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When China met Africa

Title When China met Africa
Director(s) Marc Francis, Nice Francis
Date released (year) 2011
Production company Bullfrog Films
Length 90 mins
Location Zambia
Keywords/tags China, neoliberalism, natural resources
Link to film
Synopsis A historic   gathering of over 50 African heads of state in Beijing reverberates in Zambia   where the lives of three characters unfold. Mr Liu is one of thousands of   Chinese entrepreneurs who have settled across the continent in search of new   opportunities. He has just bought his fourth farm and business is booming.

In northern Zambia, Mr Li, a project manager for a multinational Chinese   company is upgrading Zambia’s longest road. Pressure to complete the road on   time intensifies when funds from the Zambian government start running out.

Meanwhile Zambia’s Trade Minister is on route to China to secure millions of   dollars of investment.

Through the intimate portrayal of these characters, the expanding footprint   of a rising global power is laid bare – pointing to a radically different   future, not just for Africa, but also for the world.

Download and watch the whole film here:

Reviews/discussion Andrew Pulver, The Guardian, Thursday   6 October 2011:  

An eye-opening documentary that puts   into concrete images that truism of the geo-political commentariat: that   China is a new economic superpower. Specifically, it illustrates a new type   of colonialist exploitation in present-day Zambia, enthusiastically aided and   abetted by the national government. On a micro level, it involves individual   Chinese emigres buying large plots of scrub, and hiring locals to clear and   farm the land. On the macro, giant Chinese corporations are handed contracts   to improve infrastructure: we follow one such, building a highway more than   300km across the country. On the face of it, there’s an anti-western,   post-imperial rhetoric fuelling the relationship, but fairly evidently it’s a   grossly lopsided one, with considerable benefits to China in the form of   plentiful and cheap natural resources. If this documentary is anything to go   by, the Chinese incomers are just as suspicious and disrespectful to the   Africans as their European forebears; you have to wonder how long it will take   the Zambians to become aware of what they’ve let themselves in for




Xan Rice, The Guardian, Sunday 6 February 2011, China’s economic invasion of Africa:

Links to other resources Watch interview   with director here:


Wenran Jiang (2009). Fuelling the   Dragon: China’s Rise and Its Energy and Resources Extraction in Africa. The China Quarterly, 199, pp 585609


China Talking Points:

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