Interview Andrew Leung: “A new Africa-China alliance dedicated to free trade, multilateralism and world peace.”
Isabelle Dana Bilal, Director of editorial digital content at MEDays 2018 interviewed Andrew Leung, prominent international and independent China Strategist based in Hong Kong, who took part in the China-Africa Business Initiative at the MEDays Forum. He tells us his views about the state of China-Africa relations, the vision behind the new silk road and the possibilities a new Africa-China alliance offers on the world stage.
How would you define China’s economic policy in Africa ?
China’s policy in Africa is more than economic – it’s also geopolitical. Economically, China wants to obtain much-needed commodities and resources to drive its development. It wants to expand trade and markets, reinforcing its role as a central hub of the global supply and value chain. Geopolitically, China wants to win as many friends as possible among African nations. There is much to share in China’s development history. Friendly African nations would come in handy in supporting China’s positions in the United Nations. Africa also plays a strategic role in China’s national security both in terms of supply of energy and minerals as well as cementing China’s Belt and Road transport links e.g. via Djibouti.
Can you tell us the vision and objective behind the new silk road ?
The vision of the Belt and Road Initiative is to realize China’s national renaissance by creating a modern, transcontinental, maritime and overland infrastructure-trade-
Can a win-win Africa-China alliance shape a new economic and diplomatic power on the world stage
Africa is a continent on the move. It is the world’s largest untapped food basket. It has the world’s largest young population. By the end of this century, four out of ten people on this planet will be Africans. Like Africa, China suffers from a long history of foreign repression. There is much complementarity between Africa and China. China’s state-directed packaged engagement helps Africa build infrastructural capacity including expressways, high-speed rail, schools and hospitals much more efficiently than other players. China’s economy is set to become the world’s largest within the next 10-15 years. Together with a re-energised Africa, the two would become the world’s most influential group dedicated to free trade, multilateralism and world peace.