China practises a unique democratic experience, which is beneficial, reasonable and fruitful because it suits the country and has stood the test of time.
The political party system that China adopts is consultative under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which is different from the Western two-party or multi-party and the one-party system practised in some countries.
There are nine political parties in China: The CPC is the ruling party, but the other eight participate fully in the exercise of State power and administration.
Chad is as geographically isolated as places come in Africa. It is also among the continent’s poorest and least stable countries, the scene of recurrent civil wars and foreign invasions since it gained independence from France in 1960.
None of that has put off the Chinese, though. In January, they bought the rights to a vast exploration zone that surrounds this rural village, making the baked wilderness here, without roads, electricity or telephones, the latest frontier for their thirsty oil industry and increasingly global ambitions.
The same is happening in one African country after another. In large oil-exporting countries like Angola and Nigeria, China is building or fixing railroads, and landing giant exploration contracts in Congo and Guinea.
China’s phenomenal growth and the resultant need for raw materials and new markets has led Beijing to vigorously re-engage with Mozambique, and Africa in general.
China’s relations with Mozambique date back to the 1960s when the PRC supported the Marxist-oriented FRELIMO party in its struggle for independence against Portuguese colonial rule. After independence in 1975 relations remain friendly albeit limited as the FRELIMO government moved closer to the far more powerful Soviet patron. The end of the Cold War saw China lose interest in the East African country as its focus shifted to domestic priorities and its immediate neighborhood.
In the past two years or so, China’s involvement with Mozambique can be described as just short of meteoric. In 2004, two-way trade stood at US$70 million, reaching US$210 million in 2006.
Photo from jenbrea.