China’s appetite for resources is set to increase as the country pursue its development path with demand potentially shifting towards a range of minerals and metals that sustain the leadership’s ambition for a greener and high-tech economy. Chinese foreign direct investments (FDI) in the resource sector have soared since the mid-2000s in parallel to its increased dependency on overseas resources. As a result of booming resource markets, Africa, among other resource-rich regions, has benefitted from a surge in global FDI flows including from China. In this context, the African Union formalised its resource-based development and industrialisation strategy embodied in the African Mining Vision (2009). The initiative is supported by international and bilateral development agencies but thus far has not echoed into China’s Africa policy discourses and cooperation frameworks. While the conundrum of extractive industries and sustainable development has been highlighted in the FOCAC Declarations, China’s formal commitment to sustaining the objective of the continent’s mining reform agenda has not yet come explicitly engrained into official channels of cooperation. This policy briefing explores the opportunities for China to engage formally with its African counterparts, and endorse the ideal and objectives of the African Mining Vision by supporting its implementation. [Continue reading]
CCS Policy Briefings are drawn from the published reports and other material produced by the Centre. They aim to highlight specific recommendations and outcomes from the larger reports and present them in a concise, easily consumable format.
CCS Policy Briefing: Strategic partnerships and sustainable investments: How can China support the African Mining Vision?
CCS Policy Briefing: Chinese-led Special Economic Zones in Africa: problems on the road to success
The success of Chinese-led SEZs in Africa is important to both the Chinese government and the host governments. Even though these zones are operating under market conditions, the role of both sides in creating effective institutional arrangement for SEZs is crucial. The Chinese-led SEZ programme was initiated in 2006 and 2007, and was intended to be implemented before 2009. Even though the Chinese government and host governments showed their willingness to push forward SEZ programmes vigorously, most of them have not materialised yet. Most of the SEZs have been under construction and are not yet operating. This paper first provides the brief background of the establishment of SEZs in Africa, then the focus moves to stakeholders involved in the programme. Finally, the paper explores the current situations and navigates the role of the host governments to make the SEZs work. To help the Chinese-led SEZs in Africa to become successful, the host governments must remain actively involved in the SEZs, because their support is more significant than any other aspect. Furthermore, they should provide consistent policies and effective incentives for the investors. On the other hand, the host governments should impose firm requirements in terms of technology transfer and basic working conditions so that their countries can reap the benefits of Chinese investment. Continue Reading
CCS Policy Briefing: Rhino poaching and East Asian policies: Facts and debates
2011-2012 saw the highest levels of poaching and illegal trade in rhino horn in many years, bringing some rhino species towards the verge of extinction in some African and Asian regions. Two of the world’s five rhino species, the Javan and Sumatran species (found in Asia), have been reduced to only a few dozen while in Africa, the black and white rhino have been under increasing threat by poachers. With increasing wealth in East Asia, the demand for rhino horn — in use in traditional medicine – is also increasing; Rhino horns can fetch up to US$ 110,000 per kilogram. The issue is not simply a Chinese one: In South Africa, the number of poachers arrested has included Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese nationals. From this assessment of current challenges in the rhino poaching crisis, largely in South Africa, and a discussion of the possibility of legalising the rhino horn trade, this briefing makes recommendations for East Asian authorities on their role in the crisis. Continue Reading
CCS Policy Briefing: Climate change in China: risks and responses
Extreme weather events are forecast to become more frequent, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as the global climate continues to alter. Even with uncertainty in this future, countries are able to prepare themselves for the future risks by implementing adaption and mitigation strategies. This policy brief looks at China’s risk to future extreme weather events and the Chinese policy response. Overall, and despite gaps in some areas, the Chinese policies contain some adequate responses; yet, implementation remains a major challenge, as reactions to recent droughts in northern and southern China illustrate. Continue Reading
CCS Policy Briefing: China’s role in the East African oil and gas sector: a new model of engagement?
The oil and gas bonanza currently underway in East African looks set to alter the broader economic and geopolitical landscape of the region. As China continues its quest for energy security, East Africa is becoming an increasingly important region. Both Chinese state and non-state companies have gained a foot-hold in Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, where they are involved in both upstream and downstream activities. The Chinese presence, while significant, is off-set by a host of Euro-American, Middle Eastern and other Asian companies also involved in exploiting the region’s energy reserves. Infrastructural underdevelopment in the region is forcing Chinese companies to engage on the continent in new ways including the rise of joint Chinese-Euro-American ventures. This trend, in which China and its partners own financial stakes in infrastructure projects located in geo-politically unstable regions, will have future implications regarding security and national sovereignty within the region. Continue Reading