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The most notable example of the cooperation was construction of the Tazara railway, linking Zambia to the coastal port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and thus providing Zambia with an alternative route to the sea. After Deng Xiaoping’s reforms took off in 1978, Sino-African cooperation became less prominent for some time, but regained momentum in the 1990s. President Jiang Zemin, who toured Africa in May 1996, presented the Five Points Proposal establishing the contours of a new relationship with Africa, centering on a reliable friendship, sovereign equality, nonintervention, mutually beneficial development, and international cooperation.

It is relevant to note that the estimates presented here are well within the upper bound determined through the official statistics on Foreign Economic Cooperation presented in the previous section (see table 1). 5 billion in 2007 (figure 4). It is interesting to compare these confirmed financing figures with the total envelope reported in the press. This evidently cannot be regarded as an estimate of actual finance, but provides a good barometer of the intensity of dealmaking activity. 3 billion (or 25 percent) opened up between the two (see figure 4).

Natural resources are being used to secure some of the financing. The Congo River Dam in the Republic of Congo and Bui Dam in Ghana, which are currently under construction, are being financed by the China Ex-Im Bank loans backed by guarantees of crude oil in case of the Congo River Dam, and cocoa, in the case of Bui Dam. The Poubara hydropower dam in Gabon is to be built by Sinohydro as part of the US$3 billion Belinga Iron Ore project; however, the amount of Chinese financing committed into the project is not known.

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