"The Beijing Conference": See How China Quietly Took Over Africa

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in 1885, to much fanfare, the General Act of the Berlin Conference launched the Scramble for Africa which saw the partition of the continent, formerly a loose aggregation of various tribes, into the countries that currently make up the southern continent, by the dominant superpowers (all of them European) of the day. Subsequently Africa was pillaged, plundered, and in most places, left for dead. The fact that a credit system reliant on petrodollars never managed to take hold only precipitated the "developed world" disappointment with Africa, no matter what various enlightened, humanitarian singer/writer/poet/visionaries claim otherwise. And so the continent languished. Until what we have dubbed as the "Beijing Conference" quietly took place, and to which only Goldman Sachs, which too has been quietly but very aggressively expanding in Africa, was invited. As the map below from Stratfor shows, ever since 2010, when China pledged over $100 billion to develop commercial projects in Africa, the continent has now become de facto Chinese territory. Because where the infrastructure spending has taken place, next follow strategic sovereign investments, and other modernization pathways, until gradually Africa is nothing but an annexed territory for Beijing, full to the brim with critical raw materials, resources and supplies. So while the "developed world" was and continues to deny the fact that it is broke, all the while having exactly zero money to invest in expansion, China is quietly taking over the world. Literally.


More from Stratfor:

In late July, Beijing hosted the 5th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, during which China pledged up to $20 billion to African countries over the next three years. China has proposed or committed about $101 billion to commercial projects in Africa since 2010, some of which are under negotiation while others are currently under way. Together, construction and natural resource deals total approximately $90 billion, or about 90 percent of Chinese commercial activity in Africa since 2010. These figures could be even higher because of an additional $7.5 billion in unspecified commitments to South Africa and Zambia, likely intended for mining projects. Of the remaining $3 billion in Chinese commercial commitments to Africa, about $2.1 billion will be used on local manufacturing projects. While China has proposed $750 million for agriculture and general development aid and about $50 million to support small- and medium-sized business development in addition to the aforementioned projects, it has been criticized for the extractive nature of its relationship with many African countries, as well as the poor quality of some of its construction work. However, since many African countries lack the indigenous engineering capability to construct these large-scale projects or the capital to undertake them, African governments with limited resources welcome Chinese investments enthusiastically. These foreign investment projects are also a boon for Beijing, since China needs African resources to sustain its domestic economy, and the projects in Africa provide a destination for excess Chinese labor.

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Tyler Durden's picture

Was that the "rockfellar center" in Harare? Or in Djibouti?

i-dog's picture

You owe me a new keyboard! Damn coffee....

Nachdenken's picture

thought it was chow mein in your cup

NotApplicable's picture

Bedrock, duh.


RSloane's picture

Don't knock Djibouti. They make our infrastructure look great. Just don't look while your plane lands.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Interesting.  The Chinese want the resources, no suprise.  The Chinese are now similar to Americans and are now wondering "what are all our resources doing under their soil?"

China and the U.S. elite have been on the same page for 30+ years folks, wake up.  This is why China was given unprecedented access to American markets to begin with.

Dr. Engali's picture

You're sounding like AnAnonymous.

akak's picture

It's just more Chinese blobbing-up.

Make me laugh!

AnAnonymous's picture

Chinese Citizenism.

'Americans' should not be shy. They should shout out of their lungs their fathering of the great system.

It is not Chinese citizenism: it is 'Americanism'

Chinese are just copycats, they did not invent the bitz.

'Americans' did. And 'Americanism' is spreading in China.

'Americanism' is spreading all around the world.

1776, July,4th, the day when human beings were saved.

WhyDoesItHurtWhen iPee's picture

We were waiting for you to show up.  You must have been taking a roadside dump deposit near an empty city.

akak's picture

Empty cities.

Fecally full roadsides.

