FOCAC, joining the 52 African nations, China and the African Union, has held a summit every three years, alternating between Beijing and an African capital, since its founding in 2000. A three-year action plan between China and the African countries is adopted at each summit. Beijing hosts the FOCAC summit in 2018.    At the conclusion of his visit to Angola today, Wang told a joint press conference with Angolan Foreign Minister Manuel  Augusto, that China will continue to support Angola in its efforts to diversify and modernize its  economy through “accelerated industrialization … on behalf of peace and unity on the African continent,”  Angolan media reported.  Wang also stressed that China is not concerned about Angola’s debt, and Domingos Augusto reported that they had discussed mechanisms to make the debt sustainable without interrupting current and future projects which require a financial cushion.

Angola’s foreign debt is over $40 billion now, much of it owed to China. With the price of its major export, oil, still low, Western bankers talk of Angola’s “debt crisis.”

Xinhua reported that Wang discussed the debt in response to a reporter raising the Western canard that “China’s financing has increased the debt burden of African countries,” and carries political conditions attached. Wang was blunt: “Such a claim, which is made with ulterior motives, is an outright false accusation…. China’s financing is in response to Africa’s demands for self-development. A country has a huge need for capital in its primary stage of economic take-off and industrialization and Africa is no exception,” he said. He added that “China also passed through this process; these are temporary problems,” as reported by Angolan media.

Furthermore, China does not attach political conditions. “Like African countries, China also had memories of a bitter past when, with its economic lifeline controlled by foreigners, it was unfairly treated and even exploited and oppressed. Therefore, when providing aid to and engaging in cooperation with Africa, China will not repeat what Western countries did and will never impose its own views on others.” China follows the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results, Wang stated.

China will continue to do its part in helping Africa develop itself, Wang concluded, citing two Chinese sayings: “only the feet know if the shoes fit,” and “people have a sense of natural justice.” The African people are in the best position to decide who is Africa’s true friend and most reliable partner.

In its Third Year, AIIB Will Expand Lending to African and South American Nations

As the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) enters its third year of operations, its President Jin Liqun explained in an interview with the {South China Morning Post} that in the coming year, it intends to expand lending and operations to South American and African nations, as well as further into the Middle East as soon as that is possible.

Jin noted that with “quite a number” of South American nations joining the Bank, it will be a good idea to finance some middle-income projects in South America to “bring South America and Asia together,” and reduce transaction and shipping costs.

But, he stated, “I would also pay attention to supporting African member countries. Asia is developing quickly, but it cannot sustain itself well without collaborating closely with African countries.” Jin emphasized that the  geographical scope of the Bank’s activities makes clear its role “in pushing broader-based social and economic development in the member countries in which we invest.”

Responding to the claims from some quarters that the Bank is merely an instrument of China, Jin said quite the contrary is true. China “is committed to building the Bank into a multilateral development institution with 21st Century governance.” The AIIB is separate from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), he said, but that it is inescapable that some projects in which the AIIB is involved would be connected to the BRI, simply because of the scale of this global development project, which covers 60 countries across multiple land and maritime corridors.

Jin Liqun was emphatic that China strictly adheres to the Bank’s principle of multilateralism and internationalism. “There has never been any interference by the Chinese government in the decision-making process.”

China Shares Its Development with Africa & the World

Below are excerpts from a speech by Prof. He Wenping discussing “President Xi’s Perspective for the Year 2050 and the Perspective of African Development.”

Germany, November 25, 2017

The Industrialization of Africa

“Let’s quickly go to the One Belt, One Road: This is just what I call—this is not official, it’s what I call it—I think this is a 1.0 version of One Belt, One Road, because all those things you see, the Maritime one and the Silk Road continental one, go through 64 countries. In this 1.0 version, only Egypt is from Africa, among these 64 countries. But now, I think One Belt, One Road is entering 2.0 version—that is, now facing all the countries in the world. As President Xi Jinping mentioned to  the Latin American countries, “you are all welcome to join the Belt and Road.” In the Chinese “40 Minutes,” Xi said, all the African continent is  now on the map of the One Belt, One Road, the whole African continent, especially after the May Belt and Road Summit in Beijing had taken place.

“So now, its face is open to all the countries in the world, now it’s inclusive. Any country that would like to join, I would like to say. You see, these are two leaders in the world: People are saying “America First” is the idea. You see from abroad, Trump in the White House saying, “America First.” If anything is not too good for America, it’s not good at all. But, for President Xi Jinping, the One Belt, One Road is to make the world better. It’s not, “make China better,” because with all this Belt and Road, the Chinese foreign exchange reserves, we’re now enjoying the number-one highest foreign exchange reserves in the world.

