China’s economic involvement in Mozambique and prospects for development An analysis of the processes and impacts of major recent investments

Please enjoy in the next 8 Posts at Politics in Motion the chapters of the final thesis of my 2-year master at PRIO and South Africa's Stellenbosch University. What an adventure!


The great intensification of China’s engagement with Africa in the beginning of the 21st century has brought about an equally vast body of literature concerning the general motives and features of the engagement. The broad nature of such literature begs for more focused and localised analysis that are able to complement and inform the ongoing debate. This thesis aims to better understand how China’s policy towards Mozambique affects the latter’s economic development. With this objective in mind each of the four empirical chapters provides a fresh view over some of the most salient dimensions and recent processes related to China’s involvement with Mozambique. The following is analysed: China’s trade and investment with Mozambique; the Asian power’s economic involvement in Mozambique’ agriculture sector; the participation of the China-Exim Bank in the Mphanda Nkuwa dam negotiation process; and finally the participation of Mozambique in the China sponsored multilateral organisation of the Macau Forum. The methodology used is primarily reliant on the analysis of secondary material supplemented by a small number of informal interviews. The core secondary material includes government investment agencies statistics, analysis of official documents, policies and analysis of material such as NGO reports, studies and media reports. The analysis corroborates the view that it mostly depends upon Mozambique’s governance actors to make China’s engagement work towards its economic development and that there is not a static set of monolithic neo-colonial tendencies overriding China’s commitments towards the African country.

Die versterking van bande tussen Sjina en Afrika aan die begin van die een-en-twintigste eeu gaan gepaard met ’n oplewing in die akademiese literatuur oor die motiewe en kenmerke van daardie bande. Oor die algemeen is daardie akademiese literatuur baie breed. Dit noodsaak ontleding wat baie sterker gerig is op die plaaslike toestande waaronder Sjina bande met die Afrika-vasteland smee. Hierdie studie poog om beter begrip te kry van hoe Sjina se beleid jeens Mosambiek laasgenoemde se ekonomiese ontwikkeling beïnvloed. Met hierdie doelwit in sig, fokus elk van die vier empiriese hoofstukke op die belangrikste komponente en die jongste prosesse rondom Sjina se betrokkenheid by Mosambiek. Dit behels ’n ontleding van die volgende: Sjina se handel met en beleggings in Mosambiek; die Asiese land se betrokkenheid in Mosambiek se landbousektor; die deelname van Sjina se Exim-bank in die onderhandelinge rondom die ontwikkeling van die Mphanda Nkuwadam; en Mosambiek se betrokkenheid in die deur Sjina geborgde Macau-Forum. Die metodologie wat in die studie gebruik word steun veral op die ontleding van sekondêre stof, wat aangevul word deur ’n aantal onderhoude. Sekondêre materiaal wat ontleed word, sluit in beleggingstatistiek vanuit die owerheidsektor, amptelike dokumentasie, beleide, verslae en studies deur nie-regeringsorganisasies, en persberigte. Die ontleding toon dat Mosambiek se ontwikkelingsvooruitsigte veral beïnvloed sal word deur die optrede van die land se eie amptenare, en dat Sjina se beleid jeens Mosambiek nie gemotiveer word deur ’n stel onbuigsame of neo-koloniale doelwitte nie.


This work would never have been completed without the comprehensive and unrelenting help of Professor Scarlett Cornelissen, Christopher Burke’s pinpoint advice and Antonio’s precise corrections. Of course the genesis of this thesis was my inspiring experience at the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University. To those who shared that “kitsch” red office with me I owe the triggering of a great passion and interest for the impact of China in Africa and the world.

Also thanks to all those who were interviewed and patient enough to attend to my curiosity in various conferences and meetings in South Africa and Portugal.

Special mention has to go to the entire PRIO crowd and the excitingly surreal journey from Norway to South Africa we shared in the last two years. They, together with my friends at Stellenbosch University Pol. Sci. understand, better than anyone, what this work means.

Huge thanks to my Mum, Jorge, family and childhood friends who were always there for me to get back to whenever I needed it, and particularly to “Grumpy” Willy, who helped me with organising the bibliography, and Carine, with whom I listened to ridiculously long sessions of Radio Mozambique.

Oyvind, Bryce and Graeme, thanks for making me laugh hysterically.


