Mali's $11 billion Chinese gamble
Mali appears to be engaged in a risky diplomatic face-off with China over a proposed $11 billion rail project. While Chinese officials have refused to publicly commit to the project, Malian leaders say the two mine-to-coast rail contracts have actually been finalized. Other African countries have largely been unsuccessful in the past trying to pressure the Chinese through the media. Nonetheless, Mali’s vast reserves of iron ore, bauxite and, most significantly, gold, must be very tempting to China as it makes inroads in French West Africa. Our guest this week, Nuša Tukić from the Stellenbosch University Centre for Chinese Studies, closely follows Sino-Malian and shares her views on the whether Bamako’s strategy will ultimately pay off.