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Hong Kong Millionaire's Arrest Exposes Problem of Chinese Corruption in Africa

Former Hong Kong home affairs secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping pleaded not guilty last month to corruption charges brought by a U.S. federal court in New York after he was accused of offering bribes worth a total of $2.9 million to prominent African leaders and ministers.

Ho is being tried in the United States on account of his alleged use of the American banking system to facilitate bribes on behalf of his Chinese corporate clients.

The Ho case, like that of the notorious China-Africa dealmaker Sam Pa who is also in custody awaiting trial, reveals what a lot of experts believe is the dark underside of China’s engagement in Africa: corruption.

The allegations of Chinese bribery in Africa highlights the sharp contrast with how corruption is dealt with severely at home under president Xi Jinping’s high-profile anti-corruption crackdown and the more relaxed view Beijing seemingly has regarding overseas financial misdeeds. China, like the U.S. and Europe, does have anti-foreign bribery laws on its books but they are rarely enforced according to some experts.

CNN International journalist Jenni Marsh has been covering the Patrick Ho story from Hong Kong where interest in the case is especially high. Jenni joins Eric & Cobus to discuss why Ho’s alleged crimes may represent a much bigger trend within the China-Africa relationship.

Show Notes:

About Jenni Marsh:
Jenni Marsh is a senior digital producer for CNN in Hong Kong. She has been with the company since 2016. Her work has been published by CNN, the South China Morning Post, Al Jazeera, the Daily Mail, the Independent, and the Guardian. In 2015, she won a Society of Publishers in Asia award for Excellence in Feature writing for her report on Afro-Chinese marriages in Guangzhou. An alumna of the Wits University China Africa Reporting project, she continues to research China-Africa relations from a human interest perspective.

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A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


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A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.