List of Tables and Figures viii
Chapter 1 – Introduction 1
1.1. Background 1
1.2. Problem Statement and Rationale 3
1.3. Aims of the study 4
1.4. Secondary Research Questions 5
1.5. Theoretical Framework 6
1.6. Methodology 7
1.7. Limitations and Delimitations 9
1.8. Thesis Structure/Layout 10
Chapter 2 –Literature Review and Theoretical Framework 11
2.1. Introduction 11
2.2. Historical Reviews of China-Africa relations 11
2.2. The economics of China’s engagement 112
2.3. China and Mozambique 16
2.4 Ways of approaching China-Mozambique relations - the International Politics of China’s engagement 17
2.4.1. China-Africa through the lenses of Neo-Realism 18
2.4.2. Through the lenses of Coxian IPE 19
2.4.3. Susan Strange’s structural power 20
2.4.4 Through the lenses of Constructivism 21
2.4.5. Insights from Neo-Liberal elements of International Relations 22
2.5. Conclusion 25
Chapter 3 – Background Chapter 27
3.1. Introduction 27
3.2. Historical snapshot of China in Africa 27
3.3. The role of the changing political economy 27
3.4. More dynamic South-South Cooperation 28
3.5. A new era in Africa’s renaissance 29
3.6. General analysis of China and Africa relations 30
3.7. Knowing China to know China abroad 32
3.8. The importance of China’s political layers 34
3.9. China and international civil society 35
3.10. China’s engagement and the importance of symbolism 35
3.11. Brief Institutional Profiles 36
3.12. Profile of Mozambique – The governance of development economics 36
3.13. China-Mozambique: the story so far 38
3.14. Conclusion 42
Chapter 4 - China’s Trade and investment with Mozambique 44
4.1. Introduction 44
4.2. General China-Africa FDI 44
4.3. General China-Africa Trade 46
4.3. Mozambique General FDI 50
4.4. China-Mozambique FDI figures 51
4.5. China-Mozambique FDI Analysis 56
4.6. China-Mozambique Trade 58
4.7. Conclusion 62
Chapter 5 - China´s impact on agriculture and agro-forestry in Mozambique 63
5.1. Introduction 63
5.2. China and Agriculture in Africa – general lessons for Mozambique 63
5.3. China and Agriculture in Mozambique 65
5.4. China and Mozambique’s agro-forestry sector 68
5.5. Fishing and Aquaculture 72
5.6. Conclusion 73
Chapter 6 - Mphanda Nkuwa Dam - How Mozambique can tap into changes in China’s engagement 75
6.1. Introduction 75
6.2. The story of the dam – Geneology of Mphanda Nkuwa 75
6.3. Signs of Pragmatism from China’s actors 78
6.4. The regional dimension of China’s strategic approach 79
6.5. How will the Dam affect Mozambique’s development? 81
6.6 Conclusion 84
Chapter 7 - China’s Engagement of Mozambique through the Macau-Forum 86
7.1. Introduction 86
7.2. Profile of the Forum 86
7.3. Theoretical discussion regarding Economic Diplomacy and how the Macau Forum fits within new trends 89
7.4. The Macau Forum and Mozambique's development - Initiatives of the Macau Forum that concern Mozambique 91
7.5. Conclusion 94
Chapter 8 – Conclusion 96
8.1. Introduction 96
8.2. Can China develop Mozambique? 96
8.3. How China-Mozambique relations inform the more general China-Africa debate 98
8.4. Suggestions for Future Research 100
8.5. Conclusion 101

