John McCauley

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China President Xi Jinping is pictured on a big screen during an evening news program, showing his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) at a mall in Beijing on Nov. 30. (Noel Celis /AFP)

Senegal hosted the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last week, a conference aimed at reinforcing economic ties between African countries and China. Foreign direct investment from Chinese firms continues to outstrip Chinese aid to the continent — and has surged past investment from U.S. firms.

While some analysts view China’s pledged investment amount as down from previous forums, the Chinese delegation presented a vision of more extensive investments in local communities in Africa. This is no doubt reassuring to African leaders, who regularly pitch for Chinese foreign investment and tout their successes to their constituents.

Conventional wisdom suggests that African leaders gain politically when Chinese firms invest in their countries.…  Seguir leyendo »