On 15 January, the Peking consultancy Anbound released a report that argues that a Chinese “Marshall Plan” for Africa would not only solve China’s problems of an industrial transition (by offshoring labour-intensive low-tech industries and by creating markets for outdated products) but also slow the yuan’s inflation by creating a pool of the currency in Africa.
None of the suggestions are original in themselves — nor is the recommendation for China to radically increase funding for research on Africa and exchanges with African NGOS — but Anbound proposes all this under a comprehensive ten-year, $400bn government- financed plan that would help the expansion of Chinese exports and manufacturing. The last of the 12 recommendations is facilitating family migration in both directions: in China, African migrants are to rejuvenate an aging labour force, while in Africa, Chinese are to bring capital, technology, and kn0w-how. The price label, and of course the advocacy of a comprehensive plan that includes migration, is exactly what suspicious Western critics have always feared: a grand Chinese strategy to take over Africa.
I am not sure what Anbound’s standing in China is. It is very unlikely that the government will take their advice, but I would be curious how widely shared such views are in policy circles.