China's struggles in Gabon
There are two oft-used stereotypes of the Chinese in Africa: 1) they are a new 'neo-colonial' power and 2) they are steam-rolling their way unimpeded across the continent. Both are clearly inaccurate and no where is that more evident than in Gabon. The Chinese have failed to break in to a system that is heavily dominated by French influence, a French legal system and French cultural norms that are impenetrable by outsiders. Nonetheless, Gabon represents on the most fascinating case studies to examine China's persistence in entering a potentially lucrative market for timber, oil and iron ore.