The price of Chinese oil
Ethan of My Heart’s in Accra recently posted a piece on China asking "Chinese trade with Africa – good or bad news?
"I’m a firm believer that a positive transformation of the African continent will come from increased trade, both between African nations and with other continents. But it’s hard not to have mixed feelings about the news that trade between China and Africa has increased 39% over the last year."
As Ethan points out African countries like to trade with China as unlike with the West there are no conditions, no questions, just trade which especially suits repressive regimes like those in Zimbabwe and Sudan.
China’s latest move is a $2.27 billion deal to buy a 45 percent stake in a substantial offshore oil field in Nigeria
China needs oil, and China is working everywhere" said Shen Dingli, an international relations expert at Fudan University in Shanghai.
And what will be their approach towards the Niger Delta, it’s ecology and people? Will they continue the abusive bully boy tactics of the Western multinationals such as Chevron and Shell destroying the environment and people’s livelihoods? Or will they use a more inclusive and respective approach negotiating directly with local communities? Judging by China’s track record of human rights and respect of the environment in China and their record in Sudan, I suspect that little will change for the people of the Niger Delta and may in fact become worse.