【英语财经】中国改变对非投资战略 China changes tack on investment

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2014-5-19 07:17

小艾摘要: China is poised to invest billions of dollars in Africa through a multilateral institution in Beijing’s first departure from its “cheque book” policy of bilateral deals on the continent.Beijing and ...
China changes tack on investment
China is poised to invest billions of dollars in Africa through a multilateral institution in Beijing’s first departure from its “cheque book” policy of bilateral deals on the continent.

Beijing and the African Development Bank, the continent’s biggest development lender, will this week unveil a $2bn investment vehicle, called the “Africa Growing Together Fund”, which officials say marks a symbolic shift from previous Chinese practice.

“China has been using a bilateral route in Africa. Now it is taking a more multilateral [approach],” said an official familiar with the project. The fund will be signed off this week during the annual meeting of the AfDB in Kigali, the Rwandan capital.

The fund appears to be part of a broader effort by Beijing to recalibrate its relations with Africa in response to criticism inside and outside the continent.

Li Keqiang, the Chinese premier, acknowledged during his first trip to the continent this month that the relationship between Beijing and its African partners had suffered “growing pains”. But he rejected accusations that Beijing was pursuing a neocolonialist policy in Africa.

“I wish to assure our African friends, in all seriousness, that China will never pursue a colonialist path like some countries did or allow colonialism, which belonged to the past, to reappear in Africa,” he said.

“For China and Africa, co-operation means opportunities, co-operation is win-win,” he said.

The new fund will open contracts to the most suitable bidder rather than just to Chinese companies.

Western countries have in the past criticised what they describe as Beijing’s “cheque book” policy of lending money to African countries to largely benefit its own construction groups, which have built everything from roads to hospitals on the continent.

African officials have also criticised the policy, complaining about the poor quality of some of the Chinese-built infrastructure and the use of migrant labour from China rather than locals.

Alex Vines, head of the Africa programme at Chatham House, a London-based think-tank, said China’s expanding investments in Africa carried “political headaches” for Beijing. “There are an increasing number of disputes about Chinese companies,” he said.

Despite the latest multilateral move, China’s bilateral engagement with Africa remains far larger and continues to grow. Mr Li announced during his trip that Beijing would increase its bilateral credit lines to African countries by $10bn, bringing the total to $30bn for 2013-15.

Zhang Chun, an expert on Africa-China economic relations at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said Beijing was likely to deepen its multilateral approach. “But [the strategy is] not opposite to past focus on bilateral relationships. It is a parallel approach,” he said.

China-Africa trade has surged over the past decade, reaching $200bn last year, up from $10bn in 2000 and $1bn in 1980, according to Chinese customs data.

中国将通过多边机制向非洲投资数十亿美元,这是中国政府首次背离在非洲的“支票簿”双边协议政策。

中国政府与非洲开发银行(African Development Bank,非洲最大的开发银行)将于本周推出一个20亿美元的投资工具,名为“非洲共同成长基金”(Africa Growing Together Fund)。官员们表示,这相对于中国之前的习惯做法是一个具有象征意义的转变。

熟悉该项目的一名官员说:“中国在非洲一直是走双边途径。现在,它正在采取更加多边的(方式)。”本周,非洲开发银行将在卢旺达首都基加利召开年会,该基金将于此期间签订。

这支基金似乎是中国重新调整对非关系的更宏大努力的组成部分,这一努力旨在回应非洲内外出现的批评。

中国总理李克强本月在首次出访非洲期间承认,中国与非洲伙伴的关系遭遇了“成长的烦恼”。但他驳斥了外界对中国在非洲奉行新殖民主义政策的指责。

他说:“我可以郑重地告诉非洲的朋友们,中国不会走别国殖民主义的老路,也不会允许殖民主义重现非洲。”

他还表示,对中国与非洲来说,合作意味着机会,合作就是双赢。

这支新基金将向最合适的竞标者开放合同,而不是只向中国公司。

西方国家曾批评中国借钱给非洲国家主要是为了让本国建筑集团获利,并将之称为“支票簿”政策。中国的建筑公司已在非洲承建了从道路到医院等诸多项目。

非洲官员也批评这种政策,抱怨中国承建的一些基础设施质量低劣,而且对这些公司使用中国外劳而不用本地人感到不满。

英国皇家国际事务研究所(Chatham House,一家位于伦敦的智库)非洲项目负责人亚历克斯?瓦因斯(Alex Vines)表示,中国在非洲的投资扩张为北京方面带来了“政治麻烦”。他说:“中国公司引发的纷争越来越多。”

虽然中国将在非洲走多边路线,但与之相比,非中之间的双边交往规模仍要大得多,而且还在增长。李克强在非洲之行期间宣布,中国政府将向非洲国家增加100亿美元双边信贷额度,使中国在2013年到2015年对非总贷款额度达到300亿美元。

上海国际问题研究院(Shanghai Institutes for International Studies)非中经济关系专家张春表示,中国政府很可能会深化多边路线。“但(该战略)与过去对双边关系的侧重并不冲突。这是一条平行的路线。”

根据中国海关数据,中非贸易额在1980年为10亿美元,2000年增长到100亿美元,并且在过去10年实现了飞速增长,去年达到2000亿美元。

译者/曲雯雯

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