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How China has Created a New Slave Empire in Africa.

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posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 10:37 AM
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There is little question that there are plenty of distractions in the world today. Lately, political and economic turmoil seem to be the norm.

So it isn't too surprising how a profound story like the one that follows is easily missed by most.

If you thought the world was a complicated place before, it just may have gotten a little more complicated than you realized after you read this.






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

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 ...

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.



The article continues:




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.

...

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.



The Chinese drive into Africa is so profound, the following article written in May of this year describes it in this way:

The sub-Sahara is now the scene of one of the most bare-knuckled resource grabs the world has ever seen.




While America is preoccupied with the war in Iraq (cost: half a trillion dollars and counting), and while think-tank economists continue to spit out papers debating whether vital resources are running out at all, China's leadership isn't taking any chances. In just a few years, the People's Republic of China (PRC) has become the most aggressive investor-nation in Africa. This commercial invasion is without question the most important development in the sub-Sahara since the end of the Cold War -- an epic, almost primal propulsion that is redrawing the global economic map. One former U.S. assistant secretary of state has called it a "tsunami." Some are even calling the region "ChinAfrica."

There are already more Chinese living in Nigeria than there were Britons during the height of the empire. From state-owned and state-linked corporations to small entrepreneurs, the Chinese are cutting a swath across the continent. As many as 1 million Chinese citizens are circulating here. Each megaproject announced by China's government creates collateral economies and population monuments, like the ripples of a stone skimmed across a lake.

Beijing declared 2006 the "Year of Africa," and China's leaders have made one Bono-like tour after another. No other major power has shown the same interest or muscle, or the sheer ability to cozy up to African leaders. And unlike America's faltering effort in Iraq, the Chinese ain't spreading democracy, folks. They're there to get what they need to feed the machine. The phenomenon even has a name on the ground in the sub-Sahara: the Great Chinese Takeout.



So is this hype? Another form of fear mongering? Or is there a hidden and under-appreciated peril?

In June of this year the CFR in an article published by the Washington Post had this to say:






China, Africa, and Oil

As global demand for energy continues to rise, major players like the United States, European Union (EU), and Japan are facing a new competitor in the race to secure long-term energy supplies: China. As its economy booms, China is intent on getting the resources needed to sustain its rapid growth, and is taking its quest to lock down sources of oil and other necessary raw materials across the globe. As part of this effort, China has turned to Africa, an oil-producing source whose risks and challenges have often caused it to be overlooked economically. Some reports describe a race between China and the United States to secure the continent's oil supplies. Others note that while Chinese interests in Africa have surged, Western states still make the vast majority of investments in Africa and remain highly influential.

...

Eighty-five percent of Africa's exports to China come from five oil-rich countries (Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, and Sudan), according to the World Bank. But Chinese interest in Africa extends beyond oil. China now ranks as the continent's second-highest trading partner, behind the United States, and ahead of France and Britain. From 2002 to 2003, trade between China and Africa doubled to $18.5 billion; by 2007, it had reached $73 billion. Much of the growth was due to increased Chinese imports of oil from Sudan and other African nations, but Chinese firms also import a significant amount of non-oil commodities such as timber, copper, and diamonds. China recently began to import some African-manufactured value-added goods, such as processed foods and household consumer goods.

...

Concerns about China's role in Africa have been voiced by a range of actors -- from human rights groups to international observers to Africans themselves. Many Africans are concerned over how China operates in Africa, accusing Chinese companies of underbidding local firms and not hiring Africans. Chinese infrastructure deals often stipulate that up to 70 percent of the labor must be Chinese, according to CFR's Economy.



And as if that weren't enough, European ties to African exports weaken from a surprising direction: the environmental movement.







Africa to pay for Europe`s, green policies

In efforts to make quick and symbolic gains in Europe`s otherwise failed policies to curb climate gas emissions, environmental and anti-globalisation politicians are aiming at Africa`s few economic success stories.

...

Populist solutions that are to satisfy costumers, politicians and the European industry alike are therefore surfacing all over Africa`s neighbour continent and the main market of its products.

...

All over Europe, therefore, home-grown campaigns are being promoted, attacking Africa's newest and most successful export products.



So was all of this a complete surprise? Not really.

