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China in Africa: The Real Story

Chinese Land Grabs Revised Downward

Deborah Brautigam

I've been critical of the Land Matrix's early efforts to post a very problematic "database" of large scale land acquisitions. That database was recently revised and has been re-posted (click here). I haven't yet gone through it (I will) but at least regarding China, it appears more accurate than the earlier version.

Why do I think so?

One of the lead researchers, Dr. Ward Anseeuw (from the French research center CIRAC) said to the BBC.  "We see from the new data that the activities of China have been overestimated... In the press you see China everywhere, but in the database there is not as much China as we think there is."

Yes. Exactly what I and others have been saying for some years now.

H/t to Eckart Woertz and Martin Keulertz.  Eckart's new book, Oil for Food, on the Gulf States and land acquisitions has just been published by Oxford University Press.