The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa

ISBN : 9780199606290

Deborah Brautigam
416 Pages
158 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2011
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Is China a rogue donor, as some media pundits suggest? Or is China helping the developing world pave a pathway out of poverty, as the Chinese claim? In the last few years, China's aid program has leapt out of the shadows. Media reports about huge aid packages, support for pariah regimes, regiments of Chinese labor, and the ruthless exploitation of workers and natural resources in some of the poorest countries in the world sparked fierce debates. These debates, however, took place with very few hard facts. China's tradition of secrecy about its aid fueled rumors and speculation, making it difficult to gauge the risks and opportunities provided by China's growing embrace. This well-timed book, by one of the world's leading experts, provides the first comprehensive account of China's aid and economic cooperation overseas. Deborah Brautigam tackles the myths and realities, explaining what the Chinese are doing, how they do it, how much aid they give, and how it all fits into their "going global" strategy. Drawing on three decades of experience in China and Africa, and hundreds of interviews in Africa, China, Europe and the US, Brautigam shines new light on a topic of great interest. China has ended poverty for hundreds of millions of its own citizens. Will Chinese engagement benefit Africa? Using hard data and a series of vivid stories ranging across agriculture, industry, natural resources, and governance, Brautigam's fascinating book provides an answer. It is essential reading for anyone concerned with China's rise, and what it might mean for the challenge of ending poverty in Africa.


Prologue: The Changing Face of Chinese Engagement in Africa
1. Missionaries and Maoists: How China Moved from "Red" to "Expert"
2. Feeling the Stones: Deng Xiaoping's Aid Experiments
3. Going Global: Foreign Aid in the Toolkit of a Rising China
4. Eastern Promises: An Aid System with Chinese Characteristics
5. Orient Express: How Does Chinese Aid and Engagement Work?
6. Apples and Lychees: How Much Aid Does China Give?
7. Flying Geese, Crouching Tiger: China's Changing Role in African Industrialization
8. Asian Tsunami: How a Tidal Wave can also be a Catalyst
9. Exporting Green Revolution: From Aid to Agribusiness
10. Foreign Farmers: Chinese Settlers, African Plantations
11. Rogue Donor? Myths and Realities of Chinese Aid and Engagement
Conclusion: Engaging China

About the author: 

Deborah Brautigam is the author of Chinese Aid and African Development (1998), Aid Dependence and Governance (2000), and co-editor of Taxation and State-Building in Developing Countries (2008). A long-time observer of Asia and Africa, she has lived in China, West Africa, and Southern Africa, and travelled extensively across both regions as a Fulbright researcher and consultant for the World Bank, the UN, and other development agencies. She is a professor in the International Development Program at American University's School of International Service in Washington, DC.

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