“So, we’re going to use those foreign exchange reserves to build all those roads—connectivity! Connect China and other countries to join together, to build trade. And there are three connectivities we are talking about: First is the policy connectivity, China’s One Belt, One Road initiative is relevant to countries, their own development strategy. For example, Ethiopia.   Ethiopia has now been named as the “next China” on the African continent. It’s not my invention, these words—many scholars have been published talking
about which country in Africa is going to be the China in Africa, which means, developing faster! Faster and leading other countries forward. Most of them refer to Ethiopia.

” Ethiopia has now reached an GDP growth rate, last year, as high as 8%, but the whole rest of the continent, especially the oil rich countries, are suffering from lower oil prices. So they have developed an industrialization strategy; their strategy and the China strategy should be connected. One is called the policy connectivity

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China Moves Quickly To Support  Zimbabwe Ally: Sends Special Envoy

         China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Mr. Chen Xiaodong, arrived in Zimbabwe today as China’s Presidential special envoy to meet with the new government. He has already met President Emmerson Mnangagwa. China pledged to broaden its cooperation with Zimbabwe’s new administration to quicken economic development in the country.  Chen also delivered a special invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping to President Mnangagwa to visit China at a convenient time in the future.

“In our talk, President Mnangagwa and I agreed that, going forward, our two sides will continue to maintain high-level exchanges, deepen communication, enhance mutual political trust and carry our traditional friendship forward,” said Chen.

“The second point is: we are going to enhance the development strategy alignment between our two countries to ensure our practical cooperation will go deeper and broader, so as to inject more impetus to economic development and the people of Zimbabwe’s livelihood improvement. Thirdly, we will enhance solidarity and coordination in dealing with international affairs and jointly uphold the common interest of developing countries. We both have confidence in the future development of our bilateral relations.

“My mission is to convey the message of Chinese President Xi Jinping to His Excellency President Mnangagwa to demonstrate China’s support for the people and the new administration of Zimbabwe; to exchange views on deepening our traditional friendship and enhancing our cooperation in various fields.”

“President Xi Jinping congratulates President Mnangagwa on assumption of office in his message,” he said. “The President emphasizes that China and Zimbabwe are good friends, good partners and good brothers who have understood and supported each other over the years, and our relations have withstood the test of time, as well as changes in international situations.

“China firmly supports Zimbabwe in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions, and believes that the government and people of Zimbabwe have the wisdom and capability to manage their internal affairs well,” he said.

“President Mnangagwa said the government and people of Zimbabwe will not forget China’s support of Zimbabwe over the years, and that the government and people of Zimbabwe will not forget the precious support of China to Zimbabwe in critical moments in the development of the country, and fully appreciated the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides,” said Chen.

“President Mnangagwa also emphasizes that the Zimbabwe side attaches high importance to the development of our bilateral ties and that China will become his first stop outside of Africa.”


Will Pres. Trump Lead the US Into Cooperation With China’s Silk Road?

Despite the controversies surrounding President Trump, if he leads the United States into closer cooperation with China’s New Silk Road, a keystone policy of President Xi, then the potential for global economic development will be advanced. It appears from the meetings between Presidents Trump and Xi last week in China that there was progress in this direction.

{Global Times} Op-Ed Proclaims, ‘U.S. Participation in Belt and Road Inevitable’

November 14, 2017– This is the headline of an op-ed yesterday by Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at China’s Renmin University, writing in {Global Times}. He says that the trade deals from President Trump’s official visit to China “will enable the U.S. to better grasp the potential and prospects for economic cooperation. Against this background, it is time for the U.S. to reconsider joining the Belt and Road Initiative, which offers wider space for cooperation.”

“Sino-U.S. cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative will not only benefit economic and trade ties, but also shape the trajectory of a new mode of major-country relationship and the world in the next 50 years,” he writes.

“Although the U.S. has not announced it will take part in the Belt and Road, it already has connections with it,” he continues. This is the case in part because standards, rules, capital, technology, and personnel in projects are global, and also because U.S. companies are already involved.

He recommends that the two countries could work together on infrastructure, perhaps first in developed countries, such as regional cooperation in in the U.S. Midwest, and also on military resources; a challenging proposal. Defense Secretary Mattis has said that 19% of U.S. military facilities are idle, Wang reports.

These facilities could be developed by Chinese enterprises, he suggests. Cooperation could also be strengthened in the Maritime Silk Road context, regarding navigation, logistics, and maritime industry.

The U.S. and China could establish a “global infrastructure investment bank,” alongside global interconnection and global development programs. He concludes that such initiatives “will serve the two nations’ interests and benefit the world. What’s more, functional participation and constructional cooperation has always been what Trump aims for.”

Progress Report on the Chinese Economy: High-Tech Manufacturing Is Growing at 13.4% Per Year

Xinhua reported Nov. 13 on third quarter 2017 results for the Chinese economy, as presented by Zhang Liqun, researcher with the State Council’s Development Research Center.