Acronyms and abbreviations

ADB – African Development Bank
ADF – African Development Fund
AFRODAD – African Forum & Network on Debt and Development
AGOA – African Growth and Opportunity Act
APRM – African Peer Review Mechanism
AU – African Union
CNPC – China National Petroleum Corporation
CPLP – Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (Community of Portuguese Language Countries)
EITI – Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
FAO – Food and Agriculture Organisation
FDI – Foreign Direct Investment
FOCAC – Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
FRELIMO – Liberation Front of Mozambique
GDP – Gross Domestic Product
HCB – Hydroelectric of Cahora Bassa
ICBC – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
IMF – International Monetary Fund
IRN – International Rivers Network
MDC – Maputo Development Corridor
MEND – Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
MNC – Multinational Corporation
MOFCOM – Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China
MoU – Memorandum of Understanding
NEPAD – New Partnership for Africa’s Development
NGO – Non-Governmental Organization
OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
PARPA – Plano de Acção para a Redução de Pobreza (Plan of Action for Poverty Reduction)
PRC – People’s Republic of China
PSCs – Portuguese Speaking Countries
RENAMO – Mozambican National Resistance
SADC – Southern Africa Development Community
SAP – Structural Adjustment Programme
SAPP – Southern Africa Power Pool
SEZ – Special Economic Zone
SINOPEC – China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation
SMEs – Small and Medium Enterprises
SOE – State Owned Enterprise
SPFFBZ – Serviços Provinciais de Florestas e Fauna Bravias (Provincial Services for Wild Forest and Fauna)
TRALAC – Trade Law Centre of South Africa
UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UN – United Nations
UNDP – United Nations Development Programme
US - United States
WB – World Bank
WTO – World Trade Organisation

List of Tables and Figures

Table 1 – Interviews carried out 8
Table 2 – Evolution of total FDI to Mozambique 50
Table 3 - Chinese loans to Mozambique by project 52
Table 4 - Estimated Chinese Projects and Investments in Mozambique by 2008 53
Table 5 - China Imports from Mozambique 60
Table 6 - China exports to Mozambique 61

Figure 1 - Map of Mozambique ix
Figure 2 - Real Growth Rate in Mozambique by Sector 40
Figure 3 - China Imports from Africa 2007 47
Figure 4 - China exports to Africa 2007 48
Figure 5 - China trade with Africa 48
Figure 6 - Evolution of China-Mozambique Imports and Exports 59
Figure 7 - Illegal imports and exports of wood-based products to and from China 71
Figure 8 - SADC energy sector snapshot 80

Figure 1 – Map of Mozambique

Source (CCAfrica)

