China's Africa Aid Has a Price

Manufacturing suffers on the continent as Asian imports flood the market
Companies like the Zambia China Mulungushi Textile factory complex in Kabwe were set up to provide local jobs, but as economic trends have shifted, many factories have been forced to shut down.   (Benedicte Kurzen / The New York Times)
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(Newser) – As China increases its economic investment in Africa, locals are finding that the benefits of increased trade with the East comes at a price. In the third of a series of articles in the New York Times, workers at a Zambian factory describe how Chinese imports have undercut their market and driven them out of business.

China has invested billions of dollars across Africa to improve infrastructure and feed its own insatiable need for raw materials from copper to oil. Yet China has also flooded African markets with finished goods: not just cell phones and radios but cheap T-shirts and socks as well. Some Zambians have accused China of colonial tactics, and a recent visit by Hu Jintao nearly erupted in violence.