Although the reported growth rates are for GDP measured in monetary terms, in the case of China these numbers undoubtedly track closely with actual physical economic processes–which is emphatically {not} the case in the trans-Atlantic sector, where GDP includes every form of speculative insanity, drugs, and whatnot.

The year-on-year overall growth rate in China for the first three quarters of 2017 was 6.9%, which was higher than expected.

Most interesting is that “the high-tech and equipment manufacturing sectors posted stellar growth in the first three quarters, with output up 13.4% and 11.6% respectively,” Xinhua reported. Investment in high-tech manufacturing rose even more dramatically, by 18.4%, up from 11.7% for the same period in 2016.

Job creation is correspondingly strong: China created almost

11 million jobs in the first three quarters of 2017–300,000 more than the same period last year. Official unemployment in Chinese cities stands at 3.95%, the lowest level since 2008.

The Xinhua article also quoted the chief economist at the Bank of China, Cao Yuanzheng, who said that it is of vital importance to contain financial risks, including “countering debt, shadow banking and asset bubbles.” Even Moody’s had to admit, in a recent research note, that “a stronger policy focus on financial sector regulation should continue to restrain the growth of shadow banking activities, help mitigate asset risks for the banks, and address some key imbalances in the financial system.”

On poverty reduction, which is the central concern of President Xi Jinping and the entire national leadership, Vice Premier Wang Yang presided over a meeting of the State Council’s group on poverty reduction on Nov. 13. Wang emphasized that they had to be focused on “enhancing a sense of mission and crisis awareness, and targeting problems to fulfill the Party’s promise to the Chinese people and the international community,” Xinhua wrote. (The fact that Wang presented this policy as a commitment to {the international community} is especially notable.) Wang added that to meet these goals it was necessary to train local authorities, “stressing the importance of carrying out research and investigation, and averting formalism.”


Party Congress Highlights China’s Emergence on the World Stage

William Jones

October 21, 2017

Xi’s goals for China

President Xi divided the period ahead into two stages. The first stage will be the period between 2020 and 2035, when China will achieve its full modernization.
Then, from 2035 to 2050, China will be transformed into a great modern socialist country that is “prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced,
harmonious and beautiful.” “In this state we will reach new heights,” Xi said. “China’s capacity for governance will be achieved. There will be prosperity for all
and the Chinese people will be happier and safer. By that time, we will also have become an active member of the community of nations.”

Achievements under Xi

In opening the Congress, President Xi outlined the advances made in the last five years, his first term as President. In this period, China capped the achievement
of bringing 700 million people out of poverty since about 1980, “with the middle income group expanding.”
“Arts and culture are thriving,” Xi said. “China’s soft power and international influence have increased considerably, and there have been advances in the
central and western regions. Making development people centered has paid off. We have been more purposeful in developing green technology, and we
have revitalized the armed forces.” Xi underlined the efforts China had made in developing major-country diplomacy, pointing as examples of this, to
the development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the creation of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the G-20 Hangzhou meeting and the
Asia Pacific Cooperation Forum (APEC) Leaders meeting. “We have made major contributions to global peace and development. The changes have been
fundamental and profound. We have solved problems that had never been tackled, and these changes will have far-reaching effects.

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BRICS not a talking shop but a task-force that gets things done: President Xi Jinping September 3, 2017

In an address at the opening session of the BRICS Business Forum on Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the global economy is “still not healthy enough” and that economic globalisation is facing many uncertainties. 1200 industry representatives from the BRICS nations and other countries were in attendance at the Xiamen business forum. Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma also attended the meeting. Responding to critics of BRICS, Xi said, although the five economies “have encountered headwinds of varying intensity but the growth potential and growth trends of these countries remain unchanged”.

“In the past 10 years, BRICS combined GDP has grown by 179%, trade by 94% & urban population by 28%,” Xi said on Sunday underlining the growing clout of the bloc. BRICS, Xi said, are not a talking shop but a task force that gets things done. “The New Development Bank and the contingency reserve arrangement have provided financing support for infrastructure building and sustainable development of the BRICS contributing to enhanced global economic governance and building an international financial safety net,” Xi noted. The $100 billion BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) became fully operational following the inaugural meetings of the BRICS CRA Board of Governors and the Standing Committee in the Turkish capital of Ankara in 2015.

Aside from the BRICS Bank and the BRICS monetary fund, the bloc will also discuss a joint energy platform, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Sunday, Xi reminded the audience that BRICS seek a multipolar world. “Our world today is becoming increasingly multipolar. The law of the jungle where the strong preyed on the weak and the zero sum game have been rejected,” Xi said. “BRICS cooperation is a natural choice made by our five countries. In the past decade, we, the BRICS countries, have surged ahead and become the bright spot in the global economy…BRICS future cooperation must be based on “treating each other as equals”, Xi said.

