Thursday, August 14, 2008

China in Africa

I hope at some point to post a slightly more knowledgeable entry on China's relationship with Sudan, one of the very touchy issues with the Beijing Olympics. In the meantime, though, I encourage you to read this very interesting article from "The Root" (which I think is affiliated with the Washington Post) that offers an intriguing look at why China is so warmly welcomed by most African nations. A former US ambassador to two African nations, David Shinn, summarizes it thusly: "One, they take greater business risk, and two, they don't attach the political conditions that the West tends to impose."

The article concludes, "If the West wants to push back China's undemocratic influence across Africa, it will have to match China's economic commitments on the continent. There are 900 million African faces waiting to greet the future as it approaches—from east or west."

A complicated situation of which I know only a smidgen. Read the article and tell me what you think.

1 comment:

qoe said...

As I have been saying, the race is for resources.

No one, I notice, mentions AFRICOM. Can it possibly be below everyone's radar???!!!!!!! [Now that Poland has signed on to allow US missile base there, in addition to the one recently accepted by the government of the Czech Republic, Star Wars pretty much plugged in and ready to go.]

China has turned fertile agricultural areas of its own country into desert, diverting water to Beijing for the Olympic Games. And the people left in the desert are S.O.L. This does not paint a nice picture as to the bioethic of the Chinese government. (Not that our government is any better...)

China and US are maintaining a status quo in terms of action with regard to repressive regimes in Africa. The difference is that China is investing lots of money and is taking in exchange lots of resources. US has put all its money in the arms race to maintain military hegemony.

Lots of articles of interest: