Regional Studies: Asia
March 31st, 2014
The Chinese Amigo: Implications for the Development of Equatorial Guinea
The article titled “The Chinese Amigo: Implications for the Development of Equatorial Guinea” was written by Mario Esteban. The article was published on September 2009 by The China Quarterly, a scholarly journal of the SOAS University of London. The article analyzes the relationship between Beijing and Malabo in official, social and economical levels on the development of Equatorial Guinea. China is a global power that keeps growing and the Chinese presence in Africa has intensified most in the last decade, in relation to energy and raw materials, markets and cheap infrastructure. The bad governance the country suffers is explained by the role of the Chinese companies and government reinforcing Obiang’s authoritarian regime as well as the implications of the Western world. Chinese extractive firms play a marginal role in the financial extraversion that strongly links the Obiang regimen with US oil companies. Also, the Chinese government offers Obiang more extensive and stable support than Western governments.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema took power in Equatorial Guinea in 1979 after lead- ing a coup d’etat against Francisco Macías Nguema. As of today, Obiang heads a single-party state, dominated by the Partido Democrático de Guinea Ecuatorial (PDG). Overall, the country known for different types of violations and it is consistently included in Freedom House’s annual list of the most repressive regimes. This is the reason why the Chinese operations in Equatorial Guinea are worse than in other African countries that are freer and benefit from a vigorous civil society. Also, the scarce international attention to Chinese activities in Equatorial Guinea makes it easy for Beijing to maintain firm support for the Obiang regime. This bad governance is clearly explained by having one of the highest GDP per capital in the world at the same time as being ranked...