Communist China in Black Africa: The Tan-Zam Railway, 1965-1970
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CARLISLE BARRACKS United States
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The central theme is the significance of Communist Chinas largest foreign aid project, the Tanzania-Zambia Tan-Zam Railway, in the context of Chinas Africa policy and its evident belief in the inevitability of a war between black and white in Southern Africa. Information was acquired by a literature search, attendance at a conference on the Indian Ocean, interviews with US Government analysts, correspondence with an authoritative private source and by nine years as a US Foreign Service Officer in Africa. Although several phases of Pekings Africa policy can be recognized, Peking still sees Africa as part of the revolutionary countryside of the world, which must eventually overcome the world cities Europe and North America. Despite the chaos in China caused by the Cultural Revolution, China made the decision to offer to build the railway project in order to build up its influence in Africa. Zambia wanted the Railway to end its dependence on railways in white-ruled areas. The project was opposed by Western copper and railway interests finance was refused by Western governments and the World Bank. An American company had the consent of both Tanzania and Zambia to get the project started, but US and British Government disapproval resulted in the ultimate acceptance of the Chinese offer.