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China's New Colony

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posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 01:06 AM
I've been reading news stories for the last couple years about China's major investment in Africa to the tune of billions of dollars.

China Builds African Infrastructure

Full scale work by the Chinese begins to rebuild 2,050 miles of roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo, left to rot in the rainforest after the Belgian colonialists pulled out 48 years ago and further shattered by seven years of war.

The vast project, which will triple Congo's current paved road network, is part of China's largest investment in Africa, a £4.5 billion infrastructure-for-minerals deal signed in January.

As well as the roads, Beijing has promised to repair 2,000 miles of largely defunct railways, build 32 hospitals and 145 health centres, install two electricity distribution networks, construct two hydropower dams and two new airports.

That is an absolutely massive investment by the Chinese! The article goes on to say that China was a 'Plan B' when it came to aid and that the Congo approached European nations first. However, Europe declined saying it didn't have the 'muscle' to tackle such a project and that China stepped in very quickly.

Another point is that China does what needs to be done in exchange for what they want, without all the lectures and moral high ground that come with taking aid from Western nations.

The Congo is definitely not the only country that the Chinese are investing in the infrastructure of. There's also the port hub in Nigeria and copper mines in Zambia, among others.

The Africans who have experience with the Chinese brand of "investment" know that it's hardly an equal exchange.

While Zambians may have long considered Western capitalism barbaric, it now seems practically idyllic compared to the supercharged Chinese version. "At least Western capitalism has a human face," says Sata, "the Chinese are only out to exploit us." Indeed, the Chinese are currently toying with the idea of establishing two Special Economic Zones within Zambian borders. "Then they will have their state within a state," Sata believes, "and will truly be able to do as they please."
quoted from the Spiegel article above.

So my question is, what is China after? The obvious answer is natural resources. Minerals in the Congo, Copper in Zambia, Oil in Niger. But I think there must be more to the story. I don't think the Chinese would give Africa a filet mignon's worth of investment when a crust of bread would clearly do in order to gain access to natural resources. One thing that can't be denied about China her shrewd and cutthroat business sense.

Since when does a developing country invest in countries other than itself anyway? Clearly China plans to have influence in Africa for the long haul. But what is the bigger picture? What, besides the obvious raw materials and political influence, does China hope to gain? Why recolonize Africa?

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 01:14 AM
I also don't want to leave out the fact that China is breaking the UN arms embargo on Sudan, providing them with weapons and military equipment. Check out jerico65's thread on this here.

And, China just vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. Source

Birds of a feather, right?

What is all this influence going to mean for Africa itself and for the world at large? If Africa doesn't pay attention she will find herself beholden to foreign masters yet again. And this time there won't be any illusions of the White Man's Burden.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 01:19 AM
it's a big news for the world

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 01:32 AM
reply to post by sc2099

I think it is all about resources. As the world continues to grow, China in particular, the demand for the resources that they are getting access to will continue to grow as well. These are limited resources and China is trying to get as much for itself as it can. When they have control over large amounts of resources, that will translate to increased power.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 01:38 AM
reply to post by Karlhungis

Of course that all makes total sense and I agree, but I can't help but think that there is something just a little deeper than that. Maybe I'm just paranoid and it is simply a calculated power play. But I can't stop thinking there is something I'm missing.

posted on Jul, 14 2008 @ 04:49 AM
He/she who 'owns' the worlds resources, 'owns' the world.

I hate it when people say that China is a 'developing country', I suggest they read their chinese history books. China was the most developed country in the world for many years long before the Europeans and Middle Easterns thought about it. I admit it did slide down the table for a while, but never underestimate the Chinese.

China doesnt think the same way the west does. She thinks long term, way ahead of what we perceive as long term. Basically what China is doing in the Congo is buying the country and its resources. In effect it is doing a Hong Kong but in reverse. Expect to see other 'deals' in other parts of the world.

China's increase in its blue water Navy is an extension of this to protect its resources.

China is fast becoming the worlds next superpower. I would expect within the next century to see China as Number One.

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