Chinese Citizenism in action.

tmosley's picture

That doesn't sound like the way they are thinking to me.  They are investing in their countries wihtout first destroying them.  Big difference.  This way MIGHT actually work.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Maybe, but only if it improves things for the native population. How many Africans in the average Chinese city again?  Moreover, ever work with an international Chinese company?  I work with two, they don't hire anyone who isn't Chinese.  How's that gonna work in the long run again if the locals can't find work?

malikai's picture

If you take into context the language issue combined with the "Chinese" way of getting things done, it makes perfect sense why they hire the way they do.

Chinese people hire other Chinese people because they know how to get Chinese people to do the job.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Still doesn't address the problem.  Remember we are talking about the real owners in both cases but it seems to me the "American" approach is kill the locals right up front while the "Chinese" approach is to let them die slowly through starvation.  To my knowledge, there is no EBT program in chinese culture (admittedly a good thing in my view as families fulfill that role).

malikai's picture

Remember how the Romans did it: "If you work with us, you live. If not, you can join our slaves, reclaim your worth in the games, or you can just die right here and now."

The Chinese have a different strategy. History will judge them (and us) accordingly.

LawsofPhysics's picture

You better read this;


It would appear that you are correct, one wage for chinese labor, another wage for local labor.

cosmictrainwreck's picture

am trying to follow your thesis here... Tmosley says "might work" then begin your caveats. OK - granted, the locals get fucked - that's a given. It's true everywhere, like USA, where the "locals" are anybody outside Wall Street. So, does it being "wrong" have any bearing on the reality that China will guarantee its own success, at whatever cost, leaving the dumbass "West" in the dust? Too soon to tell whether, on balance, infrastructure build-outs, semi-employment, etc are net plus for populace. I'd guess that a much bigger factor than Chinese malfeasance is the fucking local dictators. If they ever get a grip on that (and there are a few glimmers)......

LawsofPhysics's picture

I have no thesis other than humanity itself is simply a giant ponzi.  Hedge accordingly.

Alea Iactaest's picture

The article was pretty straightforward: "These foreign investment projects are also a boon for Beijing, since China needs African resources to sustain its domestic economy, and the projects in Africa provide a destination for excess Chinese labor."

What part of "destination for excess Chinese labor" do you not understand?

Renewable Life's picture

It's called karmic Ironery!!!!!! The west enslaves the Chinese population to work for less then a dollar a day, slaving away making cheap shit we buy at Walmart, 30 years later the Chinese need energy and enslave the Africans to work for less then a yuan a day, producing all the resources they need to keep the Chinese population producing the cheap shit from Walmart!!!

Ain't neo-colonialism with a sprinkle of fascism great!!!!!!

The real question is, what are all the people in the west, going to do for jobs, in order to buy the cheap shit from Walmart forever????????


Omen IV's picture

the chinese got it right - state control via communism of all systems and resources then export the system to control resources and deploy the excess population - a US corporation cannot take the financial / political /  expropriation  risks in africa - a government like china can and enforce their position

exporting productive systems weather rail or airports or agriculture with concessionary loans/ investment criteria and then take the hard resources via distribution contracts with fair value to the indiginous population is good strategic move for chinese nationalists coupled with 100 million chinese immigrants settled in africa- a small part of chinese population

in contrast - the usa sells military systems no one can afford for negative outcomes and then sends out the storm troopers to kill and maim them besides and  back at home to top it off they beat up and vilify  muslims while 60% + of africa is muslim - usa has NO status in africa after 60 years of diplomacy - even though the usa has the largest black immigrant population on the planet and should have taken africa by that liason alone and exported the productive with money for support

the usa system of free predatory enterprise unfettered - by national purpose and stated societal objectives outside of the military industrial complex is "bad business" and produces bad societal outcomes long term in usa and around the world

death to the usa capitalist system as we know it -  is necessary  - for the country to survive

the chinese will win this game - they have nationalist objectives, huge excess financial resources of excess dollars to deploy, power, people who are smart and on the same objective, cohesive decision process and long term planning objectives - the government can lose $100 billion of their three plus trillion in reserves and still win - the usa spends $1 trillion a year on CIA and DOD for ??? to win hearts and minds at home and abroad- where?

the usa has nothing comparable!


