The Dragon's Gift The Real Story of China in Africa

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2010-01-25
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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Customer Reviews

An essential read  May 9, 2011
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This textbook shatters mainstream view of China's role in Africa for a nuanced account of Chinese involvement in Africa's development. It is an informative and fun read, dense with information as well as with illustrative anecdotes and interviews. "The Dragon's Gift" is absolutely a must read for anyone interested in the subject of Chinese aid to Africa, and also forms a useful text for understanding the historical context and shifting role of foreign aid in Africa at the dawn of the 21st century.

The Dragon's Gift The Real Story of China in Africa: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


Is China a rogue donor, as some media pundits suggest? Or is China helping the developing world pave a pathway out of poverty, as the Chinese claim? In the last few years, China's aid program has leapt out of the shadows. Media reports about huge aid packages, support for pariah regimes, regiments of Chinese labor, and the ruthless exploitation of workers and natural resources in some of the poorest countries in the world sparked fierce debates. These debates, however, took place with very few hard facts. China's tradition of secrecy about its aid fueled rumors and speculation, making it difficult to gauge the risks and opportunities provided by China's growing embrace.

This well-timed book, by one of the world's leading experts, provides the first comprehensive account of China's aid and economic cooperation overseas. Deborah Brautigam tackles the myths and realities, explaining what the Chinese are doing, how they do it, how much aid they give, and how it all fits into their "going global" strategy. Drawing on three decades of experience in China and Africa, and hundreds of interviews in Africa, China, Europe and the U.S., Brautigam shines new light on a topic of great interest.

China has ended poverty for hundreds of millions of its own citizens. Will Chinese engagement benefit Africa? Using hard data and a series of vivid stories ranging across agriculture, industry, natural resources, and governance, Brautigam's fascinating book provides an answer. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with China's rise, and what it might mean for the challenge of ending poverty in Africa.

"The Dragon's Gift looks behind the media hype. It offers surprising insights and challenges us to take a new look at Africa's development.... thoughtful and well-researched... the basis for a well-informed, interesting dialogue with Chinese actors. "-The Huffington Post

"Brautigam's lively and thoroughly documented account bucks the conventional wisdom."-Foreign Affairs

"Now comes a timely book by American academic Deborah Brautigam, an observer of Africa and Asia for three decades, which uses personal experiences combined with powerful research to puncture myths and fears that cloud understanding of one of the most important geopolitical shifts since the fall of the Berlin Wall."-The Independent

"If you want to know what China is really doing in Africa, this is the one book to read. The Dragon's Gift corrects the misinformation of both critics and defenders of Chinas role on the continent. Beijing has a long-term, well-planned strategy that goes way beyond a drive to claim minerals and oil. Yet Africans are benefiting from Chinas mixture of aid and investment; Western aid officials could learn from it. I was surprised by new facts on almost every page. Brautigam has given us a compelling, objective, and very readable account enlivened by her personal experiences and interviews."-Susan Shirk, author of China: Fragile Superpower

"The Dragon's Gift is a path-breaking book, one that was urgently needed and one which deserves to be widely noticed and read. It not only provides an in-depth analysis of contemporary relations of China with Africa, located within their proper historical context, but meticulously presents, critiques and successfully challenges the array of myths, fears, and misinformation which abound in both press reports and some academic studies of China in Africa."-Roger C. Riddell, author of Does Foreign Aid Really Work?