Chapter 1 – Introduction

1.1. Background

The peculiarities in China’s engagement of Mozambique mirror the complexity of the China-Africa debate. It is precisely into the essence of this complexity that this study aims to zoom in when looking at Mozambique. Hopefully obtaining a better grasp of what the nature of the relationship between China and Mozambique is and how it informs the ongoing conversation in the International Relations and “China in Africa” bodies of literature. While old and emerging powers grapple with present and future uncertainties it has gradually become clear that, in the case of China, its economic development and diplomacy are set to pass through the African continent and countries such as the one being analysed - Mozambique.
Diversity in Africa’s political dynamics, systems and economies is vast and China’s engagement with such diversity will invariably be varied and nuanced. Given this, there is extensive room for an improvement in systematizing the deeper theoretical debates on China in Africa. To the effect, this thesis will review the literature on China in Mozambique by reverting to Chris Alden’s typologies characterizing such literature as that which sees China as: a development partner; a colonizer; an economic competitor. This typology will also help inform and frame each empirical case from Chapters 4 to 7. China’s involvement has stood out recently in its form and pace when compared to the engagement of traditional major powers with Africa. According to some authors, China has significantly displaced and shaken comfortably installed interests of Western economic and diplomatic engagement (Goldstein et. al. 2006; Guttal 2008). Others argue in alternative that China’s arrival constitutes an opportunity for new possible synergies, not only for Africa, but also for different international partners interested in the economic development of the continent (Tjonneland et. al. 2006; Chidaushe 2007). The significance of understanding the competitive and/or stimulating nature of China’s engagements is therefore central for informing effective policymaking and action.
Most importantly, there is a glaring need to move way from a bad-China vs. good-China debate which fosters distorted and unproductive written work and debate. In fact, the greatest gaps in the literature are currently located in: the availability of more in-depth empirical data on the impacts and prospective impacts of China’s engagement in specific sectors, countries and regions; comprehensive compilation of the theoretical approaches to China-Africa/China-Mozambique and how these relate to each other, exposing the key uncertainties left to particular stakeholders ; and more comprehensive exchanges between the theoretical premises of different China-Africa schools and particular case-studies, inter-sector analysis and empirical data.
This study will be directly addressing this gap by mapping out the current trends from the perspective of Mozambique. By so doing it will attempt to contribute to the theoretical debates concerning China’s engagement, illustrating the overall argument with four of the most significant examples of the engagement: the breakdown of China Mozambique trade and investment; China’s cooperation in the agro-forestry sector; the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam project; and Mozambique’s place within the China sponsored Macau Forum. In the context of present-day China Mozambique ties, these four examples constitute respectively: in the case of trade and investment, the most visible and quantifiable phenomena; arguably the sector with the greatest significance and potential development-impact in Mozambique (agriculture sector); the largest and most potentially innovative investment (Mphanda Nkuwa Dam); and evidence of how Mozambique’s development through China also encompasses initiatives at the level of international institutions (the Macau-Forum). Overall analysis will be located within the body of literature concerning International Political Economy, International Relations theory and writings on China in Africa.
As China’s involvement in the African continent flourishes, actors in the private and public sector affected by this engagement, including traditional western partners already with a stake in Africa and other emerging partners , are invariably taking great interest in what this engagement means for the economic development of Africa. Another motive why China-Mozambique relations were chosen as a case study is because they have been relatively under-researched as a whole. At the same time they represent one of the relationships which have been deemed most strategic and privileged by China and an African partner.
Mozambique has received much attention, resources and programmes spearheaded by western donors and their development policies. There is therefore a considerable amount of raw data and information in the form of statistics, government briefs and media reports to be explored and contextualized within an academic discourse. It is also particularly important to think about the practical options of the actors involved so that an optimization of this engagement towards development becomes possible.
In the current process of global rebalancing, China’s engagement is challenging the traditional moulds of Africa’s international relations, eroding the institutions and the development-models of the Washington Consensus (Barma & Ratner, 2006) and bringing more complexity and diversity to the diplomatic and economic options of African governments. Hu Jintao’s 2007 visit to Mozambique, part of his Africa tour, represented a landmark in the recent importance of the engagement of China with Mozambique. Now that all signs point to a greater strengthening of the ties between the countries it becomes imperative that a constructive and informed academic debate takes place so that the engagement is understood and well-managed. It is for these reasons that mapping and breaking down China’s engagement of Africa, in this case looking at Mozambique as a country-study, becomes significant. In effect, it is now widely perceived that the effects of China’s trade and investment in Africa are context-specific. By adopting an analysis adapted to this reality this study will attempt at reaching more nuanced insights of the engagement.
For the purposes of limiting the research focus, the evolution of China-Africa relations and of Mozambique’s political economy will be analysed within the 2000-2008 timeframe as a guide, with periodic references to past period of relevance. This particular epoch was chosen because it matches the time of the re-engagement of China with Africa in general and with Mozambique in particular. It is also the time for which there is most information and data available and when literature on China in Africa has generally started re-emerging.

1.2. Problem Statement and Rationale

The guiding question in this research is: “What are the dimensions of China’s economic involvement in Mozambique as reflected in major recent processes and what conclusions could be drawn on their possible effects on Mozambique’s development prospects?” This is a key question that has not yet been fully answered in the existing scholarship nor satisfactorily contextualized in the current debate regarding China and Mozambique.
Emmy Bosten (2007); Bila (2007); AFRODAD (2007); Horta (2008); Morrissey (2006); Morrissey (2006); and Mackenzie (2006) are those who have contributed a useful starting platform for this project. There are however some significant limits to their work, not least because their writings have pretty much just introduced the current debate regarding China’s relations with Mozambique. The problem statement above matches some of the problems guiding the work of these authors, particularly those tackled in an AFRODAD report which also directly pertains to China’s impact on Mozambique’s development. There remain however, as mentioned, some gaps and limitations to be addressed as well as important issues raised in the body of literature pertaining to China-Mozambique relations worthy of further exploration. For instance, according to an AFRODAD report on China-Mozambique relations “recent studies available are a kind of impact prognostic at sub-regional or regional level” (2007:22). Without wanting to disregard the importance of such exercises, these reports can be further complemented at three levels:
• at the level of their theoretical contextualization and of their theoretical self-awareness and place within the ongoing China-Africa debate;
• in terms of the depth and the thoroughness of their analysis, which usually consists of descriptive analysis describing problems and issues which still have room to be more deeply explored; and
• by presenting important analytical interrelations between the issues they tackle and a more holistic approach bringing agriculture, infrastructure and economic diplomatic channels into the same country-focused analysis.
For example, Bila’s paper is essentially descriptive and limited to using a uni dimensional understanding of what China’s engagement is, extrapolating all his analysis from there. Emmy Bosten’s work in turn is heavily focused on the construction sector and not particularly thorough while AFRODAD’s final report has an overly technical approach to assessing China’s impact on Mozambique’s development. Its assessment analyses, above all, how China’s engagement fits Mozambique’s development path programmed in PARPA I and PARPA II. Loro Horta in turn has carried out some significant journalistic work, contextualising insightful views of the China-Africa diplomatic corridors with some of the general literature. Catherine Mackenzie’s report shows evidence of comprehensive field-work and privileges the practical problems of the agro-forestry sector in Mozambique, effectively opting for, as does Loro Horta, to leave out the wider theoretical debates.
There are therefore still questions and key aspects related to China-Mozambique relations that can be more and thoroughly answered and, most importantly, contextualized with the ongoing theoretical debate both in the China-Africa and International Relations discourses. The interaction between the four empirical examples and the theoretical discussion comprises an attempt at a more comprehensive overview of China-Mozambique relations.
1.3. Aims of the study

