This is yet another example of carefully planned strategy executed on the political arena and followed by thousands of private firms. It appears that Chinese businessmen have higher risk tollerance than U.S. and European ones, which makes them enter areas that would be too risky for Western world firms.
A fellow central banker I met recently has just told me about well functioning export oriented cement plan Chinese built in Zimbabwe, and about increasing trade and investement ties with China. Chinese authorities offer a lot of help to Zimbabwe as well.
In 2050 the population of Asia will have increased by 1.3bn, in Africa will have increased by 1bn and in Europa will have dropped by 70m (making strong migration assumptions). These numbers do tell where the global growth delta (to use Steve Roach wording) will be coming from in mid XXI century. Chinese seem to understand this very well. Are you still wondering what should be the second foreign languange your kids should learn?