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Shifting the Course? The Impact of Chinese Finance on Extractivism in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

Journal für Entwicklungspolitik, vol. XXXVI 4-2020

Bernhard Tröster / Karin Küblböck

Wien, January 2021

China’s demand for commodities and its role as an investor and creditor in the global periphery are closely connected. In the past two decades, China’s outward activities have perpetuated commodity-based development models in the Global South, which are linked with negative socio-ecological effects. In this paper, we assess China’s engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, by analysing China’s outward financial flows. We show that these flows reflect China’s growth model, but also vary by destination, given the regionally prevailing development strategies. We argue that whether new Chinese policies for more resource efficiency will trigger more sustainable development models in these regions depends on their existing relationships and experiences with China. However, the risks for continued extractivism remain high.

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