Chinese railways set out to conquer Africa (and the world)
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – State-owned China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), today announced that it has won contracts in Africa to the tune of 5.44 billion US dollars. A subsidiary of CRCC in Nigeria has won a contract for 3.51 billion dollars to build a railroad in the State of Ogun (in the southwest of the country). The stretch is 334 km, on which the trains would travel at the speed of 120 km per hour. It is still unclear who will finance the project.
Another CRCC subsidiary in Zimbabwe has won a contract for 1.93 billion dollars, for the construction of a residential village called Magamba 2015, awarded by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing.
Last year, CRCC orders grew by nearly 60%, to 127.8 billion yuan (about 20.6 billion US dollars). The Premier Li Keqiang very actively promotes Chinese railways worldwide. Rumours say that the CRCC may also build a high-speed railway between Moscow and Kazan.
For years, China has been developing its presence in Africa. Thanks to government subsidies and cheap labor, the project presented by the Chinese companies are always very competitive. In addition, investments - which are often donations - are implemented without placing any financial, political or social conditions on the leadership of the country.
In return, Beijing asks for greater access to the raw materials of the country and to export its products, which often put the survival of the local industry at risk. Human rights activists and politicians accuse China of a "new colonialism". In many countries of the staff of Chinese firms live in areas controlled, armed and fortified areas to prevent the assault of frustrated local population.
Between 2000 and 2011, China has spent more than $ 73 billion, investing in natural resources, mines, oil wells, etc ...