China’s One Belt, One Road Stretches to Ethiopia, Africa


The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, Africa's first modern electrified railway, was to set to become fully operational on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, Africa’s first modern electrified railway, was to set to become fully operational on Wednesday. Photo: Xinhua

The 750km rail journey, lasting about 10 hours, will replace a hazardous, multiday truck and bus trip over potholed roads. Photo: Xinhua

The 750km rail journey, lasting about 10 hours, will replace a hazardous, multiday truck and bus trip over potholed roads. Photo: Xinhua

SCMP says in its report “Chinese-built railway links landlocked Ethiopia, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, to the sea” on October 5 that China has built a 750km electrified railway in Ethiopia linking Addis Ababa to the port of Djibouti.

“State-run Xinhua quoted China Railway Construction Corporation chairman Meng Fengchao as saying most of the equipment used for the project was also from China, and Chinese companies were fully involved in the project’s design, construction and assessment,” says SCMP
The reailway costs US$3.4 billion, which was 70 per cent financed by China’s Exim Bank.

Africa is well-known for its political instability, but China is clever to extend its influence in Ethiopia, one of the world’s fastest growing economies. A country has to make wise investment abroad in countries with political stability when it grows rich. From that perspective, China was not wise in investing heavily in South Sudan, Libya and Iraq. It is not realistic that a country is able to affect another country’s politics and create a stable situation. China invested in those politically instable countries for safety of energy supply, but has learnt lessons from its failure in Libya and South Sudan.

China is now taking the wise measures to give priority to obtaining energy resources in the South China Sea. It has made huge investment in building artificial islands there precisely for energy resources.

The US has made clear that it keeps its navy in the South China Sea for freedom of navigation, which means that it will not interfere with China’s exploration and exploitation of oil and gas there. The new Philippine president wants to improve relations with China and exploit resources jointly with China. The situation there is quite favorable for China now.

China shall choose destinations of its investment abroad wisely in areas with political stability. Do not try to interfere with the politics there. In fact, if enough energy resources can be exploited in the South China Sea, there is no urgency for China’s development of a strong blue-sea navy to protect its oil supply route in the oceans.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/2025365/chinese-built-railway-links-landlocked-ethiopia-one-worlds

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One Comment on “China’s One Belt, One Road Stretches to Ethiopia, Africa”

  1. Steve says:

    To be a responsible superpower of the 21st century, China, just like the US need to maintain at least the 2nd largest or biggest economy in the world. Similarly, China’s Armed Forces – Army, AirForce and Naval need to show it’s formidable awesome strength and superiority of military assets as deterrence against any foreign hegemonic interference. History has proven that a nation’s economy and military prospers side by side.

    The Soviet Union military arms collapsed due to the nation’s poor economic management. The US military arms prospered alongside its economic success. Especially now with China’s OBOR, SCS exploitation of resources, Space exploration, Network of international investments and establishment of foreign military bases, building a formidable military for security is without doubt a necessity.

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