Pan Africanism : PETER HITCHENS: How China has created a new slave empire in Africa

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Alexandra, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Peking power: A Chinese supervisor cajoles local workers as they dig a trench in Kabwe, Zambia


    I think I am probably going to die any minute now. An inflamed, deceived mob of about 50 desperate men are crowding round the car, some trying to turn it over, others beating at it with large rocks, all yelling insults and curses.
    They have just started to smash the windows. Next, they will pull us out and, well, let's not think about that ...

    I am trying not to meet their eyes, but they are staring at me and my companions with rage and hatred such as I haven't seen in a human face before. Those companions, Barbara Jones and Richard van Ryneveld, are - like me - quite helpless in the back seats.

    If we get out, we will certainly be beaten to death. If we stay where we are, we will probably be beaten to death.

    Our two African companions have - crazily in our view - got out of the car to try to reason with the crowd. It is clear to us that you might as well preach non-violence to a tornado.

    At last, after what must have been about 40 seconds but that felt like half an hour, one of the pair saw sense, leapt back into the car and reversed wildly down the rocky, dusty path - leaving his friend behind.

    By the grace of God we did not slither into the ditch, roll over or burst a tyre. Through the dust we churned up as we fled, we could see our would-be killers running with appalling speed to catch up. There was just time to make a crazy two-point turn which allowed us to go forwards and so out-distance them.

    We had pretty much abandoned our other guide to whatever his fate might be (this was surprisingly easy to justify to myself at the time) when we saw that he had broken free and was running with Olympic swiftness, just ahead of pursuers half hidden by the dust.

    We flung open a rear door so he could scramble in and, engine grinding, we veered off, bouncing painfully over the ruts and rocks. We feared there would be another barricade to stop our escape, and it would all begin again. But there wasn't, and we eventually realised we had got away, even the man whose idiocy nearly got us killed.

    He told us it was us they wanted, not him, or he would never have escaped. We ought to be dead. We are not. It is an interesting feeling, not wholly unpleasant. Why did they want to kill us? What was the reason for their fury? They thought that if I reported on their way of life they might lose their livings.

    Livings? Dyings, more likely.

    These poor, hopeless, angry people exist by grubbing for scraps of cobalt and copper ore in the filth and dust of abandoned copper mines in Congo, sinking perilous 80ft shafts by hand, washing their finds in cholera-infected streams full of human filth, then pushing enormous two-hundredweight loads uphill on ancient bicycles to the nearby town of Likasi where middlemen buy them to sell on, mainly to Chinese businessmen hungry for these vital metals.
    To see them, as they plod miserably past, is to be reminded of pictures of unemployed miners in Thirties Britain, stumbling home in the drizzle with sacks of coal scraps gleaned from spoil heaps.

    Except that here the unsparing heat makes the labour five times as hard, and the conditions of work and life are worse by far than any known in England since the 18th Century. Many perish as their primitive mines collapse on them, or are horribly injured without hope of medical treatment. Many are little more than children. On a good day they may earn $3, which just supports a meagre existence in diseased, malarial slums.

    We had been earlier to this awful pit, which looked like a penal colony in an ancient slave empire. Defeated, bowed figures toiled endlessly in dozens of hand-dug pits. Their faces, when visible, were blank and without hope.
    We had been turned away by a fat, corrupt policeman who pretended our papers weren't in order, but who was really taking instructions from a dead-eyed, one-eared gangmaster who sat next to him.

    By the time we returned with more official permits, the gangmasters had readied the ambush. The diggers feared - and their evil, sinister bosses had worked hard on that fear - that if people like me publicised their filthy way of life, then the mine might be closed and the $3 a day might be taken away.
    I can give you no better explanation in miniature of the wicked thing that I believe is now happening in Africa. Out of desperation, much of the continent is selling itself into a new era of corruption and virtual slavery as China seeks to buy up all the metals, minerals and oil she can lay her hands on: copper for electric and telephone cables, cobalt for mobile phones and jet engines - the basic raw materials of modern life. It is crude rapacity, but to Africans and many of their leaders it is better than the alternative, which is slow starvation.

    Read more at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1063198/PETER-HITCHENS-How-China-created-new-slave-empire-Africa.html
     
  2. emanuel goodman

    emanuel goodman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    very painful read indeed! The dire need for necessities has them in a horrendous postion. They are right in thier assessment. Some will come to call the shut down of thier operation but will not offer a way to assist them to obtain the goods they need because they will not directly trade with them. The will only trade paper(money) when they need goods! hotep
     
  3. Zulile

    Zulile Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    There are so many things ridiculously incorrect/wrong about this article I don't know where to start. smh. :eek:
     
  4. Knowledge Seed

    Knowledge Seed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Start where you feel most comfortable, but please do tell us what is wrong with the article.
     
  5. tyab14

    tyab14 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Off with their heads!!
     
