African Military Aircraft Procurement from China: A Case Study from Zambia

Image: Flickr, cryogenic666
Image: Flickr, cryogenic666

Why do developing countries want to expand their air force, and why would Chinese arms suppliers be preferred?

Based on two rounds of elite interviews in Lusaka in June and December of 2019, complemented by desk research in both English and Chinese, this policy brief condenses fieldwork findings into policy analyses and recommendations for the Zambian government, the Chinese government, the US government, international businesses, and development organizations. Between 2000 and 2017, the Chinese government, banks, and contractors extended a total of US$ 143 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises.1 While the bulk of financing went towards infrastructure projects such as roads and power plants, US$ 1.5 billion funded military equipment procurement. The lenders included the national policy bank Export-Import Bank of China (Eximbank), Chinese companies such as Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), and China Poly Technologies.

1 Jan 2020