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Scramble for China

Africa is desperate for Chinese investment, but only South Africa will get much

By Stephen Chan   September 2006

Everywhere in the streets of Africa you find shops run by Chinese, selling Chinese goods—usually clothes and shoes. The locals call them “Zhing Zhong” shops. The wares on sale are cheap even if, like the products of the international Japanese expansion of the 1950s and 1960s, they have gained a reputation for falling apart. The huge textile combines in China make the clothes and the shopkeepers sell them in Africa.

If, for often resentful Africans, this is an unwelcome intrusion into their high streets, the Chinese invasion has been welcomed and applauded by African leaders. Presidents from Zimbabwe to Sudan,…

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