ISSN 2686 - 9675 (Print)
ISSN 2782 - 1935 (Online)

Китайский «Один пояс, один путь» в арабских странах северной и восточной Африки

According to experts, China's claims about a "mutually bene-ficial model of cooperation" with African countries are only partially true. For exam-ple, the African Development Bank estimates that by 2021, Africa's infrastructure deficit was US $ 93 billion a year [115, p. 4]. About 17 low-income Afri-can countries have either been faced with a "debt crisis", or have had difficulty servicing their `public` debt. There are reports of more than 1,000 Chinese loans in Africa between 2000 and 2017, totaling more than US $ 143 billion. Ethiopia has also expe-rienced debt concerns over Chinese-built projects. Repayment on its US $ 4 billion railway `linking` cap-ital Addis Ababa with neighboring Djibouti has been extended by 20 years over concerns of debt distress. Concerns about China's unsustainable lending in Zambia have forced critics to say that China will take control of key government assets because of Zambia’s debt. There is a view that Chi-na may as well seize the port of Kenya Mombasa, unable to pay US $ 2.27 billion in debt [24, p. 148].

There is also an opinion that Chinese busi-nessmen impose restrictions on labor laws in their enterprises, which leads to social tensions. Such an ambiguous policy of the Chinese authorities, ac-companied by mass immigration of Chinese, is crit-icized by African countries [5]. China's policy of attracting Chinese labor for its infrastructure pro-jects in Africa has resulted in over 200,000 Chinese citizens working under OBOR contracts across Afri-ca. This gives Beijing a justification for a practical approach to protecting them, as well as its bur-geoning investment. The OBOR has heightened the need for a global strategy to protect China's foreign interests, and the CCP has adopted the concept of “protecting overseas nationals” as a core Chinese interest [103].

China is setting up NA to play an integral role in connecting Asia, Africa and Europe — BRI goal. While the BRI map officially included only Egypt, MoUs were signed between China and every state in NA [17]. Noteworthy that only one African city, Nairobi, was identified as a B&R hub, through which the MSR will supposedly pass [48, p. 61]. In 2019, the Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE) were the only Arab countries that sent top-level representation to attend the Second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing [47, p. 9].

As the early focus of OBOR, East Africa has developed into a central node in the MSR, connect-ed by planned and finished ports, pipelines, rail-ways, and power plants built and funded by Chi-nese companies and lenders. A standard gauge rail-way connecting Mombasa to Nairobi — the biggest investment in Kenya since its independence — is a flagship OBOR project in East Africa. The electric railway from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia's capital) to Djibouti, where China established its first overseas naval base and has stakes in a strategic deep water port, is another. From Djibouti, the MSR connects planned and completed Chinese port clusters in Sudan, Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cameroon, Angola, and Namibia. Another route links Djibouti to Gwadar, Hambantota, Colombo, Myanmar, and Hong Kong. The final arc of this corridor connects Walvis Bay to Chinese port clusters in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Kenya before also connecting to Gwadar [103].

China is investing in ports along the Suez Ca-nal from the Gulf of Aden to the Mediterranean Sea. Of the 49 countries with which China has signed a MoU or formally endorsed the BRI, 34 (almost 70%) are located off the coast of Africa, 16 in the West, 8 in the North and East, and 2 in the south. These include the following ports: Djibouti (Djibouti - first overseas military base), Sudan (Su-dan), Said and Tevik (Egypt), Ain Sokhna (Egypt), Zarzis (Tunisia) and El Hamdania (Algeria). In the future, China could use its influence on these ports for economic (transport of raw materials, finished goods and labour) and military (surveillance and blockade of overseas and deep-sea maritime traf-fic) purposes [115, p. 4].

2 — 2022
Арутюнян Агавни Александровна, Отдел международных отношений Института Востоковедения Национальной Академии Наук Армении