China & Africa: Imperialism, Corruption, Growing pains

China's rising presence in Africa.  Source:  Google Images

An article on a corruption investigation in Namibia related to Chinese investment there appeared in the NYTimes on Friday.  China is confronting the growing pains of being an “imperial” power, as this giant nation increases its FDI and access to raw materials and markets in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere.  Just like imperialists that came before, since the scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, bribes and other forms of less-overt control are hard to resist.  I explored China’s challenge of cleaning up corrupt practices related to international commerce in an earlier post, and my colleague David Kampf  looked into the BRICs rising profile in Africa

One question is whether China, as it rises, will follow the path of the U.S. (and other Western powers) of attempting to reduce corrupt practices in international commerce.  The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 sought to eliminate the bribing of foreign officials and increase the transparency of business relations.

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