China and Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalists

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China's rising position in African affairs, from that of quiescence to becoming a key economic actor on the continent, is now a well-recognised fact. The emergence of China as Africa's top trading partner and leading source of foreign direct investment in 2009 has sharpened the focus on Chinese aspiration and conduct in Africa. Two- way trade is surging, from just over US$10 billion in 2000 to US$220 billion in 2012, and is predicted by South Africa's leading financial institution, Standard Bank, to rise to US$300 billion by 2015. At the same time, the range of reactions to greater Chinese involvement across Africa has varied from enthusiastic embrace by elites to caution from businesses, trade unions and civil society, and even hostility from some local communities. As China-Africa ties have grown in depth and complexity, it is necessary to go beyond the larger surveys to delve into a bilateral relationship to get a fuller sense of the ties today. This book chooses to explore one case in particular, that is the relationship between China and Mozambique, and the specificities that it brings to the general themes raised above in China-Africa relations. It begins by examining the bilateral relationship in both its historical context and more contemporary forms. It looks at Chinese investment in the Mozambican banking sector and at elite business alliances, in agriculture and infrastructure. It discusses the meaning and implications of the cooperation between the two countries.