Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wow, China on my radar twice in one week!

More news on China's outreach to the developing world. I have before mentioned China's role in infrastructure investment/development in Africa and the consequent frustrations by the various African nations because China does not employ locals in these projects. This morning, NPR had a story on Chinese investment in.....Afghanistan! One of the key insights in this story was that because these investments are made by the Chinese government, not private companies, money is no object, so that competitive bidding just does not happen and firms from other countries do not have a chance. China wants access to Afghanistan's natural resources and wants to ensure delivery. They made the proposal to do these projects on the grounds of helping redevelop Afghanistan in the wake of war. They support NATO efforts and cause, but do not wish to commit military money or equipment. This seems admirable on the surface, except that they are not actually helping rebuild what the Afghans need. And as paranoid as China is about the Uighurs and other minorities, they are perfectly happy for other nations to deal with Islamist-based terrorism.

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