BRICS Summit 2017 Key takeaways from Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Speeech

# “I am convinced that as long as we take a holistic approach to fighting terrorism in all its forms, and address both its symptoms and root causes, terrorists will have no place to hide.”

# “Construction of a tall building starts with a foundation. We have laid the foundation and put in place the framework for BRICS cooperation.”

# “In terms of BRICS cooperation, decisions are made through consultation, not by one country. We respect each other’s model of development, accommodate each other’s concern and work to enhance strategic communication and mutual trust.”

#”Given the difference in national conditions, history and cultures, it is only natural we may have some differences in pursuing our cooperation. However, with a strong faith in cooperation and enhancing collaboration the BRICS countries can achieve steady progress in our cooperation.”

# “Leveraging our respective strengths and converging interests, we have put in place a leaders-driven cooperation framework that covers wide-ranging areas and multiple levels.”

# “BRICS countries should improve macroeconomic policy coordination, synergize development strategies, leverage strengths in industrial structure and resources endowment, and create value chains and a big market for shared interests to achieve interconnected development.”

# “We should blaze a new path which may also help other emerging market and developing countries to seize opportunities and meet challenges.”

# “The long road to global peace and development will not be a smooth one. More than 700 million people are still living in hunger, tens of millions of people have been displaced and become refugees, while many people, including innocent children, have been killed in conflicts.”

# “Global economy has resumed growth, with emerging markets and developing countries delivering a strong performance. A new round of technological and industrial revolution is in the making, and reform and innovation are gaining momentum.

# “We have enough reason to believe that our world will be a better place.”

# “We should push for an open world economy, promote trade liberalisation and facilitation, jointly create a new global value chain, and realise a global economic rebalancing.”

# Xi said he still had “full confidence” in BRICS countries’ development despite claims that the bloc’s relevance had faded due to slower growth.

# “The development of emerging market and developing countries won’t touch anyone’s cheese, but instead will diligently grow the world economic pie.”

Xi closed his 45-minute speech by saying that Beijing encouraged Chinese companies to continue going abroad, and “warmly welcomed” other countries’ firms to invest in the world’s second-largest economy.

5 banks of BRICS nations sign pact for credit lines:

BEIJING: Five banks of the BRICS Bank Cooperation Mechanism have agreed to establish credit lines in the national currencies and cooperate on credit ratings. The agreement was signed ahead of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in China’s Xiamen city tomorrow in which leaders of the five countries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are scheduled to take part.  “Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Vnesheconombank, Export-Import Bank of India, China Development Bank and Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) have signed an agreement to establish credit lines in the national currencies, as well as a memorandum of cooperation on credit ratings,” Russian news agency TASS Reported.

The Chinese official said “the decision was taken in order to bolster further cooperation.” The agreement on credit ratings reportedly enables them to share information about internal credit ratings and rating assessment.

Zuma highlights SA’s plans for development at BRICS Summit

Sunday 3 September 2017: Tshepo Phagane: President Jacob Zuma has appealed for increased intra-BRICS trade to counter the negative impact of the global economic slowdown.  The President was delivering a speech at the 9th Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) business forum in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen.  China and India remain the two fastest growing largest economies in the BRICS grouping.

In recent years the other three member-countries Brazil, Russia and South Africa have been experiencing slow growth largely driven by external factors such as weak global trade, decline in commodity prices, and tightening global financial conditions. President Zuma has made an impassioned plea for more foreign direct investment flows towards struggling economies like South Africa. “In as much as South Africa is endowed with natural resources, it is critical that we have in place beneficiation programmes that support our industrialization policy. It is in this regard, that we call upon our BRICS partners to collaborate with us in a few areas. This includes investing in supply and development programmes in Africa, skills development and technology transfer.

“We also wish to remind our Brics partners that given the history of institutionalised racism in South Africa, we continue to work hard to reverse the impact on the economy.” According to Zuma, South Africa has also set a plan to tackle the injustice and marginalisation of black people in the country.


Analysis of China and the Belt and Road Initiative, and US

Patrick Lawrence

Aug. 17, 2017–The same Patrick Lawrence who researched the VIPS analysis of the fake Russian hacking of the DNC, and broke the story wide open by publishing it in {The Nation,} also wrote a detailed analysis of China’s role in the creation of the new paradigm, just days after the historic Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in May.

Called “How China Is Building the Post-Western World — Beijing’s Belt and Road project may be the largest single infrastructure program in human history,” it was also published in {The Nation}, on May 16. Lawrence begins by saying that he has often written about what he calls “parity between West and non-West,” calling it “the single most pressing necessity of our century if we are to make an orderly world out of the deranged, dysfunctional botch those responsible for it still get away with calling the postwar order, the liberal order, the global order — all of which are polite ways of saying the Western-designed, Western-imposed order.”

