Pan Africanism : A Rising China Counters U.S. Clout in Africa...

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Aqil, May 7, 2005.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    By Abraham McLaughlin
    Christian Science Monitor

    HARARE, ZIMBABWE - The Chinese economic juggernaut and its thirst for minerals and markets has increasingly brought it to Africa, including here to Zimbabwe. The fertile hills of this southern African nation are rich with gold and the world's second-largest platinum reserves. In Sudan, Angola, and along the Gulf of Guinea, the Asian giant is guzzling the continent's vast oil supply.

    But lately the Chinese are digging on a different front, one that could complicate the Bush administration's efforts to promote democracy here: African politics. Last year, China stymied U.S. efforts to levy sanctions on Sudan, which supplies nearly 5% of China's oil, and where the U.S. says genocide has occurred in its Darfur region. And as Zimbabwe becomes more isolated from the West, China sent crates of T-shirts for ruling-party supporters who voted in the parliamentary elections last month.

    In addition, China and/or its businesses have reportedly:

    • Provided a radio-jamming device for a military base outside the capital, preventing independent stations from balancing state-controlled media during the election campaign.

    • Begun to deliver 12 fighter jets and 100 trucks to Zimbabwe's Army amid a Western arms embargo.

    • Designed President Robert Mugabe's new 25-bedroom mansion, complete with helipad. The cobalt-blue tiles for its swooping roof, which echoes Beijing's Forbidden City, were a Chinese gift.

    China is increasingly making its presence felt on the continent - from building roads in Kenya and Rwanda to increasing trade with Uganda and South Africa. But critics say its involvement in politics could help prop up questionable regimes, like Mr. Mugabe's increasingly autocratic 25-year reign. "Suffering under the effects of international isolation, Zimbabwe has looked to new partners, including China, who won't attach conditions, such as economic and political reform to their support," says a Western diplomat here. Of China's influence on last month's elections, he adds, "I find it hard to believe the Chinese would push hard for free and fair elections - it's not the standard they're known for."

    Indeed, Mugabe often praises China and Asia as part of his new "Look East" policy. He responded to tough questions from an interviewer on Britain's Sky News last year about building his $9 million new home, while millions of Zimbabweans live on the verge of starvation, by saying: "You say it's lavish because it is attractive. It has Chinese roofing material, which makes it very beautiful, but it was donated to us. The Chinese are our good friends, you see."

    China is becoming good friends to many African nations, as the U.S. has been. Between 2002 and 2003, China-Africa trade jumped 50% - to $18.5 billion - Chinese officials say. It's expected to grow to $30 billion by 2006. US-Africa trade was $44.5 billion last year, according to the Commerce Department. As the world's largest oil importer behind the U.S., China has oil interests in Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Angola, and Gabon. The U.S. is also hunting for oil in Africa, with about 10% of imports coming from the continent.

    Not all of China's activities in Africa are controversial. Under the auspices of the United Nations, the China-Africa Business Council opened this month, headquartered in China, to boost trade and development. It has peacekeepers in Liberia and has contributed to construction projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia, though critics say it is using these projects to garner goodwill that it can tap into during prickly issues like Taiwan's independence or UN face-offs with the U.S.

    Here in Zimbabwe, China also may be helping to support one of Africa's more oppressive regimes. The radio-jamming equipment that has prevented the independent Short Wave Radio Africa from broadcasting into the country is Chinese, according to the U.S.-funded International Broadcast Bureau. Reporters Without Borders, a group dedicated to freedom of the press, based in Paris, had this to say about the jamming: "Thanks to support from China, which exports its repressive expertise, Robert Mugabe's government has yet again just proved itself to be one of the most active predators of press freedom."

    A Chinese diplomat here insists the equipment didn't come from China. And he says the T-shirts, which reportedly arrived on Air Zimbabwe's new direct flight from Beijing, were "purely a business transaction." But he adds that China-Zimbabwe relations have recently "been cemented in the field of politics and business." In return for its support, China has received diplomatic backing on Taiwan's independence, as it has from many African nations.

    Ultimately, China's expansion into Zimbabwe and Africa is more narrow than the 1800s colonization by European powers, when "Christianity, civilization, and commerce" were the buzzwords. For China, it's all about economics. "They've said: 'If you agree to privatize and sell to us your railways, your electricity generation, etc. - we will come in with capital," says John Robertson, an economist based in Harare. With an economy that has shrunk as much as 40% in five years, Zimbabwe's government uses these promises to put off critics. "The government says, 'The Chinese are coming, and they'll bring in billions of dollars in investment, and soon everything will be fully restored,' " Mr. Robertson says.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0330/p01s01-woaf.html
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I would like to see more African countries trading with each other. This is what will bring them true economic independance (the only independance that matters) from Europe & the US. However, there has to be a starting point, and if conducting business with China is the 1st step towards ending dependacy of European & American markets then so be it. I just caution Africa from trading one exploiter for another.
     
