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The Chinese Are Changing Course in Africa

FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

With the rise of the Belt and Road over the past several years, China’s dependence on Africa for raw materials has been steadily diminishing. 15-20 years ago when China first embarked on its “Going Out” agenda, the barriers to entry into most African markets were low and that made it easy to source badly-needed oil, minerals, timber and other raw materials that China’s industrial sector needed.

Today, the situation is very different. The Chinese have shifted a lot of their oil buying from Africa to the Persian Gulf, Russia and the Americas; the Belt and Road is now a reality that’s opened vast new markets for Chinese commodity buyers, and as Xi Jinping tries to transition the Chinese economy away from manufacturing to services, they don’t need as much of the raw materials that Africa sells.

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