He described the Belt and Road Forum as China and Xi Jinping “constructing — on the ground as well as in the history books — something like a new world order.” He says a “post-Western world” is coming into being, adding: “It is what Vladimir Putin, who seems to have an excellent grasp of history, is talking about — the first, second, and third reasons we are supposed to detest and fear him. It is what formations such as the BRICs… are all about.”

He identifies four western responses: “They ignore it, dismiss it as unlikely to work, or mark it down to cynical self-interest or a plot to accumulate power.” The first was characterized by Obama refusing to join the AIIB–“a more stupidly arrogant call one cannot imagine.”

He describes the Silk Road Project as “almost certainly the largest single infrastructure program in human history,” and notes that Trump sent a serious representative to the Forum, and is considering joining the AIIB. But, he adds, the vast majority of western responses to the Belt and Road are absurd, claiming it is a power grab or a frantic effort to deal with a decline of their own economy, noting that the leaders in the West “have no clue as to the larger import of what we now witness, or simply cannot face it.”

Getting to the point, he says: “When was the last time the United States built Laotians a railway on any terms, never mind China’s (low-interest loans, extended terms)? Think about what a century of fraternal ties to the United States has given the

Philippines: You have to start with poverty, prostitution, dope, crime, desperation — all rampant. Don’t wonder why President Duterte now likes to spend his time in Beijing (as do the Malaysians, the Thais, the Vietnamese)…. China also sees advantage in the prosperity of others, and this thought overarches the others by many magnitudes. This has to be squared with all the reductionist accounts of the Chinese as merely selfish.”

He reflects: “The criticism of Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road plans now emanating from the West is best understood as a mirror. The imposition of an ideology, the Chinese model, a be-like-us imperative? The projection of power upon other peoples? Loans and development projects structured to the dominant nation’s advantage? Conditionality in the manner of the Western multilaterals? The cultivation of corruption to gain influence? The threat of intervention? Turn it all around and you have a picture of Western policy, America the most accomplished practitioner, since 1945.”

Historically, he notes: “Recall the Five Principles Zhou Enlai advanced (along with Nehru) at the Bandung Conference back in 1955, noninterference the animating thought in four of them. Xi practically recited them this week in Beijing.”

He concludes by quoting a friend who said: the “Chinese understand themselves as a non-Western people. Depending on whom one is talking to, they are perfectly clear that their intent is to claim, for themselves and others, the fullness of human existence heretofore available only to the Westerner. This is a thumbnail definition of parity, maybe.

“A lot of people, too far inside Western ideology and its attendant assumptions, may be uncomfortable with the thought that nations such as China are bringing centuries of Atlantic hegemony to a close. The task is to grasp that there are alternative perspectives, appealing to one’s sensibilities or otherwise — other ideas of democracy, other ideas of the place of the state, the place of the individual, the worth of public goods, the limits of the market, and so on. Development as freedom, Amartya Sen argued in a book of that title at the turn of this century. Westerners are unaccustomed to thinking in such terms. Most of the world still must.”


 ‘Belt & Road’ May Catalyze China-US Cooperation in Africa

  • He Wenping

    May 15 , 2017

    Senior Fellow, Charhar Institute

Since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, it has become a signature achievement of China’s diplomacy of peaceful development and has been well-received globally. In the three years since it was proposed, more than 100 countries and international organizations have participated in Belt and Road cooperation, and more than 70 countries related to the initiative have signed agreements with China to cooperate in the Belt and Road construction. Africa, which has rich resources, huge market potential and strong demand for infrastructure, has also actively embraced the Belt and Road, eager to grasp the historic opportunity.


The US government, under President Donald Trump, wants to reduce its aid to Africa and to upgrade its domestic infrastructure facilities under the doctrine of “America First”. African development is one of the priorities in China’s international cooperation plans, and the United States cares more about its domestic infrastructure upgrading. But both China and the US stress infrastructure construction, and this could offer an opportunity for the two to cooperate in Africa under the Belt and Road Initiative.

China-African cooperation is advancing steadily through infrastructure connectivity and industrial cooperation. First, to promote Africa’s industrialization through investments in infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, Three planned transport networks — railway, highway and aviation — will be constructed on the African continent, designed to linking the capital cities of all African countries, and industrialization and economic integration in Africa will also be greatly promoted. This is not only the responsibility of China as a big country and as Africa’s true friend, but also the requirement to transform and upgrade China-African economic cooperation and trade. Of the 10 major cooperation plans put forward at the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in December 2015, the plans for industrialization and infrastructure cooperation were the most prominent aspects, and were also the “dual engines” driving Africa’s economic growth. To implement the plans, the China-Africa Fund for Industrial Cooperation was set up, with initial capital of $10 billion from China, and China also arranged an additional $5 billion for the China-Africa Development Fund and an additional $5 billion in special loans for the development of small and medium-sized African enterprises. China planned to construct or upgrade a batch of industrial parks in African countries, and set up regional vocational training and education centers and several capacity-building colleges to train 200,000 technical workers for Africa. China also planned to provide training opportunities in China for 40,000 Africans. At present, the China-Africa industrial cooperation has already started bearing fruit. The Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway was completed and put into operation as scheduled in October 2016, and the Mombasa-Nairobi railway is progressing smoothly and is slated for completion this year. The construction of industrial parks and industrial belts along the two railways is also making good progress.

