China: US malicious worries for Africa
A while ago I came across a book of which title was ‘If China had discovered America’.
One plausible hypothesis from that would be for example that instead of writing these lines in English and from London I would possibly be doing that in Chinese and based somewhere in China.
The global metropolis the world would be attracted to would be Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai and not Paris, New York or Rome.
Of course, most of the street signs we read in English in the Anglo-Saxon countries would be mainly if not all written in Chinese.
A recent surprise though was to see in London buses covered with ads written only in Chinese without any English word to tell people what these unusual signs meant apart from like pointing to the British public on such script as ‘We are Chinese. We have landed.’
Should Africa be worried of imperialism wherever it can come from? Yes it should be.
The last six centuries of Western imperialism through its different agents and forms have sufficiently proven how damaging it could be for the continent.
And unfortunately the results of its doctrines [slavery, colonialism and economic disempowerment] have embedded its roots so deeply in African minds that only a profound cultural revolution could clean the land for a different seed.
In recent years, the question that most informed individuals have been asking since the economic emergence of China as a global powerhouse to reckon with is how Africa should relate to Chinese imperialism?
Indeed, if one accepts that with growing economic muscles of any nation comes the desire to display their power and sometime showing off or becoming arrogant towards the rest.
If Africa had some freedom to decide on any imperialism to work with, I suppose it would comfortably live without any of them. But as circumstances dictate sometime to choose, the Chinese model seems comparatively better, once considered the costs and benefits.
There are such issues as bad governance, corruption, and human rights abuse, lack of democracy that protagonists of Chinese increasing presence in Africa have been drumming about more and more loudly.
They argue that China does look away from those issues when entering in business agreements with African countries.
Let’s imagine for a moment that for African countries to enter in business with Paris, London or Washington, had to consider first policies of governments in these capitals and others of the capitalist world on the same issues towards Africa. I suppose there would be very few agreements that would be signed if any at all.
In addition, at my knowledge, further to a long-standing foreign policy of non-interventionism particularly in Africa, China has until now been absent from the list of countries including particularly US and UK whose direct and indirect responsibility has caused millions of deaths in different parts of the continent.
A positive point though for Chinese appears to be that they are not hypocrites. They don’t pretend to care about the mentioned issues. They are only interested in doing business.
In the current scenario, it has been paying off for Africa to work with China rather than the West with its double standards for example supporting heavily notorious dictators on the continent while preaching democracy and other similar values.
US African foreign policy
On her ongoing 11-days African tour, the focus of US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s official agenda is the “Growing security threats from Islamist militants and China’s increasing influence throughout Africa.”
But she appears to be carrying two contradictory messages looking at some of her hosts. She is playing diplomacy, which is in a sense the art of lying or doublespeak as George Orwell would call it by politicians.
In Senegal, she declares that, “Africa has too many autocratic rulers who care little about their citizens.” As BBC also report “She ruled out resuming US aid to Mali until the military – which staged a coup in March – handed power to a democratically elected government.”
Milton Allimadi, editor of Black Star News, is rebuttal about US hypocrisy. He says this in reference to Hilary Clinton’s declarations about China and Africa, “You can attack China all you want but this is pure propaganda by Clinton. China is not the country that trained and equipped the armies of Uganda and Rwanda and allowed them license, with their armies and allied militias, to commit genocide in Congo. It was the U.S. dating back to Bill Clinton’s days in office. When will U.S. announce the “Search” for those responsible for 7 million deaths in Congo?”
Time for African affirmation
There is an African proverb which says that who has more compassion for a mother’s own child wants to eat the latter. US are probably finding that China is less preoccupied by the child, and then they present themselves as more caring. But mama Africa knows where the child’s best interests lie. Though she has for long been cheated by unscrupulous carers, I think she has by now learn her lesson.
It is time for African affirmation. Africa should decide who to be friends with without any pressure from anybody. There has been enough suffering and for far too long from those nations who seem to care more than Africans do for themselves.