  3. thabo_mbeki

    thabo_mbeki Member MEMBER

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    uh oh, looks like we are being recolonialized again.

    seriously though, i think that we should be very vigilant of the chinese. They vetoed any action agaisnt arab sudan, just because they have oil contracts there.
     
  4. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    A HATER BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL THE SAME.

    ANY SWITCH FROM EOROPEANS IS GOOD, BUT HEARING 'SELL US YOUR RAILWAYS" IS DEPRESSING. ONCE AGAIN SELLING THEIR OWN LAND FOR QUICK PROFIT BUT NOT THINKING OF THE FUTURE! THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BACK FIRE AT THE FIRST CUT OFF OF SUPPLIES, AND TURN INTO WAR. THAT IS WAR WITH A STRONGER MILITARY, DO THESE PEOPLE-OUR PEOLE EVER LEARN?

    PAN YOU ARE CORRECT SIR, WHY NOT TRADE WITH OTHER AFRIKAN NATIONS? LIKE I SAID THAT QUICK FIX PROFIT. EVEN ILL ADMIT..HARD TO TURN DOWN.
     
  5. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    To be honest, I was looking forward to the day when the Chinese and Koreans started taking a serious interest in Africa.

    I've always seen anything that pushes whites and Arabs out of Africa as another step closer to us reclaiming our greatness.



    No, we shouldn't replace one racist colonizer with another, and Lord knows how racist the Chinese can be....but we need a third party to intercede.

    Since the fall of the Soviet Union the West has been running rampant with it's abuse and exploitation of Africa's natural and human resources....so perhaps the competition may do us some good.



    Racism from Asians isn't like that of whites.

    They simply deem themselves superior, truly believe this and don't want to have anything to do with us.

    Whites on the other hand obviously fear us and constantly meddle in our affair corrupting our leaders, introducing diseases, and other forms of treachery that keeps us from getting up on our feet.

    I doubt the Chinese would do this.

    Sure they'd outright kill some of us if they feel threatened, but they aren't obsessed with destroying our very soul and future.

    Not to mention many of thier cultural norms are similar to ours and may even help us to regain some of what was lost under European colonialism.

    So perhaps allowing them in control over certain key areas formally controled by whites may be of benefit in the long run until we get back on our feet.




    Sure we want total independance for Africa....

    But who among you would turn down house arrest for a chance to get our of prison?
     
  6. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    you make a good point ra f. Do chinese wish to destroy the race? they seem more bent on money then killing africans. the goal is or should be for africa to be %100 under control of africans. what will happen when africans decide to cut off the chinese or raise prices? what about the chinese asissisting in the sudanese genocyde? anything non-white is good, but anything but black cannot be trusted...any many things black cannot be trusted either.

    however africa will not be back on her feat until curruption is gone. including the mugabes, and the rest of the lo-life dictators who sell their people for riches.

    peace
     
  7. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ditto Pan, Therious, Ralfa'il... China is but another colonizer, and what is sad is that Africans know and understand this, but because we are, as Simba said, a wee bit lazy, and do not want to do for ourselves, we take the easy way out... That hurts me to say that, but actions speak so loud to that effect. What can I say.

    I found the quote about free and fair elections not being the standard of the Chinese by an American scholar to be utterly disingenuous considering what happened in this country in 2000... That, along with the United States support of a thousand and one dictators all over the world since the 1800's...

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  8. Ralfa'il

    Ralfa'il Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Therious

    Respect

    I'm glad you understand what I'm saying.

    We all want independance for our continent but first thing's first.

    We must be prepared for independance and proper self governing, and that can't happen as long as Satan has his jacked-booted foot on our necks working his evil.

    Driving Satan out is priority, then the healing process can begin.






    Isaiah

    Peace.

    I actually think the Chinese would rule Africa with an iron fist, but guess what....I bet most of the starvation and ethnic warfare going on across the continent right now would come to an immediate halt.

    They'd all be too busy working under a very organized East Asian system.

    Personally, the ideal form of involvement from East Asia would be massive investments as well as a wealth of economic and socio/political advisors distributed throught out the continent.

    But as long as white men have free reign all over the continent and we don't have enough force to keep them out...invevitably troops from East Asia would be necessary to protect our interests.
     
  9. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A Brief History: Origins of East African/Chinese Trade

    As much as 1400 years ago, during China's Eastern Han Dynasty, a sea route, although not part of the formal Silk Route, led from the mouth of the Red River near modern Hanoi, through the Malacca Straits to Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and India, and then on to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea kingdom of Axum and eventual Roman ports. From ports on the Red Sea goods, including silks, were transported overland to the Nile and then to Alexandria from where they were shipped to Rome, Constantinople and other Mediterranean ports.[11]

    Another branch of these sea routes led down the East African coast, called "Azania" by the Greeks and Romans in the 1st century CE, as described in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (and, very probably, 澤散 Zesan in the 3rd century by the Chinese),[12] at least as far as the port known to the Romans as "Rhapta," which was probably located in the delta of the Rufiji River in modern Tanzania.[13]


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silk_Road
     
  10. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Africans in China





     
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