According to incomplete statistics, since the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in December 2015, China and African nations have signed 245 agreements, involving investments totaling $50.755 billion. Of the amount, Chinese government aid to Africa accounted for a mere 1.07%, preferential loans took up only 6.24%, and direct investments by Chinese enterprises and commercial loans took the lion’s share — $46.553 billion or 91.73% of the total. This indicated that China-Africa cooperation has shifted from government aid to corporate investments and financing cooperation; from general merchandise trade to production capacity cooperation and processing trade; and from contract engineering to investments and financial cooperation. These trends are still gaining momentum.

Not long ago, US President Trump said that his infrastructure plan has been “largely completed”, and the infrastructure package could cost $1 trillion in investment in 10 years. It has been learned that the plan covers more than transportation infrastructure such as highways and bridges, it will also include the construction of facilities such as energy, water and potentially broadband and veterans hospitals. The latest news suggests that the Trump administration wants to strengthen cooperation with China in the field of infrastructure construction, and Chinese companies, which have abundant cash and technological advantages, are also eager to play their role in the American market of infrastructure construction. When people begin to visualize cooperation between Chinese and US companies in American infrastructure construction, we could also envision the bright prospects of Chinese-US cooperation in infrastructure construction in Africa under the Belt and Road Initiative.  The African continent is short as much as $100 billion of funds for infrastructure construction on a yearly basis. In terms of financing, China and the US could, first of all, explore ways to jointly invest in African infrastructure projects through cooperation between the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the BRICS Development Bank (now New Development Bank) and the China-invested Silk Road Fund with financial institutions such as the US-dominated World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Second, along with China-Africa cooperation shifting from government aid towards corporate investment and financing, Chinese companies (both State-owned enterprises and a growing number of private firms) may jointly invest in, undertake to construct and even operate infrastructure projects in Africa together with American companies, and such scenarios are no longer something out of reach.

To accelerate the process of industrialization and infrastructure construction, African nations and the African Union have already formulated important strategies for development, including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (issued in 2001), the Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (published in 2008), the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (issued in 2013) and Agenda 2063 (issued in 2013). Africa pins high hopes on its integration with the Belt and Road Initiative to promote African industrialization and infrastructure construction, and to turn the 21st century into an era of African development. During this process, the US and China, the two largest economies in the world, could and should play historic role



BRICS, China, and Ethiopia Promote Industrialization

BRICS ministers adopt new industrial action plan

The industry ministers from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) adopted a new action plan to deepen industrial cooperation among the five nations, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said in a statement on Sunday. Davies and his counterparts from the BRICS grouping attended a meeting in Hangzhou, China where industrial and manufacturing matters were discussed and which culminated in the adoption of a seven-point action plan. “The action plan states that the world economy is still in a period of profound adjustment after the international financial crisis,” Davies said.

“Industrial sectors, the manufacturing sector and the service sectors related to it in particular, have become key factors in sustaining mid- and long-term economic development.” At the meeting, the ministers acknowledged that the new industrial revolution of digitisation among other things will change traditional production flows and business models that will give rise to new industrial forms.

The following seven points have been identified as key in the action plan:

strengthen industrial capacity cooperation

strengthen the coordination and match-making in the field of industrial policies

promote the cooperation in the development of new industrial infrastructure

expand cooperation in technological development and innovation

deepen cooperation in the field of small and medium enterprises (SMMEs)

strengthen cooperation in standard area

facilitate all-round cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

He emphasized that industrial development strategies and investment cooperation have to grapple with the potential threats in particular in the context of high unemployment.  Davies said the industrial development cooperation between the Brics countries can be used as a springboard to foster growth and development and create work opportunities. BRICS countries will focus on using their respective rich natural and human resources and broad domestic markets to broaden industrial capacity and policies, while working together in developing new industrial infrastructure and technology.

Chinese investment leads way as Ethiopia opens to outside

As Ethiopia, the most populous nation in East Africa, is spreading its economic relations across the globe, investment from the world’s most populous nation China is playing a prominent role. Ethiopia, with a population of some 100 million, is a country on the move with rail, air and road infrastructure projects and an ambitious industrialization plan.

