China often faces blistering criticism for its voracious appetite for Africa’s natural resources. Chinese companies are spread across the continent mining, logging, and fishing to feed both hungry factories and people back home. In most, if not all, African countries, environmental protection laws are minimal at best, totally ineffective at worst, allowing Chinese companies to operate unregulated in this legal void. While in many cases, this has led to horrific environmental abuses, in other instance local actors throughout Africa say the Chinese are often unfairly accused of operating in the informal economy that accounts for nine out of ten African jobs. This week, Eric and Cobus tackle the myths and realities of China’s natural resource extraction record in Africa.

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