The Specter of Global China : Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa
China has recently emerged as one of Africa's top business partners, aggressively pursuing its raw materials and establishing a mighty presence in the continent's booming construction market. Even though Africa has become a popular destination of foreign investment from around the world, China has stirred the most fear, hope, and controversy. Yet global debates about China in Africa have been based more on rhetoric than empirical evidence. Ching Kwan Lee's The Specter of Global China is the first comparative ethnographic study that addresses the critical question: Is Chinese capital a different kind of capital? Conducting extensive fieldwork in Zambia over a period of six years, Lee shadowed Chinese, Indian, and South African managers in underground mines, interviewed Zambian miners and construction workers, and worked with Zambian officials. Distinguishing carefully between Chinese state capital and global private capital in terms of their business objectives, labor practices, managerial ethos, and political engagement with Zambian state and society, she concludes that Chinese state investment presents unique potentials and perils for African development.
The first book to explore this phenomenon, The Specter of Global China will interest anyone curious in the future of China, Africa, and capitalism worldwide.