See for example:

China's Influence in Africa: Implications for the United States

And:

Africa, China's new frontier: Chinese entrepreneurs are invading Africa and reviving the fortunes of the world’s poorest continent. Are they just stripping it of its resources — or have they finally found the answer to a problem the West has been unable to solve?

And:

China and Africa: Asian neighbors feeling the pressure to compete.

Peter Hitchens makes the following observation:




Outsiders come and go in Africa, some greedy, some idealistic, some halfway between. Time after time, they fail or are defeated, leaving behind scars, slag-heaps, ruins and graveyards, disillusion and disappointment...

Now a new great power, China, is scrambling for wealth, power and influence in this sad continent, without a single illusion or pretence.

Perhaps, after two centuries of humbug, this method will work where all other interventions have failed.



But he ends with:




But after seeing the bitter, violent desperation unleashed in the mines of Likasi, I find it hard to believe any good will come of it.



In short, it looks like we in the West may have just one more thing to be worried about.


[edit on 29-9-2008 by loam]




posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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China is doing what any capatalistic new empire would do, get as much as you can whilst no-one is looking and then answer the critics.

But i do agree with that staement that Africa is becoming very Chinese...
But then can you blame a raped continent where nothing that has been promised is ever delivered by the Wetern powers?

If China delivers then one can only blame the western powers that have ignored the needs of the many.

I am from South Africa and they are seeing the benfits of Chinese intervention already.
China is very much after African resources be it mineral or person :-)

Valorian

[edit on 29-9-2008 by Valorian]



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by Valorian
 


Well, I'm not sure how much benefit is derived from exploitation of the type described above. From what I've obviously read, it's pretty bad. (Not that the West has a much better track record.)

How much Chinese investment into South African businesses do you see?


[edit on 29-9-2008 by loam]


SR

posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:10 PM
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Who's fault is it though???

Look at how far the American's, Chinese, Indians and Austrailians have all come under 200 years.

It seems the only thing the Africans have been successful at is ironically.... exploiting the world under the 'we were exploited 500 years ago card'.

The writing has been on the wall with Africa for a long time and the world can only continue to prop it up beyond it's means for so long.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:11 PM
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Im very, very glad you are posting about this.

Plenty of less important topics are getting more airtime.

We´d need to go over to Africa and advertise the fact that the "credit" given by China is a long-term enslavement tool. Africa needs something entirely different than this.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by SR
 


This is not about "who´s fault is it".

Some go over there, see the trouble and say: "Lets build schools".

Others go over there, see the trouble and say: "Lets make money off their desperation".



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Thank you. I thought it was a topic worth knowing about.


reply to post by SR
 




Are you saying Africa deserves its exploitation???


SR

posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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I'm not saying it deserves it's explotation i'm just merely illustrating the fact that in under 200 and 100 years countries have come from nothing to superpower status and yet here we are with the 'permanent victim' Africa 1000's of years and it's still a joke.

I dunno maybe one day when your kids come to you spouting the same rhetoric 'oh mum dad we must help the africans' you'll sit back and take stock of the situation.

It's funny cause many african people i've met and am friends with who have migrated to China, America and the Uk hold the same the opinion Africa is merely a playground now for the wealthy and religious to abuse for photo opportunities and to rake money into their swiss bank accounts and merely spending the interest on the africans.

They've let themselves be bred into nothing more but handout waiting slaves sniffing glue, coc aine and jenkem. It's merely a prolonged suicide awaiting this people no matter how much money or aid you throw at Africa very little will change now.

As the saying goes it takes two to tango you can only be explotaited if you allow yourself to be in the first place.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by SR
 


What's interesting about your view, then, is you find the parties actually doing the exploitation blameless.

I can think of no view more sinister than the one you have espoused.


Is this a commonly held belief in China?



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:37 PM
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The solution is to just leave the country alone for a 100 years, non-interventionist. Unfortunately it looks like thats not gonna happen as China is now behaving like the colonialists behaved hundreds of years ago.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:41 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

As much as we, the West, may want to help the African peoples, until such time as they, enmass, step up to help themselves; it's a moot point. Nothing will change until they change it...