The central challenge of the problem statement is to bring together three spheres of analysis comprising: trends in China’s international relations and more specifically its engagement with Africa and Mozambique; the course of Mozambique’s economic development; and lastly, the internal, regional and international context of Mozambique’s economic development. This thesis aims to better understand the relations between these factors and how China’s policy towards Mozambique affects its economic development.
With this objective in mind each empirical chapter will provide a fresh view over some of the most salient dimensions of China’s involvement in Mozambique. Chapter 4 focuses on trade and investment and will try and provide as accurate and broad a picture as possible of the evolution of China’s FDI and trade with Mozambique from 2000 onwards by also contextualizing it within overall figures for China’s engagement with the continent in general. The objective of Chapter 5 is to discuss the opportunities Mozambique can explore with China regarding its agriculture sector and also to assess what has been China’s involvement in the forestry sub-sector. The engagement dimension presented in Chapter 6 is that of the infrastructure sector, more specifically the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam project. The aim of this chapter is to look at the story of the negotiation process and understand to what extent the investment model it embodies presents new signs of Chinese pragmatism that Mozambique can explore for its development. Lastly, by observing the evolution of the Macau Forum as an institution and Mozambique’s presence within its structures, this study aims to understand what potential opportunities this China-sponsored multilateral institution presents to Mozambique’s economic development.

1.4. Secondary Research Questions

A group of sub-questions detailing the main problem will be important to consider as the research progresses. These secondary questions are not new, but expand on the problem statement. An attempt to answer these will be made before broader conclusions about the effect of China on Mozambique’s development can be drawn. These questions are:
1. What has been the nature and the evolution of the: a) economic; b) socio political relations between China and Mozambique for the period between 2000 and 2008?
2. What has been the evolution in volume and breakdown of China’s trade and investments with Mozambique as reflected in import and export statistics, foreign direct investments, and sectoral patterns?
3. What motivations underlie China’s economic engagement with Mozambique and what are the implications of these?
The list of motivations will also be differentiated according to the type of actors referred to within China’s engagement. Ranging from private entrepreneurs, government officials, officials from state-owned enterprises, bureaucrats from multilateral organisations as well as small and medium level private entrepreneurs, the engagement of all these Chinese actors is being instigated for reasons that are unique to them. There is however another set of motives common to them all, of which for example the limited availability of resources at home and will expand to the international level are some of them.
4. Does China’s engagement constitute a hindrance or an asset in the economic development of Mozambique?
5. What particular evidence and signals can be drawn when it comes to informing how China’s engagement can impact on Mozambique’s development path?
All the chapters will serve to enrich the descriptive answer provided to sub-question one and interact to draw the evidence for sub-questions three, four and five. The more general chapter on trade and investment will provide a broader understanding of the main sectors being affected by China’s investment. It also shows how this trade and investment fits the full picture of Mozambique’s investment and trade, addressing sub question two. The agro-forestry sector will provide important insights for two reasons. First an analysis of China’s engagement in agriculture can shed light on how its engagement can most directly affect the issues of grassroots development, which in Mozambique remain traditionally tied to this sector. Second, the logging sector has been particularly problematic and is where China has drawn most considerable criticism in Mozambique. In this regard, the evolution of China’s involvement in the sector will prove to be particularly decisive in the future. Lastly, the Macau Forum case study will provide insight into how Mozambique and China project themselves in an international setting, something that has very tangible consequences in defining the dynamics of their relationship with each other and consequently in understanding how Mozambique can or cannot tap into China’s engagement for its economic development.

