There is an overall lack of transparency and information about the true scope and conditions of China’s financial support to Africa.
This lack of information helps “protect the corrupt elite who play a role in the implementation of the projects”.
These are some of the findings of an investigation conducted by AfriForum on China’s involvement in Africa.
Former Ambassador Gert Grobler, who is currently a visiting lecturer at the Institute of African Studies at the Normal University of Zhejiang, says it is regrettable that AfriForum is once again – in its ongoing political and ideological vendetta against the government – the country’s “highly constructive friendship” and cooperation with China ”in an irresponsible and distorted way to target and question.
AfriForum says in a statement on the report, which it issued on Sunday, China exerts an exaggerated influence on the economic and political systems of (among other) African countries through “economic aggression and other influential activities”.
Other anti-democratic practices include the granting of special privileges to Chinese companies, which lead to non-compliance with legislation and the creation of enclaves with a culture and law enforcement foreign to the country in which they take place.
Furthermore, China’s prioritization of economic growth over and above environmental protection has devastating consequences. “Africa’s environmental integrity is under threat from poor environmental control by China and a lack of control over its multinational companies.
“Chinese companies and citizens are also involved in illegal, unregistered and unregulated fishing in African waters, the harvesting of endangered species and the illegal cutting of trees, with dire consequences for the environment, biodiversity and the communities of Africa,” report said.
China is also abusing circumstances – where African countries are failing due to socialist policies or poor governance – to extend their influence by linking unfavorable conditions to any support it gives countries desperately seeking investment, AfriForum said in the statement.
He said the findings were part of discussions that Ernst Roets, Head of Policy and Action at AfriForum, had earlier this year with various stakeholders in the US. AfriForum will now also send the report’s findings to local as well as international stakeholders to inform them of the negative role China plays in Africa.
AfriForum says Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa made several visits to China and announced a partnership and trade agreement with China, without disclosing any details of its consequences to South African taxpayers or citizens.