December 15, 2017
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Complicated vision
Concerns over China’s role in Africa China is venturing into Africa with lot of fanfare but there is an increasing worry in the minds of policy makers what could happen if China fails in its mission Africa. Right from Libya to South Sudan it is taking China nowhere. In fact, six years after independence, the world’s newest country South Sudan is still struggling to find its footing. Fighting in 2013 between government forces under president Silva Kiir and those loyal to his rival and former vice president Reik Machar turned into a many-sided civil war that engulfed much of the country. A peace deal, mediated with Chinese help, between president Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) government in Juba and Machar, head of the SPLA in opposition, fell apart last July. The two sides fought in Juba, killing hundreds of civilians over the course of four days. Today, the only major Chinese-funded infrastructure going ahead is a renovation of the runway, navigation system, and parking lots of Juba International Airport, a contract worth about $160 million. South Sudan, a country the size of France, has only around 200 kilometers of paved road. Economically South Sudan has not benefitted a lot from China, says a South Sudanese diplomat who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to media. We are talking about roads, schools, hospitals, agriculture, and power—these are the most important for the developme
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