"Kushner is fair-minded and has invested much time and effort in figuring out the interplay between the new superpower and a poor but strategically important African country."
-Ian Johnson, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS.
What does China see in the world's poorest nation? An opportunity for big business. Congo is known for poverty and conflict, but it is home to enormous mineral wealth. Tens of thousands of Chinese men and women have left their families behind to live in Africa to buy, sell and process ore. Now, two Chinese state-owned companies are opening the biggest mine Congo has ever seen. In exchange, Congo is accepting billions of dollars in debt to Chinese banks to build new roads and modernize its infrastructure.
But will Chinese mines and roads transform the country in a way Western aid and business has not? Or will Congolese officials get rich while their people continue to live in poverty? And what if 'China's Congo Plan'-- the largest investment the world's poorest nation has ever seen-- is not a plan at all?
Jacob Kushner takes readers street-side to a grand, Chinese-constructed boulevard in Congo's capital Kinshasa; to a mountain range where Congolese men, women and children dig for minerals with picks and shovels; and to a factory where Chinese immigrants melt aqua-blue rocks into molten copper lava. Two years after China overtook the United States as Africa's largest trading partner, Kushner dives into China's rise in the the center of the continent.