Ethiopia keenly needs investment from industrial giants like China to give its burgeoning population, which is estimated to grow by 2 million annually, ample employment opportunities. According to the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC), there have been 279 Chinese companies with more than 571-million-U.S.-dollars worth of investment, creating more than 28,300 jobs in Ethiopia between January 2012 and January 2017.

Huajian Industrial Holding Company Limited, a Chinese company that has a long-term investment plan in Ethiopia, is operating two plants in the country. Yin Xinjun, Vice General Manager at Ethiopia Division of Huajian Industrial Holding Company Limited, says Huajian’s decision to have its first plant in Ethiopia stems from the country’s firm desire for industrialization. In fact, a personal call for more investment by late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi during an August 2011 visit to China is what motivated initially Huajian to invest in Ethiopia, says Yin. According to Yin, Huajian’s investment in its first African plant had overcome several challenges, including logistical ones. Huajian initially had to transport its goods through an overcrowded highway from the plant in landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti port. The problem has been partially solved with the construction of the 85-km Addis Ababa-Adama Expressway funded partly by the Export-Import Bank of China (China EXIM bank) and built by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). The 500-million-dollar expressway was inaugurated in May, 2014.

Huajian also had to face intermittent power and water outages. The Ethiopian government later solved this problem through a special water and power line for the Eastern Industry Zone where Huajian’s first plant is located. Overcoming these challenges, Huajian currently employs more than 4,000 Ethiopians with a plan to increase employment to 50,000 people by 2022. Having established a plant in the Dukem industrial zone, 37 km south of Addis Ababa, Huajian is currently building a massive 138-hectare international light industry city in Addis Ababa. With the completion of the light industry city, Huajian foresees increasing its export revenue from 30 million dollars in 2016 to 4 billion dollars by 2022

However Western critics warn Ethiopia of being trapped in a neo-colonial relationship and some Ethiopians wonder if the Ethiopia-China relationship comes at the expense of other countries. Gedion Jalata, Program Manager of Africa China Dialogue Platform at Oxfam International, says both views miss the mutual beneficial and sovereignty respecting aspect of the bilateral relations. Jalata points out that Ethiopia is one of the beneficiaries of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

While Ethiopia is attracting massive Chinese investment in infrastructure projects, the Ethiopian government has set its sight in particular on Chinese involvement in industry parks. Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport, says the country plans to utilize Chinese built infrastructure to boost its industrial exports. Shide is especially keen on the 4.2-billion-dollar Chinese built and financed 756 km Ethiopia-Djibouti electrified rail line to boost its industrial exports.


The New Name for Peace is Economic Development

Helga Zepp LaRouche

July 7, 2017

I think that we are all aware that we are involved in the historically important process of trying to improve the relationship between the United States and China, in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is especially important in the area of agriculture and food production, because this is an extremely urgent question. While at the G-20 meeting in Hangzhou last year, China and all the other participating nations devoted themselves to eradicate poverty by the year 2020, we have not yet reached that goal.

Because of what China has been doing in Africa for the first time; building up huge industrial complexes.   Africans have a new sense of self-confidence, and they are telling the Europeans that: “We don’t want your sermons on good governance, we want to have investments in infrastructure, in manufacturing, in agriculture, as equal business partners.” {There is no substitute for Africans having their own manufacturing sector to help expand their agricultural output. }

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 New Report Debunks Myth of China Colonialism in Africa

Lawrence Freeman

July 3, 2017

A new report, “Dance of the lions and dragons,” released by McKinsey & Co. supplies valuable information that exposes the lie of “China Inc” exploiting Africa and instead details the how private Chinese companies are providing jobs and training that is advancing economics growth in African nations.

The following is included in McKinsey’s report:

*findings suggest there are more than 10,000 Chinese owned firms operating in Africa.

*31 percent Chinese companies are involved in manufacturing, estimated to be 12 percent of Africa’s industrial production-valued at $500 billion a year. These firms serve domestic markets with 93 percent of revenues from local or regional sales.

*these Chinese firms claim nearly 50 percent of Africa’s internationally contracted construction market.

*74 percent of Chinese firms are optimistic about the future.

*over 1,000 companies interviewed, 89 percent of employees were Africans, adding up to over 300,000 African jobs. Extrapolating to all 10,000 Chinese owned businesses, several million Africans are already being employed by these firms. Chinese SOEs employ an 81 percent African workforce.

*44 percent of local mangers of Chinese owned businesses surveyed were Africa, with some firms at 80 percent.

*with a “business as usual” model in the three industries dominated by Chinese firms–infrastructure, manufacturing, and resources–Chinese firms in Africa would grow from $180 billion in revenues today to $250 billion in 2025, By expanding aggressively into new sectors, revenues could reach $440 billion in by 2025.

