China floods Africa with needed dollars, stoking US concern | World News
DJIBOUTI (AP) The new electrified rail line snakes through the African desert, charting a course from a port along the Djibouti coast to Addis Ababa, the capital of land-locked Ethiopia.
The Chinese built the railway, and part of the port, and the new military base next door. On the other end of the line, Chinese dollars financed Addis Ababa's new light rail, and the new ring road system, and the silver African Union headquarters that towers over the city.
Across the Atlantic Ocean, America has noticed.
From Djibouti to Ethiopia, Kenya to Egypt, the United States is sounding the alarm that the Chinese money flooding Africa comes with significant strings attached. The warnings carry distinct neocolonial undertones: With Beijing's astonishing investments in ports, roads and railways, the U.S. says, come dependency, exploitation and intrusion on nations' basic sovereignty.
"We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese investment dollars out of Africa. They are badly needed," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said this week in the Ethiopian capital. "However, we think it's important that African countries carefully consider the terms."
Those terms lead to deals in which Chinese workers, not Africans, get the construction jobs, Tillerson and other U.S. officials warn. They say Chinese firms, unlike American ones, don't abide by anti-bribery laws, fueling Africa's pervasive problems with corruption. And if countries run into financial trouble, they often lose control over their....