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Teaching3bears

China's relationship with Africa

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Does anyone know about this relationship?  I came across this video.

 

Is it accurate?  I worry about Africa.  The people there have it tough enough.  I hope this is good for the people.

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For the past couple hundred years, the industrialized nations of the world have considered the poorer nations to be their playthings. Now that China's getting wealthy, why are we surprised that they're getting in on the game?

What China's doing in Africa is not nearly as egregious as what we've done - and continue to do! - in Latin America. This list hasn't been updated since the 1990s, but we're still backing coups and toppling popular governments. (Which makes the situation on our border all the more awful, because we're failing to take any responsibility for our own actions.)

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Americans too often see Africa as a place to "help." Chinese people see Africa as a place to make a boatload of money. If you were an African nation, which country would you rather chum up with - the patronizing Americans offering you a small pile of free stuff or the Chinese offering to build bridges, roads, factories?

I actually think this video sums up the issues pretty well overall. Chinese investment comes with strings. Chinese investment and business is pretty good for many nations in Africa, though that good involves turning Africa into the next factory for the world's insatiable lust for cheap crap, something that is a real mixed bag. It often jump starts economies (look at China, after all) and leads to a greater amount of long term prosperity for people there, but in the short term, the factory work can be so oppressive that it's basically human rights abuses - child labor, unsafe conditions, etc.

This is getting at some of the basic questions about what's best for people in a country that isn't as industrialized as the US. Is it better for people to have access to these sorts of low wage jobs even if the job conditions are really bad (like, leading to deaths bad) because it'll help eventually? Is it better to build stability in government even if the government is an oppressive dictatorship or focus on human rights?

The way the OP asked the question in a very angsty way is indicative of our own American fears about China. And our misunderstanding of what Africa is like. Much of Africa *is* urban, increasingly industrialized, educated and even relatively stable. And most of our fears about China are absurd if you ask me. But that doesn't mean China is benign. I mean, Xinjiang right now. It's just wrenching. "Never Again" means nothing when the world can't even pay an iota of attention to the plight of Uighurs in Xinjiang.

Edited by Farrar
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If you were an African nation, which country would you rather chum up with - the patronizing Americans offering you a small pile of free stuff

 

Not to mention, most of that free stuff has devastated local economies.

Quote

"Never Again" means nothing when the world can't even pay an iota of attention to the plight of Uighurs in Xinjiang.

 

True enough, but I can't do anything about Chinese policies in China. I have a slim chance of doing something about American policies in America. You can't win them all, so you might as well focus on the ones where you can make a difference.

Edited by Tanaqui
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@Teaching3bears, this is an interesting question. Although I agree with much of what Farrar said, I don't think you were angsty in your tone. I think you just have a very kind heart. ❤️

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I think I have a bit of a different take on this.  I grew up in an African nation, Kenya.  Kenya has changed drastically since I lived there, but that is a different post altogether.

I think my concern is that I see this as just another form of Colonization.  Many Africans are very worried about China's involvement, but in many countries the government makes all the rules and humanitarianism is not considered.

And it is quite complicated.  More later, I need to go pick up kids and run some errands.

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it always bugs me when people refer to Africa as though it were a single country.  it is a continent made up of 54 different countries.  some are doing ok, other's not so much.  point being - they have different governments and different laws.  

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