[VIDEO] Is China Colonizing Africa?

Colonialism remains a very strong filter through which a sizable portion of Westerners still see Africa.  So it’s not surprising that when a new foreign power emerges, particularly one as opaque as China, that many Europeans and Americans default to that initial impulse and attempt to frame Beijing’s engagement in Africa as “colonial.”  The only real connection to colonialism is the fact that China is yet another foreign power operating in Africa in pursuit of the continent’s vast natural resources.  For the most part, the parallels end there.

Since the Chinese have no designs on “civilizing,” “converting” or involving themselves in African domestic social affairs, colonialism, in the traditional sense, is an inaccurate characterization of Chinese policy in Africa.

The Chinese are mercantilists.  Beijing’s agenda is driven by a desperate need to secure an ever growing list of natural resources to power their continually expanding economy.  Unlike their Western predecessors, the Chinese are not imposing themselves on African states.  Instead, they are using the levers of the 20th century economic system to its maximum advantage.  Whether it’s through the globalized trading system, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank or increasingly the United Nations, there is little to no evidence to indicate that Beijing is anything other than a welcome investor.

That said, it is worth noting that Chinese investments and political activities do not receive sufficient scrutiny and lack a reasonable level of transparency.   Serious concerns about Chinese labor, environmental and corruption practices in Africa are all justified, but their behavior is hardly colonial.

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “[VIDEO] Is China Colonizing Africa?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fons Tuinstra and ZGBriefs, Eric Olander 欧瑞克. Eric Olander 欧瑞克 said: Why it's incorrect to characterize the #Chinese as colonizers in #Africa: http://bit.ly/9t7vTn […]

  2. […] Is China Colonizing Africa? Posted on November 19, 2010 by curiosityfueled http://www.chinatalkingpoints.com/video-is-china-colonizing-af… See this Amp at […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.