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Inconvenient logic

Through its Belt and Road initiative, China has built infrastructure throughout Africa and established lucrative supply chains to several dozen nations. Over the past two decades, China has invested £123.85 billion in sub-Saharan Africa, research suggests.

But this expansion into Africa has not always been positive, despite the vital investment it brings. In Sierra Leone, deception, corruption and intimidation, as with the British in the 1800s, have all been deployed to advance and consolidate the Chinese agenda.

Corruption and intimidation – that’s the usual lefty critique of colonialism by the British. OK.

Now China’s in hte same lpace and corruption and intimidation.

Hmm.

Maybe it’s the place, not the flavour of incomers?

15 thoughts on “Inconvenient logic”

  1. One notices that the wicked British dumped the slaves they’d rescued in Sierra Leone. So the colonisation was by the noble negro.

    Surely the lefties’d argue that it’s racist to imply that blacks are guilty of colonialism?

  2. China is doing nothing different from the colonial powers, in Africa. And how did that work out for them?

  3. I do wonder if China can survive Africa. The colonial powers did because their societies were resilient enough, Africa didn’t leak back into them. Is China’s? It’s a society where is all the power is at the top, not distributed downwards. The Chinese operating in Africa may return to China with African ideas.

  4. BiS

    “Going native” for a colonist in Africa usually meant living in a mud hut with a harem. For Belgians of course it meant owning a slavev empire. Induan ideas had much more affect in the British ruling class.

  5. Imagine you want to get into a nightclub and the only way is by giving the bouncer at the door a bit of extra remuneration. Who is being corrupt, you or the the bouncer? Play for pay is the African way of doing things. Here in South Africa our new rulers probably learned this from the Afrikaners. In well-organized places like Ghana you only have to pay off one boss, who then takes care of everything.

  6. It’s always seemed to me that China doesn’t travel well. That to the Chinese what happens in China is massively important, what happens in the rest of the world is not. Nor are the customs and opinions of gaijin. China may get valuable experience from belt and road but the RoW will learn about China too. About arrogance and expecting things to be a certain way.

    I really don’t know what China is going to do with all the foreclosed assets. Do you think they bothered to learn a bit of history of how colonial powers experienced the reality of Africa?

  7. Do you think they bothered to learn a bit of history of how colonial powers experienced the reality of Africa?

    No Rhoda, I don’t think that they bothered. What they learnt was that charity and hand wringing from the West cuts no ice with the despots and kelptocrats in Africa. Building them stuff “for free” is how to gain influence there.* The various presidents and ministers don’t really care that China effectively “owns” their countries as long as their Swiss bank accounts are full.

    * The French, bless them, are much more prepared to send in the lads, should a situation go out of control such as in Mali, Chad, Central Africa Empire/Republic etc

  8. “Maybe it’s the place”

    Maybe it’s just what aggressive, expansionist powers usually do, because corruption and intimidation are effective tactics.

  9. Maybe it’s just what aggressive, expansionist powers usually do, because corruption and intimidation are effective tactics.
    Corruption & intimidation are the default setting. Places that manage to minimise them are a fortunate aberration.

  10. Out of interest when does corruption & intimidation become the unexpected in the UK? I’d guess around the same time as the expansion as the Empire to include India & Africa. Which is what I meant when I said the UK had escaped the influence of the places it was involved in. In fact it exported its expectations to them. Says something for the resilience of the UK culture of the time. Does China share that?

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