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China into Africa: Trade, Aid, and Influence

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0815775614
ISBN-10: 081577561X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rotberg, a versatile and prolific scholar, has edited another useful volume on the burgeoning literature on China-Africa relations.... The scope, quality, and selective uniqueness of its contents make China into Africa one of the better works in the field. Recommended." — CHOICE



"In China into Africa, Robert Rotberg's multinational slate of authors introduce key issues in this literature from a variety of perspectives. The result is a volume worth reading cover to cover.... [It] provides a fascinating introduction not only to a variety of issues at stake in Sino-African relations, but also, necessarily, to the issues at stake in the study of those relations." —Elizabeth Sperbee, Journal of International Affairs

About the Author

Robert I. Rotberg directs the the Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and is president of the World Peace Foundation. He is the author or editor of numerous books including Worst of the Worst: Dealing with Repressive and Rogue Nations (Brookings, 2007), Building a New Afghanistan (Brookings, 2007), and Battling Terrorism in the Horn of Africa (Brookings, 2005).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Inst. Press/World Peace Fdn. (October 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081577561X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815775614
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,236,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the modest number of books focused on China in Africa, this is one of the two best, and both are unique--if you buy only one, at least read my summary of the other, China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing's Expansion in Africa. Whereas this book is a best in class collection of academic essays, China Safari is direct journalism with wonderful color photos and direct ground-truth stories.

While this book good easily be five stars in terms of staid academic documentation and reasonable insights, is just does not give me--nor does the other book--a 360 degree view aided by a few maps and charts. This is all print, and while there is a great deal of detail, the over-all synthesis and analysis is not there--each piece stands on its own. Here are my distilled notes.
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This was a rather dry book to read. I guess I expected interviews with the Chinese working in Africa and the views of the Africans themselves on the Chinese presence in their continent. Instead it was a bunch of economic essays and policy papers. For the more personal aspect of this relationship, I recommend "China Safari" by Serge Michel and Michel Beuret. The only people benefiting from the China-Africa relationship are the Chinese and African politicians. The Chinese politicians and businessmen get rich, the African politicians get their kickbacks and bribes, while the ordinary Chinese and Africans don't get the benefits. The Chinese workers aren't paid that much and are in constant danger of kidnapping. The ordinary Africans don't benefit either because the imported Chinese are the ones who are getting the work to build the infrastructure. Also in the end, the infrastructure the Chinese build is so substandard that they don't last that long for the Africans to enjoy.
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I gave this book a 4 star only because it is the first book I read covering the Africa/China topic, just did not give it a 5 star incase there are better books out there covering this topic, but i doubt there are. The relationship between Africa and China has become a hot topic and I have been for a long time looking for a book that will give me an insight into this relationship and I must say after a I read it, a lot of things were put into perspective.

Being African myself, I have always viewed China's 'economic invasion' of Africa with skepticism. I always asked myself, what is it that the Chinese are looking for in Africa and why the relationship with our continent.The skepticism was fair given the West's relationship with Africa in the past which resulted in colonialism. The concern I always had was whether China is now substituting the West and taking us back to colonialism. Well, this book, again shed some light with respect to China's real intentions with Africa. The book was written based on articles/journals by many scholers and writers that are familiar with the relationship and it is very objective in my opinion, as what is presented is not necessarily the authors views, but what was reached as conclusions from the articles/journals and books from different people.

When I finished reading this book, my skepticism of China in Africa was almost completely wiped out. It was so well presented to an extent that it gave a deeper understading on many of the hot topics related to this relationship (i.e., economic, trade, military, politics, etc). What I appreciate from China as opposed to the West is Beijing's emphasis on 'mutual benefit' between China and respective African states.
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This book is by far the best book available on Sino-African relations. It covers every aspect including political, economic, military and cultural ties between China and Africa in 20th and 21st Century with a special emphasis on China's commercial ties including oil trading. It is a must for scholars and researchers.
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