*In Ethiopia 62 percent of nearly 700 Chinese firms are manufacturing.

*Chinese commitments to infrastructure amount to $21 billion, more than the combined total the African Development Bank, European Commission, World Bank, International Finance Corporation and the G-8 nations.

While I do not agree with all of the report’s recommendations, it is clear that China has done more to transform Africa than all Western nations. However, given the huge infrastructure deficit in Africa, there is no zero-sum limit, and no competition for limited markets. China’s New Silk Road provides an opportunity for Africa, the United States and Europe to collaborate with China in creating an economic renaissance for the people of Africa.

Read: Dance of the lions and dragons


THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE: A New Trajectory for Mankind

by William Jones
June 30, 2017
When China’s President, Xi Jinping,announced the Silk Road Economic Belt project in September 2013, it took the world by surprise. But it didn’t come totally out of the blue. Anyone closely following events in the region would have known that there were a number of strands that had been coming together since the collapse of the
Soviet Union, which converged in the concept so eloquently enunciated by President Xi in his speech at Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev University in September 2013. There, he presented his idea of the Silk Road Economic
Belt, and then one month later, he announced the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road

Once the United States Joins the Belt and Road Initiative, a New Paradigm for Mankind Can Begin

Helga Zepp LaRouche

May 14-15, 2017, Bejing China

China Investment Magazine, supervised by China’s National Development and Reform Commission,  arried this article by Helga Zepp-LaRouche in its May issue. The article was distributed both in Chinese and in English to every participant in the May 14-15 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. 

Thus, the return on infrastructure investment is actually measured by the increase of the productivity of the entire economy. Therefore the financing can not be left to the private investor, but it must be the responsibility of the state, which is devoted to the common good of the national economy.

The most important aspect of the concept of the United States joining with the Belt and Road Initiative, however, would be to inspire the whole population with hope for the future, a better future for generations to come—something which has been lost in the last five decades

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Beijing Belt and Road Forum Launches ‘Project of the Century’

William Jones

May 16, 2017

The Belt and Road Forum, held in Beijing on May 14-15, brought together 29 heads of state and heads of government and over 1,500 delegates, including many heads of think-tanks dealing with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Most prominent among these was Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche, who is considered by many Chinese scholars as the inspiration behind the project. During the conference, Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche received extensive media coverage and was well received by all the delegates. The Forum was a clear consolidation by the Chinese government of the overwhelming support for the Belt and Road Initiative by over 100 governments and international institutions.


Initiative charting new trajectory for mankind

William Jones

May 10, 2017

It was no doubt the unique circumstances of China’s internal and external developments during the first decade of this century that convinced President Xi Jinping to place the Belt and Road Initiative at the top of China’s foreign policy agenda.

More importantly, China has reinvigorated with the Belt and Road spirit, the spirit which imbued the ancient Silk Road with its profound exchange of both goods and ideas. That was a period of time during which there was a tremendous exchange of goods-silk, spices, jade and gold.

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The New Silk Road Concept, Facing the Collapse of the World Financial System

Helga Zepp LaRouche

November 17, 2016

To finance all of this China together with the other BRICS countries, a completely alternative financial system, responding to the fact that in the last decades the activities of the IMF and the World Bank have betrayed criminal neglect of funding infrastructure in the developing countries, leading to the underdevelopment of such continents as Latin America or Africa, or large parts of Asia. China remedied that by creating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015, which immediately, despite massive pressure from Washington not to do so, had 57 founding members

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Progresses Report on China’s Belt and Road Initiative

William Jones

October 21, 2016

While the U.S. public has only recently become acquainted with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) because of the almost total neglect of the project by the myopic U.S. media, the BRI has already shown itself to be the most comprehensive development project since the post-war Marshall Plan. But the BRI has already gone far beyond the Marshall Plan in the magnitude of investment and number of countries benefiting from it.

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South Africa’s Role in the BRICS Vision

Mr. Van Niekerk, South African Embassy in Denmark

January 30, 2015

The New Development Bank is aimed at achieving the central desired objective, namely to ensure that funding becomes available for priority infrastructure and sustainable development projects. The question  whether this central objective could be met, is now becoming a reality, so there’s no question about it. In South Africa, we also have our own infrastructure plan, which requires funding beyond the means of our own fiscus, and this bank will certainly bring complementary funding to facilitate the implementation of such projects

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The BRICS Perspective for African Development

Themble Joyini, Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN.

January 17, 2015

On BRICS, I agree, this is just the beginning of a new international economic order; it will be a gradual, but steady process. I also agree that not everybody would agree on the importance of the BRICS bank, but the creation of the BRICS bank is significant for the future international order for three reasons. Second, the BRICS bank demonstrates China’s global leadership. Given China’s huge size and quick development, there is little doubt that the world truly needs China’s leadership

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