  6. Jahari Kavi

    Jahari Kavi Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    those places were fine before the british came along.....this article appears to be a tad bit biased.........
     
  7. Zulile

    Zulile Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What annoys me about this article is the blatant hypocrisy and distortion of truths - the style in which it was written hasn't much going for it either - starting off with this fight for his life.. pshaw.. if the locals wanted to kill him he'd be dead. That's simple truth. Oh the drama - the fear - makes one read the rest in that state.

    Regardless, I see this article as nothing but another piece in the war against China. The West losing economic power means losing it's vicious hold on Africa. This article has nothing to do with the plight of the African.

    He writes:

    "These poor, hopeless, angry people exist by grubbing for scraps of cobalt and copper ore in the filth and dust of abandoned copper mines in Congo, sinking perilous 80ft shafts by hand, washing their finds in cholera-infected streams full of human filth, then pushing enormous two-hundredweight loads uphill on ancient bicycles to the nearby town of Likasi where middlemen buy them to sell on, mainly to Chinese businessmen hungry for these vital metals.

    To see them, as they plod miserably past, is to be reminded of pictures of unemployed miners in Thirties Britain, stumbling home in the drizzle with sacks of coal scraps gleaned from spoil heaps."


    But... these people have been doing these things for decades - the main difference is the race of the overseer. The pure audacity this writer has to compare the tragic state of the locals to the white coalminers in Britain during the 30's is.. near blasphemous. For the last 100+ years these people have been doing this for the white man, and yet like a spoiled child the white man cries "FOUL".

    Why address it now? Certainly not for the benefit of the African labourer - but perhaps only to instill this warped sense of righteousness against the Chinese and their tentacles which are now reaching into what was previously the white man's playground.

    The author made sure to include images of primitive 'natives', corrupt police, evil-sinister bosses.. oh the horror of the Chinese slave master!! :eek:

    The only close enough truth in this article is when the author stated "It is crude rapacity, but to Africans and many of their leaders it is better than the alternative, which is slow starvation." riiight. starvation by the stranglehold of the West.

    One should view Africa's relationship to the West as Master and Slave. The West 'assists' Africa with strict terms and conditions in almost all areas.. politically, economically, socially.. The West/IMF enforces policies that cripple Africa's ability to grow independently and also ensure the West is able to continuously exploit business at ground levels. The West has supported civils wars on all sides of the fence to ensure they retain power - check out the Congo, Angola, Mozambique. ALL USA played out wars with the sole purpose of protecting 'their' economic interests. Never has the empowerment or improvement of African societies been a blip on their radar. Just one small example: Malawi, famine struck - Malawi defied the World Banks restrictions on fertilizer - and now provide food for themselves and their neighbours. Article Here

    Peter's article has nothing to do with the plight of the African. It's motive was far more sinister - to make you believe that China is evil, and again to reinforce the idea that Africans are half witted corrupt people who need the slave master they know (the West)

    China is in Africa for business. They are buying/trading goods without preconditions. They are totalitarian. They do not preach democracy nor demand political/economic favours in return for their investments. Example: China is buying 38000 tonnes of cocoa in Ghana and in exchange China is building them a $600m megawatt power station. Back in the colonial days - the West would support building up the infrastructure as long as it benefited them "yes - I'll build a freeway as long as it goes to my house, my boat, my area" whereas the Chinese are building up the infrastructure where the African leaders want them to be. This isn't Master and Slave. This is business. The Chinese don't want to live in Africa - they want it's goods - long term. Which means building business and political relationships on fair grounds.

    Of course the West is crying "No fair! the Chinese don't care about democracy! they don't care about the African well-being!" well.. who does? :) Proof is in it's past and very current history - the West sure don't!

    Once again - when people read this article I'll bet many thought of those poor Africans and their new slave master. They shouldn't. Black people in the diaspora, of all people, should be looking at the developments as a positive sign of the times.

    :heart:
     
  8. Knowledge Seed

    Knowledge Seed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Its good to get a report from someone there in the Motherland, because I sho was mad at the China-man. Thanx Sis. Z!
     
  9. Kuroto

    Kuroto Member MEMBER

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    I def agree with Zulile. This article clearly is out to set a picture for certain types of people for all the reasons that were listed and more.

    I cannot say what what I think China may feel about Africans, but we can tell through things happening today, that it is not as we are to believe. In some areas, China does do things that are more business oriented in respects that it will give some groups of people objects of need or desiree. BUT at the same time, China is ruthless if something is in the way of what they want. aka. Darfur.

    It is interesting that Africa has made the world twenty times over, and yet, it is denied so by many people...... :(
     
  10. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa!

    Something told me that Peter Hitchens was kin to Christopher Hitchens, famed atheist and iconoclast. They are in fact brothers, and they are racists as well, not at all suprizing.




    Kuroto,

    You have asked the million dollar questions, any idea about the answers?

     
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