Why is China the only country that build infrastructure for natural resources rights?


It proposes R4I investment contracts as a model for taking the greatest advantage of China‘s mining investments in Africa. The basic mechanism is the exchange of natural resources for national infrastructure through the innovative combination of two different types of traditional investment contracts, namely a resource (minerals or hydrocarbons) contract and an infrastructure contract. China gets the resources; the host state in Africa the infrastructure.

Is this type of deal lucrative? If so, then why won't other countries such as India, U.S. and Germany won't provide similar offers to African countries? Is there a reason the Chinese seem to be the only ones doing it? What allows them to do this at a profit?

  • 1
    Why was this downvoted?
    – anon
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 19:14
  • 2
    I don't know I keep being downvoted by 2-3 people here on every single question, even on those with 30-40 upvotes.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 19:16
  • 2
    Well, I don't know obviously, but I just looked at your questions and they all seem quite political-political (if you take my meaning) and mostly opinion based. Likely you have attracted some people who downvote out of partisanship.
    – anon
    Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 19:21
  • That just sounds like foreign investment in fewer steps, no? Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


If you define the situation in the question as "we build your infrastructure, you give us [your] natural resources" then China is not the only country doing so in Africa. Of course, from a manner of speaking, China is just more... polite. If the African countries disagreed, they can negotiate or refuse.

The same thing could not be said about European countries (most of them are now current EU members) in the last century. For example, France, German, UK/Britain... For a more general reading, read this

Of course, one might argue that it is colonialism, and not "trading". However, these match your description - trading infrastructure for the rights to natural resources (albeit at gun point).

However, at the moment, there is still at least one country doing so, France (in a manner of speaking, of course).

There is also Vietnam, building mobile network for the local populace. However, there is no report on what we gain from doing this (in term of natural resources). (And yes, I'm Vietnamese.)

But perhaps we ask for permission to use their land to cultivate rice? Though it is more likely the Africans would be able to use that rice directly, not us.

So, to answer your question, China is not the only country "trading infrastructure for natural resources". They are simply in the spot light, and seen doing so (at the moment). And why are they in the spotlight? I believe the answer is "geo-politics".

  • 6
    -1 obfustication and whataboutary to avoid a question that's not even critical of China; if you would have explained many western countries don't do so because of the history of colonialism it would be relevent. However that's not what this answer is.
    – user19831
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 16:21

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