Commentaries

2015. “Don’t get excited, China is not the new aid superpower,” The Guardian, November 3.

2015. “Five Myths About Chinese Investment in Africa,” Foreign Policy, December 4.

2013 “Review of David Shinn and Joshua Eisenmann, China and Africa: A Century of Engagement,” International Affairs, March 2013.

2012   “China in Africa: Investors, not ‘Infestors’,” China Economic Quarterly, 16, 3 (September).

2012. “In Africa, It’s Business As Usual for China,” New York Times, September 20.

2012. “Dispelling the Myths of China’s Presence in Africa,” Financial Times, This Is Africa, August 30.

2011. “Why Are We So Critical About China’s Engagement in Africa?” (with Axel Berger and Philip Baumgartner), Current Column (English) and Die Zeit (German), August 16.

2011.  “Comments on National Endowment for Democracy’s ‘Winds from the East'” Pambazuka, Perspectives on Emerging Powers, January.

2010.  “China and Africa: Think Again,” The European Financial Review August 16. 

2009.   “More Catalyst than Juggernaut,” Africa-Asia Confidential November.

1983.  “Doing Well By Doing Good: China’s New Style Foreign Aid Projects Now Emphasize Mutual Benefit,” China Business Review, Sept/Oct.

3 thoughts on “Commentaries

  1. Hi,Debby i am student of Silpakorn University that you used to teach English may be around 1979-1980 in Thailand.Do you remember me,but i and my freinds remember you always,
    and talk about you recently.

  2. Dear Ms. Brautigam,

    I really appreciate the light you and Ms. Rithmire shed on this topic as it has been of great concern to me. Your perception of US foreign policy and investment ineptitude is well taken. It could even be said that it is a principal driver in China’s new international prominence.

    I have worked in Nepal, Zimbabwe, Turkey and a number of Latin-American countries. For the past two decades, I have lived in Ecuador and here, China has taken the place of Western nations as our most prominent trading partner and a key economic sponsor, though recent dealings with the IMF has again swung the pendulum in the other direction.

    The perception that I have is that China’s growth has left it awash in cash and a case could be made that a monetary return in the form of interest was not their actual intention. China is clearly making deals for raw materials and if you have any insights as to the affect this has had, I would like to hear more. I see many fewer environmental and worker concerns in the projects that have come to Ecuador compared to MODERN Western models. Some of the original Western advancement is still stomach-turning.

    We can not excuse the historical indiscretions of Western nations, and though an ugly process, it has at least led the West to improve standards on these fronts. It is ultimately Ecuador’s choice with whom they choose to do business and Western nations have certainly dropped the ball by making the terms of business untenable in comparison to the offers from the Chinese government and its representative companies. Apparently, one of the untenable terms is to not support corruption: a requirement that Chinese organizations seem less concerned about. As one example, we have a 4 billion dollar, deliberately over-dementioned and failing hydro-project that does not function anywhere near its promised production and our oil, along with new mines of copper and gold have been bartered away for the privilege.

    It was never the money/interest that the Chinese were after. Nor did they care that the projects were destined to fail. (I can go into detail on how this was apparent as they originally wanted the project until they studied it.) The environmental damage of the original project and the subsequent payment of raw materials as well as the lack of legal recourse has not left Ecuador in a better place. This is not the fault of the Chinese as Ecuador also made the deals, but the practice of the Chinese as a knowing and astute partner, does in fact appear predatory. I can only presume that similar exchanges are being made around the world and I would love to hear your views on this issue.

    Your informative piece on comparative terms and magnitude of debt held over Shri Lanka, and likely other developing nations, by Western nations vs China is eye-opening and helps to paint a broader picture. I just feel that China is securing their future at the expense of others through their materials-and-infrestucture-procuring-investments rather than through the action of loaning of money. The damage of this type of debt may be far greater as it often works against more human-and-planet-friendly types of development like specialized farming and tourism, leaving a country without the resources to offer goods and services once it has a workforce that is prepared to do so.

    Would really enjoy hearing your thoughts on my perception. Thank you for your time,

    Dan Dixon

    PS. Given the other comments, you appear well loved. Perhaps your greatest success.

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