1.5. Theoretical Framework

The central theoretical framework used is the wider literature of International Political Economy and International Relations in which topical literature of China in Africa can be generally included. In chapter two this literature is reviewed and analysed in greater detail. The literature on China’s engagement with Africa has been organised not chronologically, but according to the typology of each author’s writings, into how they fit within Chris Alden’s framework dividing China-Africa writings between those understanding China as: a colonizer; a development partner; and an economic competitor. Such “boxing” is however not absolute and represents a particular informed reading of each authors’ work. It is used for practical and organizational reasons, to allow for a simplification of the debate and more clearly identify the different broader strands of the debate. A stance has been carved which seeks to make use but also go beyond these typologies since some aspects of the examples explored below do not always fit into these “boxes”.

Literature on Mozambique will encompass an extensive collection of factual information on China-Mozambique relations regarding trade, investment and other commercial deals, originating from international and local media sources, namely Reuters, Jornal de Notícias de Moçambique, Xinhua and Macauhub. Such data is extremely important for the empirical case chapters and will be analysed against more academic work on the set of relations, including several reports by NGOs and government institutions that assess specific sectors or projects.

There is also a comprehensive section presenting China in Africa through the perspective of some of the major International Relations schools in Chapter 2. This is a particularly useful exercise which provides insights into the deeper philosophical foundations of IR and their explanations for the nature of China’s engagement. The analysis will thus encompass a better understanding of the theoretical and philosophical processes underpinning the engagement and subsequent debates. In doing so, this thesis is not aiming at simply selecting a framework but instead to expose the particular strengths and weaknesses of each “lens” and “why” and “how” some of the frameworks seem to be particularly appropriate to explain China’s engagement in Africa.

This theoretical framework, exercised in two steps, will be useful for the analysis in that it will allow a better interrelation and contextualization of the material on China Mozambique relations. It will also pinpoint the most obvious points of dissent in the debate and also present an overview that is as balanced and all-encompassing as possible. Contributing to the theoretical debate, providing a more comprehensive picture of China-Mozambique relations and discussing practical improvements and opportunities for policy-making are the main objective of this study. The details and the particular insights and interpretations present in the case studies and theoretical formulations will hopefully enrich the China-Africa narrative and constructively feed into the ongoing debate.

1.6. Methodology

The methodology to be used will be focused in time (in the period between 2000 and 2008), exploratory in nature, qualitative and reliant on the analysis of secondary material such as government statistics, analysis of official documents, policies and analysis of material such as NGO reports, studies and media reports. This method of research will also be used for the empirical examples adopted. Chapter 4 on trade and investment in Mozambique is based both on official data from the government and investment agencies of China and Mozambique as well as on reports released in the media concerning relevant trade and foreign investment figures, both public and private. The data will be divided into data pertaining to China and Africa in general and then to China and Mozambique in particular, so that a contextualization is possible. Such data will then be analysed comparatively against evidence of China’s greater investment strategy in the continent which starts to rely on various Special Economic Zones (SEZ) as privileged hubs for its engagement. Chapter 5 on the agro-forestry sector will bring together two sets of data, first a collection from local media and Chinese sources compiling the characteristics of different specific instances of China’s engagement in Mozambique’s agriculture sector. Such data will be contextualized within the general state of the agriculture sector in the country and how its strategy can be made to adapt to latest new engagements as well as with literature covering the potential lessons China’s agriculture development experience holds for Mozambique. The analysis of Mphanda Nkuwa will rely on official government reports and other previous academic work and reports on the dam and the energy sector of Mozambique. Such evidence will be compared with evidence from previous similar projects involving China and China Exim-Bank in the continent such as in the Merowe Dam in Sudan. Finally, Chapter 8 concerning the Macau Forum will be built upon literature on the onset of hybrid actors in international relations of which Macau is an example. The opportunities offered and characteristics Macau as a hybrid actor that is also influencing China’s economic engagement can be tapped into by Mozambique for its benefit. In addition, this framework will allow the study to better analyse and contextualize the particular instances where China-Mozambique cooperation has already been exercised through the channels of this multilateral institution created in 2003.
Supplementary informal and unstructured elite interviews of some of those involved in the study and practice of relevant policy processes have been conducted in Lisbon as seen on Table 1 below. An email exchange was carried out with an interviewee based in Beijing and participant in the Macau Forum, who however expressed wish to remain anonymous (Interview A). Another academic who has observed the Macau-Forum from the inside has also expressed the same wish to remain anonymous (Interview B). The interviews were informal and unstructured in nature. The interview with Dr. Moisés da Silva occurred in the context of a public lecture at the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Finally, the other three occurred in international conferences such as CPLP’s “Dias do Desenvolvimento” (Victor Bernardo, June 2008) and Instituto Oriente’s China in the Development World (Loro Horta, June 2008).
They consisted of short conversations on issues such as the internal affairs of the Macau Forum, the agro-forestry sector or the construction of the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam. The purpose was, in the case of the Macau Forum, to provide greater insight into the processes occurring within the organization and for the case of Mphanda Nkuwa to enquire and confirm both the status and due importance attached to the construction of the dam by government officials. These interviews proved to be particularly useful for Chapter 7 on the Macau Forum where proceedings remain somewhat under analysed given that it is a very recent creation and little work has been done about the topic.

