China has been investing a lot of time and money in Africa, but as per a report by Investigative Journalism Reportika, these are being done with vicious-long term plans which are putting the sovereignty of the African countries in huge danger.
Since 2012, more than 200,000 Chinese workers have migrated to Africa for working on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). There are over 1 million Chinese immigrants in Africa. Also, there are over 10,000 Chinese companies in Africa with more than 2000 state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
As per Reportika, one of its earlier reports regarding Chinese overseas Police Stations and legal firms worldwide got the media attention of the world, and several countries like the USA, Ireland and Canada started investigating the stations.
“These overseas police stations have been set up to antagonize China’s adversaries. Not only this, but with the help of these police posts, the Chinese government is also influencing the elections in the respective countries. Furthermore, these stations are controlling the activities of the Overseas Chinese Diaspora and espionage cases have also been reported,” the report stated.
Also, there are multiple African countries that have gotten under the garb of Chinese operations, which includes Nigeria, Lesotho and Tanzania. While the Fuzhou Police operates in the police stations in Lesotho and Nigeria, it’s the Qingtian Police that operates in Tanzania.
Reportika citing its South Asia analyst, Hwa-Young, said that one of the main purposes of these stations is to monitor the activities going on in Taiwan and other countries. Other than this, the police stations also keep a tab on the movement of goods like illegally traded wildlife products and smuggled African raw materials to the Fuzhou and Qintian Shipping ports.
However, as per the report, China also faces the fear of attacks of native Africans on the Chinese working on BRI. So, with the aim of safeguarding them and also to provide safety to its assets and securing its sea routes, China has also established a network of state-controlled Private Security Companies (PSCs).
There have been reports of Chinese involvement in organised crimes such as illegal wildlife trade for Traditional Chinese Medicines in Africa.
Reportika citing a 2021 report by the US Department of Defence said that China with the aim of expanding its military footprint in Africa, ‘may have considered’ military installations in as many as 13 African countries such as Angola, Kenya, Seychelles, Namibia and Tanzania.
Other than this, China has also established a naval base to station a ‘Rapid Reaction Force’ in Djibouti for covering Africa. The base is believed to have a capacity of housing 10,000 soldiers, which directly goes in violation of the Chinese-Djiboutian Agreement which gave a provision of deploying only 1000 soldiers.
Earlier in August 2021, China had announced its intention of building its first naval base on the Atlantic coast at Bata in Equatorial Guinea, with the aim of looking after its oil and commercial interests along the West coast of Africa.
Reportika cited the China-Africa Research Initiative, as saying that China has so far lent more than $155 billion to African governments to finance BRI projects.
Reportika further cited the Heritage Foundation stating that nearly 200 government buildings have been built by China in over 40 African countries. China has also built sensitive intra-governmental communications networks for 14 countries.
Other than this, China has also developed 70% of the continent’s 4G networks and fully financed the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia.
Earlier in 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the creation of a $60 billion pot of Chinese money for development projects in Africa.
Although China is providing Africa with much-needed funding, which might be helping Africa from the point of view of development. However, as per the report, the long-term vicious plans of China that are associated with these fundings are putting Africa’s sovereignty at huge risk.