February 16 Background Reading

FEEDING THE DRAGON: CHINA IN AFRICA
9:30 – 11 am.

African economies are booming like never before, thanks in large part to China. The global giant is investing in infrastructure projects to help it tap into the continent’s resources – oil, minerals, and its huge agricultural potential. Critics charge China with cozying up to dictators and ignoring issues of human rights and transparency. Others fear that the U.S. is being left behind and its influence in Africa waning.

Moderator: Dr. Dongsheng Zang (Don S. Zang) is Associate Professor of Law and Director of Chinese Legal Studies at the University of Washington School of Law. His academic interests include international trade law and comparative study of Chinese law, with a focus on the role of law and state in response to crises arising from social transformation in China. He has also written and presented on environmental issues related to China’s development, including its environmental footprint in Africa. Dr. Zang holds an S.J.D. and LL.M. from Harvard Law School, in addition to degrees from Renmin University in Beijing and Beijing College of Economics.

Background Readings:

China and Africa: The Next Decade. David H. Shinn. Keynote speech at the February 1, 2013 conference on “China in Africa” at the Center for China U.S. Cooperation at the University of Denver. http://www.scribd.com/doc/123557623/China-and-Africa-The-Next-Decade

Could China overtake US as global trader? Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 2, 2012. A special report by the Associated Press examines China’s influence with its trading partners over three decades, and how business, politics, and daily life are changing with China’s rise as a global player. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/1202/Could-China-overtake-US-as-globaltrader

The Chinese in Africa: Trying to pull together. The Economist, April 20,2011. Africans are asking whether China is making their lunch or eating it. http://www.economist.com/node/18586448

Closing the China Gap. Guernica Magazine, Aug. 1, 2012. By Dambisa Moyo. China’s voracious appetite for resources isn’t something to be feared—it should be emulated. http://www.guernicamag.com/features/closing-the-china-gap/

Unleashing the U.S. Investor in Africa: A Critique of U.S. Policy Toward the Continent. The Heritage Foundation, Feb. 4, 2013. Peter C. Hansen, a Washington attorney who specializes in African investment law, argues for expanding U.S. bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and double tax treaties (DTTs) with countries in Sub Saharan Africa. The U.S. trails behind other countries, including China, that have significantly reduced the risk of African investment for companies from their countries. As a result of the U.S. failure to give this program sufficiently high priority, American companies are reluctant to invest in important countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia. http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/2013/02/unleashing-the-us-investor-in-africa

Foreign Policy Association recommended websites:
China Africa Project. http://www.chinaafricaproject.com/
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China’s official website. http://www.focac.org/eng/

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