I came across two writers today – by accident, really. On one hand is Zhang Hongwei, who labels himself an “international issue observer.” He writes in China Daily, “China not neocolonialist.” Zhang is annoyed at Western propaganda painting China a “neo-colonialist” in Africa. Never-mind slavery. Look at De Beers or BP or any other Western entities still exploiting the continent. Zhang writes:
Meanwhile, we can see that, even today, the pricing power of Africa’s most profitable mineral resources is still firmly held by Western multinational corporations, and as a result, African countries have benefited little from the exploitation of their resources. This is why African countries universally welcome China’s involvement and insist on cooperation with China.
On the other hand is Reason Wafawarova, a political writer from Zimbabwe on the continent of Africa, who writes, “Intellectual Responsibility – the Bane of Writers.” He says:
When Zimbabwean intellectuals and writers minimise or deny the ruinous and murderous nature of the atrocities caused by the illegally imposed Western sanctions — this is a matter of honour in as far as the West is concerned. This glaring irrationality is rewarded as objective intellectualism, and those that insist that the illegal sanctions are hurting the poor the most are derided as deplorable sidekicks of a “ruthless Mugabe regime”.
(I recommend a read of both articles.)
It was only few posts ago on this very blog, raventhorn2000 wrote, “Love of PR in a time of the stupid and the gullible.”
To PR or not to PR?
I suppose Zhang and Wafawarova would be happy to hear if someone could explain to them how “truth” can be brought to the West. Any way to combat this propaganda in the West? I think the short answer is no. No amount of money can be spent to have a larger voice against this “concerted” smearing campaign.
I think it would be “fruitful” for Zhang and Wafawarova to compare notes so they can see the pattern of behavior from the West from multiple angles. If they would like to engage in PR, I think it would serve them well to more clearly educate their own population what’s happening around the world, so they can make day to day decisions which would preclude themselves from further exploitation. That’s the best they can hope for.
It’s really about going for the truth (as I have commented in raventhorn2000’s post).