Is China colonizing Africa?
Updated Jun 4, 2016
This is what the Chinese called: To gauge the heart of a gentleman with one's own mean measure.
600 years ago, a Chinese treasure fleet composed of 240+ ships, nearly 28,000 men, firearms and cannons arrived in Africa, before the Portuguese. China did not become a colonial master or a slave owner. Instead of robbing the continent China did the opposite by presenting gifts of gold. All China took from Africa was lions, zebras, ostriches and giraffe.
Actions speaks louder than words.
The gentleman aims at harmony, and not at uniformity. As Confucius said, “the gentleman understands what is moral; the small man understands what is profitable.”
Karl Muth, teaches Economics, Public Policy, and Statistics at Northwestern University
Answered Apr 24, 2014
Absolutely. When I lived in Africa (northern Uganda, 2011-2013), the Chinese were seen as friendly colonizers and often compared favorably to the British. Chinese businesspeople (I'm Chinese) were respected and some local people even spoke bits of Mandarin (it's notable that Chinese visitors often spoke elementary Swahili to introduce themselves and make a good impression). The Chinese are very interested in controlling pipelines, minerals, etc. I visited a Chinese bauxite mine in South Sudan and it was an incredibly impressive operation. At the time, the Chinese were discussing funding an oil pipeline from Sudan to Mombasa and they have very ambitious plans for controlling infrastructure like ports and power grids. Africa, tired of begging Europe and the Americans for money, happily accepted investment from the Chinese. Somaliland even released 1,000 shilling coins with the animals of the Chinese zodiac to make Chinese investors feel more at home. In essence, the difference is that, today, Africa is asking to be colonized and China has accepted the invitation.
Bill David, an ordinary one, would like to know everthing
Answered Apr 24, 2014
The local people are best qualified to speak on this question. Here's my view.
In essence, no difference from what western countries do. Exploit the natural resources to make money. However, what makes them different is that this kind of exploitation also helps local people, which colonization DOES NOT. You can see from the economic development of local areas, and infrastructures, and especially the medical and health conditions. Remember that there's no friendship between countries, but INTERESTS. Therefore, this is fine.