African's must take the steps to do it themselves, all the best intentions in the world from outsiders won't change a damned thing. They have to want to do it...and that requires a selflessness on the part of the leaders of the various nations that, at this point in time, doesn't exist so far as I'm aware...though my knowledge of African affairs is lacking, to say the least...

It's going to require leadership that can cross tribal boundries, even more than national boundries. Is there anyone even remotely like that in Africa today, or in the future? I hope so. The cradle of Mankind deserves better than she's been getting...




As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.


SR

posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by loam
reply to post by SR
 


What's interesting about your view, then, is you find the parties actually doing the exploitation blameless.

I can think of no view more sinister than the one you have espoused.


Is this a commonly held belief in China?



I hold no party blameless the ironic thing is my friend that on this thread i seem to be the only one illustrating both trains of thought in the pursuit of denying ignorance.

What do you think of the African exploitation of the world???? What do you propose of the guilt tripping of era's long gone???

It seems exploitation is a welcome friend of the Africans as without it how would they survived all these years with no claim. I'm sure the Chinese will soon be regretting there actions when reparations are demanded a few generations from now.

It reminds me of the story of the eel fish that sits at the bottom of the ocean letting other fish take little bites of it and staying hidden until it suddenly strikes and eats the fish that was once eating it.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:45 PM
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Great thread
Yes China has been very very busy in Africa. And why not, taking the long view, the reasorce heavy area combined with chaotic government and abject poverty etc, make it a fertile ground for Mao's minions to go forth and subjagate. Its the smart move.

Why do you think the US has suddently become interested there (New military command etc) They want to blunt the Chinese influence there and:

I have been convinced for some time that the reason everybody is so interested in Africa is from a population standpoint. Chinas economic boom, much like Japans decades earlier was fueled by ultra cheap labor. As Chinas labor costs grow and thier working class ages, thier productivity (except the slave camps) will go down thus making thier goods more expensive. Where is the next big, cheap labor source? Yep Africa. Thats why you are seeing the US and other pour billions into fighting AIDS etc. They are spending the next 20-20 years cleaning up to make the continent a giant factory. IMHO


SR

posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


It's not just Africa that's been sourced as labour for the growing rich and middle classes of China, They've haven't invested all that money in the USA and Europe for nothing. Soon the factories in China will become the headquarters as western companies are bought up left right and centre.

A role reversal if you will. Although it will be sickening to see it proclaimed as a victory for communism and Mao. When clearly it's been anything but.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by SR
 



Originally posted by SR
What do you think of the African exploitation of the world????


What I think is you must have pulled some back muscles producing that contorted logic.



Originally posted by SR
What do you propose of the guilt tripping of era's long gone???


Sound's like a false straw argument to me. Can you direct me to this substantial guilt tripping and how that has placed anyone outside of Africa at a disadvantage?


Originally posted by SR
It reminds me of the story of the eel fish that sits at the bottom of the ocean letting other fish take little bites of it and staying hidden until it suddenly strikes and eats the fish that was once eating it.


Just so I'm clear, who is the eel fish?


reply to post by FredT
 


It looks like your factory theory is dead on.


That is, after all, the primary point of the first article, imo.

[edit on 29-9-2008 by loam]



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 01:05 PM
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Fred, you are, I believe correct with your "factory" hypothesis. Unfortunately, there isn't an Upton Sinclair-type to expose the wrong-doings taking place...


SR

posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by loam
 


There is no straw man logic or arguement here my friend simply without the explotation card would Africa garnered so much attention and free money from the world???

We'll talk numbers and direct aid proportion compared to other countries if you would like?

'Can you direct me to this substantial guilt tripping and how that has placed anyone outside of Africa at a disadvantage? '

Why the finger pointing of colonialism to todays generation when we where not around back then?????

This thread even gives the arguement away on it's very premise 'oh the poor africans' 'the little slaves'

Hypocracy at it's finest what about the poor Russians, Poor Indians, Poor Chinese, Poor in any country, slave labour in any country??? You place the Africans above them?

You do it out of sense of indoctrined guilt for actions that don't concern you or any of todays African generation.

Africa is a rich and bountiful country still otherwise the Chinese would not be their in the first place who's it your fault they haven't been able to govern themselves successfully for the past century and are actually willing to let themselves become serfs.

