China's Second Continent

China's Second Continent

How A Million Migrants Are Building A New Empire in Africa

Book - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
A New York Times Notable Book 

Chinese immigrants of the recent past and unfolding twenty-first century are in search of the African dream. So explains indefatigable traveler Howard W. French, prize-winning investigative journalist and former New York Times bureau chief in Africa and China, in the definitive account of this seismic geopolitical development. China’s burgeoning presence in Africa is already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. From Liberia to Senegal to Mozambique, in creaky trucks and by back roads, French introduces us to the characters who make up China’s dogged emigrant population: entrepreneurs singlehandedly reshaping African infrastructure, and less-lucky migrants barely scraping by but still convinced of Africa’s opportunities. French’s acute observations offer illuminating insight into the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: Why China is making these cultural and economic incursions into the continent; what Africa’s role is in this equation; and what the ramifications for both parties and their people—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future.

One of the Best Books of the Year at • The Economist  The 
Guardian • Foreign Affairs

Baker & Taylor
A former New York Times bureau chief and Pulitzer Prize finalist documents the burgeoning Chinese presence in Africa to examine China's potentially world-changing role in reshaping Africa's culture and economy. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385351683
Branch Call Number: 325.25 FRE
Characteristics: pages cm


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Aug 23, 2015

I found the book repetitive at times. With each country that Howard visited, the viewpoint of the Chinese expatriates and the countries' nationals was quite similar. It was entertaining enough to keep me interested until the end.

Apr 05, 2015

Mr. French interviewed many Chinese expatiates in Africa for his book. Most of these Chinese people were very nice to him. They treated him with lavish meal, drove him around the country, took him to shopping when he lost his luggage, invited him to their home, work place and helped him every way they could. But nothing they had done was good enough for him. He criticized everything about them. Their construction were shoddy works, their motive to help the Africans were all for selfish reason, they were racial supremacists wanting to take over the Africa, maybe even the world, & they were destroying the environment everywhere they go. It was excruciating to read chapter after chapter, Mr. French happily accepted generous hospitality of his victims, then, trashed them all in his book. Any Chinese knowingly or unknowingly had any encounter with Mr. French would be portrayed as egoistic racist monster who cared only making money for themselves. But it was interesting to read about Africa. I appreciated Africa so much more after reading his book. I wish Chinese read his book and learn to be more sensitive toward African people, not to pollute the environment, build better looking things and never talk to Mr. French ever again.
Recently, I went to listen to Mr. French talking about his book. He was not as harsh with his criticism toward the Chinese as in his book and mentioned that most people in the west were just as racist in the past. After the talk, I asked him what is his view on Muslim’s influence in Africa, and asked for his comment about the killing in the Kenya university by al-shabab and the violent acts done by Boca Haram. He said, I need to understand that historically there have been a very large Muslim population in Africa. But in the 19th century, Western colonial powers carved up Africa without any respect to the existing borderline and the current violence was a result of that.

ChristchurchLib Aug 06, 2014

Journalist Howard French has extensive knowledge about Africa and China, having served as a bureau chief for The New York Times in both areas. Intrigued by the growing numbers of Chinese people who have moved to Africa, he interviewed both Africans and Chinese about China's apparent "colonization" of Africa. In China's Second Continent, he explains why the Chinese are moving to Africa, portrays their often contemptuously racist attitudes, and describes their business methods. French also discusses the potential for economic development that could harm or help Africa, depending on how the Chinese involvement is managed. China's Second Continent provides a thought-provoking assessment of the possible future for both Africa and China. History and Current Events newsletter August 2014.


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Dec 16, 2014

China has a means of advancing which is different from that of the west.

Dec 16, 2014

American diplomats had been slow to understand the scope of the change being driven by Chinese migration to Africa.

Dec 16, 2014

For thousands of years, Chinese had called people on their frontier barbarians, and now the stereotype had been reversed.


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