Table 1 – Interviews
Interview A Interview B Dr. Moisés Fernandes
Date March 2008 May 2008 May 2008
Institution Investment Agency of a Macau Forum member Social Sciences Research Institution Lisbon Confucius Institute/ Macau Specialist
Position Director /
Macau Forum delegate Researcher and
Macau Forum observer Director
Duration n.a. 1 hour 2 hours
Format E-mail Informal/face-to-face Informal/face-to-face
Topic Macau-Forum Macau-Forum Macau-Forum
Place Beijing Lisbon Lisbon

Dr. Loro Horta Victor Bernardo
Date June 2008 June 2008
Institution Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Government of Mozambique
Position Analyst Deputy Minister of Planning and Development
Duration 2 hours 15 minutes
Format Informal/face-to-face Informal/face-to-face
Topic China and Mozambique's agro-forestry sector Mozambique Infrastructure and Mphanda Nkuwa
Place Lisbon Lisbon

More broadly, the research concerns macro-organizations (states and groups of states) and respective institutions. Although this thesis also explores issues of trade and diplomatic relations at the macro-level, however, it is important to remember that any generalization is no substitute for a detailed analysis of the impact of trade regimes and sets of bilateral relations of particular countries, communities or sectors. This is one of the main reasons why this study has adopted a method which extrapolates from different illustrative examples of China’s engagement with Mozambique to complement the theoretical analysis. In effect, using empirical examples allows for theory to be better integrated and contextualized as they illustrate particular phenomenon that remain under-analyzed and allow for greater attention to be assigned to specific effects of China’s engagement.

1.7. Limitations and Delimitations

The study will be looking at a selection of cases from China’s engagement with Mozambique. Such selection will further focus the initial choice of Mozambique as a particular geographical area and political unit. It has been the case that so far, “only specific Government sectors have contact with Chinese capital issues” (AFRODAD 2007:22). This statement puts into evidence how the availability and dissemination of information and data on China in Africa and China in Mozambique is not yet optimal. Also, to keep the study focused, some engagement dimensions which would also have been interesting to look at with greater depth were put aside not because they were irrelevant but in fact because the four specific dimensions that were chosen (trade and investment, infrastructure, agriculture and China’s new diplomatic channels) present a more compelling and accessible array of evidence for answering the research questions.

1.8. Thesis Structure/Layout

This first chapter has introduced the methodology, motivation and limitations of this research, presenting the key subjects studied. The second chapter will outline the theoretical framework and survey the literature on International Relations, Political Economy and Development. This chapter will also review the relevant literature on China. The third chapter will be the background chapter; it will provide the setting of China’s engagement in Mozambique as well as explore the evolution of China’s foreign policy and the story of Mozambique’s development challenges. The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chapters will solidify the analysis and argument by including an analysis of the China-Mozambique trade and investment profile plus other three cases. Chapter 5 and 6 will look at the Agriculture sector of Mozambique and at China’s recent involvement in the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam respectively. Finally, Chapter 6 analyses Mozambique’s participation in the China sponsored Macau-Forum, a multilateral institution which brings together China and Lusophone countries.

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