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“Last November, in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced a series of new pledges for Chinese assistance to African countries — and in the process, made many observers in the West very uneasy. Westerners think they know what Africa needs to do in order to develop: liberalize markets, get prices right, promote democracy. And they think they know what China is doing there: offering huge no-strings attached aid packages to resource-rich countries that prop up pariah regimes.

But a closer look reveals a somewhat different story.”