BRAZZAVILLE: China’s new President Xi Jinping on Saturday wrapped up his first foreign trip, which has seen him sign energy deals with Russia and scores of accords with countries in resource-rich Africa, ending his tour by visiting the African nation of Congo, a first for a Chinese president. Jinping on Friday inked 11 communications, banking and infrastructure deals worth millions of dollars in Congo to add to two previously signed accords worth billions. China has invested heavily in Africa over the years, a source of important raw materials for energy hungry China, seeking to shore up ties with Africa where trade soared to $200 billion last year. China’s presence in Africa has cause concern in the west, where many people have likened it to a new form of colonialism. Chinese companies operate widely in Africa, but there are concerns by locals about the import of Chinese labour, instead of using existing African labour.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2013.
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