Congo’s $6 Billion China Accord

Is it the deal of the century or Africa’s great Chinese takeout?

Posted: 03/02/2011 09:48 AM EST
Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso & Chinese President Hu Jintao

Chinese president Hu Jintao and Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso.  (Photo by Tomohisa Kato-Pool/Getty Images)

While Washington is preoccupied with war in Afghanistan and Arab liberation movements, Beijing is feeding its insatiable “Made in China” machine by cranking out mega-deals to develop Africa’s infrastructure in return for rights to grab resources, such as minerals and oil.

Some African leaders compare these resource-for-infrastructure swaps to Marshall Plans — deals big enough to jumpstart economies. But critics in the West say the swaps amount to a “Great Chinese Takeout” or a series of sweetheart deals for the Asian colossus.

China’s biggest bet on the continent is a $6 billion accord with Congo, a country buried in debt but rich in virtually every known mineral, from gold and diamonds to coltan, a key element in cell phones, computer chips, nuclear reactors, and PlayStations. Congo has 80% of the world’s coltan reserves.

Read the full article at The Atlanta Post.



Image:  Tomohisa Kato-Pool/Getty Images