More than one million Chinese have emigrated to Africa over the past couple of decades in search of the African dream.
Author Howard French explores what it looks like when China goes global in the 21st century in his book, “China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa.”
A former New York Times bureau chief for China and Africa, French is an award-winning investigative journalist.
Large infrastructure projects by Chinese builders are scattered across Africa, and some of the migrant workers stayed in Africa after construction projects were completed, Fortune.com reports in a review of French’s book.
Africa is also scattered with small businesses run by Chinese entrepreneurs who left their crowded homeland. In French’s book, one of his sources talks about creating a new race when his Chinese sons marry African women.
Today’s China is preparing itself for global influence—the new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank is but one example, according to Fortune.
China first proposed a development bank about two years ago as a way to help finance the enormous infrastructural needs in Asia, NPR reports. More than 40 countries signed up at the last minute as founding members including key European allies the U.K., France, Germany and Italy.
The Obama administration opposes the bank. Officially, the White House says it is concerned about governance, transparency and social and environmental safeguards. Unofficially, the AIIB is seen as a challenge to U.S.-backed institutions such as the World Bank, according to NPR.
Chinese projects have provided much-needed infrastructure in poor African countries, but have also given Chinese companies favorable terms in accessing Africa’s rich resources in metals, wood and oil, according to Fortune.
French writes about from his perspective covering news in Africa and China.