The current strong foothold of Chinese enterprises on the African continent concerns many western observers. They fear that the West will lose leverage in Africa and simultaneously postpone development. Paradoxically, the advance of Chinese enterprises in Africa is not only the result of deliberate Chinese policies to gain access to resources and markets, but also the consequence of liberal African investment policies imposed by Western donors in the past. This article uses Zambia as a case study to challenge the often one-sided view of the local consequences of China's engagement with Africa, and it shows that we need to consider the type of policies that guide investment flows in order to increase the local benefits of China's growing presence in the continent.
Review of African Political Economy, 2009, Vol 36, Issue 122, p. 479-497