The logical fallacies within western guilt over Africa is very humorous at times.

If the eel fish was a bad example of the situation i will put it as a child who cries for sweets the parent gives it sweets so the child learns everytime it wants sweets it must cry.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 01:57 PM
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I'm not here to argue, as this is obviously wrong...

But to be honest, they allowed this to happen. When Africans will start caring about other Africans, Africa will be a better place.

But unlike it stands now, with pirates theiving ships to steal tanks, weapons, goodness knows what to continue warring with each other, they gain no sympethy from me.



A lesson has to be learned here, and we as the west can't force that upon them. All the "help" we're giving them, is actually hurting them. I think we've more then atoned for our past dealings with Africa, and now I think it should be left in their hands to decide their future. We're not doing enough, and we'll never be able to do enough, until they learn what needs to be done to secure their future.

Outs the war lords, outs the warring fractions, regain stability. Western countries did this hundreds-thousands of years ago. I'm more then certain Africa can do the same.



Peace,
FK



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by SR
[A role reversal if you will. Although it will be sickening to see it proclaimed as a victory for communism and Mao. When clearly it's been anything but.


Im not 100% convinced about that. Japan was in much the same position in the late 70's early 80's. They were a huge financial empire Remember all that talk about Japan Inc.

China while it has ammassed alot fo wealth it showing alot of cracks:

1) Quality controll. The whole issue of tainted goods is rearing its ugly head and its going to cost alot of $$$ to clean it up

2) Competiton. Its no coincidence that alot of clothes are now being made in Vietnam and Cambodia. Why cheaper labor etc. and the governmnet is undercutting the Chinese to get businesses in there.

3) Population: yes its still huge but the growth rate is slowing due to the one child policy, also a disperportion of men to women based on cultural preferences is accelerating that slowdown. Without another huge boom, which they could not deal with from a food standpoint, they are going to see thier ability to provide cheap labor go away. Raising the cost of thier dirt cheap goods and having those industries go elsewhere.

4) Chinas growth has also been fuel with a total lack of envirnmental controlls. From air quality to water quality (I read a report that the 100 biggest cities in China would have thier municipal water supplies turned off due to levels of contamination. Its going to take huge amounts of time and money to clean the place up and they have not started yet. It will also effect the population in terms of infant mortality and birth defects, and life expectancy.

They may get a victory now but down the road its going to be ugly.



posted on Sep, 29 2008 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by SR
 




Originally posted by SR
There is no straw man logic or arguement here my friend simply without the explotation card would Africa garnered so much attention and free money from the world???


Converting Africa's ACTUAL need into some sort of exploitation initiated by them is simply ridiculous.


I don't find your position very compelling.


Originally posted by SR
We'll talk numbers and direct aid proportion compared to other countries if you would like?


Not until you can demonstrate how donors were either universally swindled of their generosity or compelled to be so by gunpoit.



Originally posted by SR
This thread even gives the arguement away on it's very premise 'oh the poor africans' 'the little slaves'

Hypocracy at it's finest what about the poor Russians, Poor Indians, Poor Chinese, Poor in any country, slave labour in any country??? You place the Africans above them?

You do it out of sense of indoctrined guilt for actions that don't concern you or any of todays African generation.




In case you hadn't noticed, I end my initial post with an obvious implication: We in the WEST may have something to be very concerned by with respect to China's aggressive exploitation of Africa. So while the humanitarian aspect of this thread is a theme of this thread, it is just *one* theme of this thread.


Me thinks you missed that...



Originally posted by SR
Africa is a rich and bountiful country still otherwise the Chinese would not be their in the first place who's it your fault they haven't been able to govern themselves successfully for the past century and are actually willing to let themselves become serfs.


There go those back muscles again.




Originally posted by SR
The logical fallacies within western guilt over Africa is very humorous at times.


The callous, exploitative, and arrogant tone represented by your posts are spooky to us.



Originally posted by SR
If the eel fish was a bad example of the situation i will put it as a child who cries for sweets the parent gives it sweets so the child learns everytime it wants sweets it must cry.


How about this analogy?

Flies on helpless prey.


[edit on 29-9-2008 by loam]



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