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Chinese Leader Set for Another African Tour

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Chinese Leader Set for Another African Tour

World

Chinese Leader Set for Another African Tour

Chinese Leader Set for Another African Tour

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/7077169/7077170" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo welcomes Chinese President President Hu Jintao. i

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (left) welcomes Chinese President President Hu Jintao upon his arrival at Abuja airport, April 26, 2006. Kola Osiyemi/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Kola Osiyemi/AFP/Getty Images
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo welcomes Chinese President President Hu Jintao.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (left) welcomes Chinese President President Hu Jintao upon his arrival at Abuja airport, April 26, 2006.

Kola Osiyemi/AFP/Getty Images
Vendors in Kinshasa's central market offer Chinese-made good for sale. i

Vendors in Kinshasa's central market offer Chinese-made good for sale. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR
Vendors in Kinshasa's central market offer Chinese-made good for sale.

Vendors in Kinshasa's central market offer Chinese-made good for sale.

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR

For the second time in less than a year, Chinese President Hu Jintao is making a swing through Africa, this time on an eight-nation tour. China is interested in Africa's energy, oil and mineral wealth as it fuels its own booming economy.

Beijing held a much-trumpeted China-Africa summit in November. And two-way trade jumped to more than $55 billion last year, up 40 percent from 2005. But who stands to gain from the closer links: Africa or China?

China is accused of flooding African markets with cheap goods — such as textiles — and stifling the continent's own weak manufacturing sector as well as importing Chinese labour to work on massive infrastructure projects. But Africa needs jobs, too.

Beijing is also criticized by some for operating a "no-questions-asked" policy in Africa, unlike Western trade partners — including the U.S. — which are often seen as hectoring and preachy to African leaders.

In exchange for Sudan's oil, China — which has a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council — has not used its leverage to put pressure on the Sudanese government to stop the violence in Darfur. And, in the face of continued Sudanese resistance, the U.N. is struggling for a green light to deploy peacekeepers to Darfur.

Meanwhile, the continent has welcomed the arrival of Chinese trade, aid and business, prompting talk of a 21st century "scramble for Africa" in competition with Africa's traditional trading partners.

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