AnAnonymous's picture

a US corporation cannot take the financial / political / expropriation risks in africa


What are you talking about? US corporations have done that repeatedly. Check Congo for example. A US corp was behind the long war that happened in the 1995s.

The Chinese are late comers to the 'American' world party.

Omen IV's picture

they had fed government insurance not corporation stand alone risk - EXIM financing  - but still has at risk component for natural resource oriented investments - with the exception of a few limited examples  there are no substantial infrastructure investments like a rail road /airport/ hospital /highways - by corps - chinese buy long term loyalty with these type of investments

Inibo E. Exibo's picture

Well apparenlty the Chinese are buying their resources back as opposed to killing all the wogs first and then taking them.

Jason T's picture

to win 100 victories in 100 battles is not skill.  to have 1 victory without fighting is skill.  Sun Tzu

Abitdodgie's picture

Yes "Sun Tzu" the chinese book of proverbs.

Don Diego's picture

Those Chinese assets can be nationalized at any moment. In order to control effectively Africa you need boots on the ground like the French paratroopers and Marines deployed in several African countries or the threat of a fleet over your horizon like the US Navy. Maybe one day the Chinese will have a true blue water expeditionary navy, right now they don't.

AnAnonymous's picture

But they are already boots on the ground: 'American' boots.

In order to prevent a chinese deployment on this continent, on the same ground as 'American' troops deployment, that is under the pretext of providing security to plundered assets, 'American' forces cant avoid providing security for the chinese investments.

It is the only way for the 'Americans' to avoid a chinese deployment in those areas.

So the 'Americans' will do the soldiering jobs. That or the Chinese will do it for themselves, endangering the 'American' dominant position as the plunderer in chief.

Eclipse89's picture

Fuck spain we want uganda!


A chinese

azzhatter's picture

Chinese find someone as corrupt as they are, Goldman Sachs and African politicians

FranSix's picture

Think of it this way.  The Renminbi with its peg to the U.S. dollar has far too much available purchasing power which it would not otherwise have.

BigJim's picture

The point of the peg is to keep the renminbi weak, ie, it reduces its purchasing power, making its exports more attractive by artificially suppressing the wages of HanBots like AnAnonymous.

FranSix's picture

I would prefer to think contrarily that if the Renminbi were de-pegged, that it would not retain its purchasing power.

BigJim's picture

Without the peg, the quantity of Renminbi would not have increased directly in line with the USD during all our QE. This was one of the 'currency war' tactics - to export inflation to any country pegging its currency to the USD.

ie, without the peg, the renminbi would be stronger in relation to the USD, giving the Chinese more purchasing power... but reducing the amount of USD earned through exports.

vinu02's picture

Soon everything will be tagged as "Made in China" 


buzzsaw99's picture

Taking over the world with a measly $100B in clownbux? LMAO! The usa mic spends more than that every year on frappe machines. [/slight exageration]

duo's picture

Exactlly.  $100B is a dozen oil rigs off the coast of Nigeria.

buzzsaw99's picture

Yeah, let's see how much the Iraq war cost. How many Chinese oil operations in Iraq that the usa made possible? How about usa oil bigs investment in Nigeria? Should we go down the list? This is laughable.

BigJim's picture

You're conflating the interests of countries' elites with the countries themselves.

The Iraq war was an incredible success for the MIC, banks, and Israel-firsters.

The rest of us? Not so much.

irie1029's picture

Big difference is Chinese know creating wealth takes work.  Many westerners are no longer willing to work and create they much rather manipulate to create faux value.  

post turtle saver's picture

"Wealth does not last beyond three generations" - Chinese proverb

Dr. Engali's picture

How many generations has it been since coming out of the last depression when the nation saw it's best days? We sure did blow it. Too bad that proverb is so accurate.

caimen garou's picture

Been watching this go on for some time now,chinese building roads, schools, hospitals,and railways. doing everything they can to get at thoes african resources. chinese are better than the US at snatch and grab!