Author Biography

Deborah Brautigan is an Associate Professor in the School of International Service, American University.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. xiv
Prologue: The Changing Face of Chinese Engagement in Africap. 1
China's Rise in Africap. 2
China and Africa: Mutual Benefit?p. 3
Poverty and Prosperityp. 7
A Different Kind of ôAidöp. 10
China, Aid, and the Westp. 12
What is Foreign Aid?p. 13
Why Do Countries Give Aid?p. 14
Issues and Themesp. 17
Approaches and Analysisp. 19
Missionaries and Maoists: How China's Aid Moved ôRedö to ôExpertöp. 22
Aid from the Westp. 26
Red Sun Risingp. 29
From Mau Mau to Maop. 31
ôDragon in the Bushöp. 34
Dazhai in Africa?p. 37
Tazara: The Tan-Zam Railwayp. 40
Rethinking Aidp. 41
Feeling the Stones: Deng Xiaoping's Experiments with Aidp. 43
An ôIdeal Trading Partneröp. 46
Crossing the River by Feeling the Stonesp. 51
Aid and the Four Tigersp. 52
Zhao Ziyang Goes to Africap. 53
Leather Swaps: Compensatory Trade in Africap. 55
Being Responsible to the Endp. 56
China, Melvin Lisk, and Okeky Agencies, Ltd.p. 60
Aid as a Springboard for Investmentp. 62
Building Businessp. 64
Tripartite Cooperationp. 65
ôWe Are the Worldöp. 66
Checkbook Diplomacyp. 67
Going Global: Foreign Aid in the Toolkit of a Rising Chinap. 71
Battle in Seattlep. 75
Deeper into Africap. 77
Value for Moneyp. 78
Entering Europe's Backyardp. 81
Zhu Rongji and the Tan-Zam Railway Reduxp. 83
ôKoni à Koni à Koniöp. 85
Packaging Soft Powerp. 86
Dragon Headsp. 87
Creative Destructionp. 89
China-Africa Development Fundp. 93
Tariff and Quota-Free Entryp. 95
Overseas Zones: Going Global in Groupsp. 97
The First Two African Winnersp. 101
Crossing the Ocean by Feeling the Stonesp. 103
Eastern Promises: An Aid System with Chinese Characteristicsp. 105
A Very Brief Historyp. 106
China's Aid Institutionsp. 107
China Eximbank's Concessional Loansp. 114
The Development Bank That Doesn't Give Aidp. 115
Acupuncture at King Harmon Roadp. 117
Learning from Chinap. 119
Humanitarian Aid: After Disasterp. 121
China's ôPeace Corpsöp. 123
Does China Give ôCash Aidö?p. 124
Dumping Debtp. 127
Orient Express: How Does Chinese Aid and Engagement Work?p. 131
Beijing versus Parisp. 132
An Oriental Big Powerp. 136
China Eximbank, Huawei, and Sierratelp. 140
Learning from Japan's Request-Based Systemp. 141
The Eximbank Cyclep. 142
From Aid to Profit: CNEEC Consolidates Gomap. 143
China's Resource-Backed Infrastructure Loansp. 145
Aid Without Strings?p. 148
Tied Aid?p. 151
ôHordes of Expertsöp. 154
Capacity Buildingp. 157
Apples and Lychees: How Much Aid Does China Give?p. 162
Estimating China's Africa Aidp. 168
One is Aid, the Other is Notp. 173
Package Financing Modep. 174
Big Mistakesp. 177
Is China Bigger than the World Bank?p. 179
Comparing Apples and Applesp. 182
Will Chinese Loans Create a New Debt Crisis?p. 184
Flying Geese, Crouching Tiger: China's Changing Role in African Industrializationp. 189
Challenges and Opportunitiesp. 191
Flying Geese as Industrial Catalystsp. 193
Marlboro Manp. 195
Friendship Textile Factory's Rocky Roadp. 197
Cars, Calf, and Cowsp. 201
Asian Tigers and African Factoriesp. 204
ôOriginal and Taiwanöp. 205
Asian Tsunami: How a Tidal Wave Can also Be a Catalystp. 211
Leather Goes Globalp. 212
Textiles: A Chinese Tsunami?p. 215
Drivers of Change?p. 222
Catalyzing Local Industryp. 224
Chinese Workers in African Factoriesp. 227
Exporting Green Revolution: From Aid to Agribusinessp. 232
Challenges and Opportunitiesp. 234
China's Traditional Aidp. 236
Doing Well by Doing Good?p. 239
Wang Yibin and South-South Cooperationp. 241
From Weeds to Seedsp. 244
The Father of Hybrid Ricep. 246
China's Agrotechnology Centers: Sustainability and Businessp. 247
Foreign Farmers: Chinese Settlers in Rural Africap. 253
Going Global in Agriculturep. 255
Food Security: China and Africap. 256
Mega-Projectsp. 257
In the North, There is Only Magbassp. 259
Not a Good Chew on the Bonesp. 265
Liu Jianjun's ôBaoding Villagesöp. 266
Rogue Donor? Myths and Realitiesp. 273
ôChinese Aid: It's All about Oil/Minerals/Resourcesöp. 277
ôChina Enables Sudan to Get Away with Murder in Darfuröp. 281
ôChina Hurts Efforts to Strengthen Democracy and Human Rights in Africaöp. 284
ôChinese Support Kept Robert Mugabe in Power in Zimbabweöp. 287
ôChina is Making Corruption Worseöp. 292
ôChinese Aid and Loans are Part of a System of æUnfairÆ Subsidiesöp. 297
ôChina Gains Business with Low Environmental and Social Standardsöp. 299
Conclusion: Engaging Chinap. 307
Appendicesp. 313
Endnotesp. 318
Indexp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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