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Vol 2 (AAC) No 2

Published 1st December 2008

The power of the provinces

The devolution of decision-taking on trade and foreign relations allows regional governments and companies to form their own ties with Africa

The provincial leaders who have driven China’s economic boom and commercial charge into Africa insist that history is on their side. Ancient China’s Emperors – powerful as they seemed – still had to negotiate their powers and authority with the provincial barons of the day. It was only under Mao Zedong’s communist rule that Beijing seemed able – albeit temporarily – to impose its writ across China.

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