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China pledges $55m in food aid to Horn of Africa

August 16th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

BEIJING (AFP) — China’s Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday pledged 353.2 million yuan ($55.3 million) in food aid to African countries suffering their worst drought in years.

The announcement came after the US government urged China, which has massive commercial interests in Africa, to do more to help the millions of people in danger of starvation in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.

Wen made the offer in a meeting with his Ethiopian counterpart, Meles Zenawi, in Beijing, although the aid will be distributed to several African countries, according to a statement on the foreign ministry website.

The pledge is in addition to the 90 million yuan Beijing said last month it would give to the Horn of Africa, which is suffering what the United Nations has called the region’s worst drought in almost two decades.

The United Nations estimates that $2.4 billion is required to address the crisis, which has hit Somalia worst due to a relentless conflict and aid restrictions by Shebab rebels in areas under their control.

Germany’s Africa policy coordinator said last month that large-scale land purchases by China in the Horn of Africa which had exacerbated the drought — a charge Beijing strongly denied.

China has continued to pour money into Africa despite criticism from Western states of Beijing’s support for the hardline regimes of leaders such as Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

China-Africa trade soared more than 40 percent last year to $126.9 billion and Chinese companies invested heavily in mining, agriculture, forestry and construction industries throughout the continent.

 

Above is typical western reporting. Not that it is the US that urged China to donate, and according to that German dude it is China that caused the famine. Below is typical Chinese version.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-08/15/content_13117998.htm

  1. zack
    August 16th, 2011 at 12:42 | #1

    let the west believe that it was their urging that compelled the chinese to donate aid; correlation is not causation but these idiots won’t listen to reason.
    let them have their moment, they need it, especially given the crappy state of their respective economies

  2. colin
    August 16th, 2011 at 13:50 | #2

    “Germany’s Africa policy coordinator said last month that large-scale land purchases by China in the Horn of Africa which had exacerbated the drought”

    This is the state of western journalism. Hearsay and rumors are printed as fact. The author did not have the will to check that statement himself, but publishes it anyway. Once it’s published, to the mostly brain dead masses, it is as good as fact. That’s journalistic fraud.

    Of course there is no mention of how if anyone is responsible for africa’s plight, it is the western nations, from the age of imperialism to the present corporate imperialism. Why are there even somali pirates? Because european corporations bought the fishing rights from these countries and cleaned out all the fish, so the the local fisherman turned to piracy.

    With great power comes great responsibility. The ability to publish is great power. Instances like this show how morally and professionally corrupt western journalism is.

  3. Al
    August 16th, 2011 at 16:24 | #3

    Colin: “This is the state of western journalism. Hearsay and rumors are printed as fact. The author did not have the will to check that statement himself, but publishes it anyway. Once it’s published, to the mostly brain dead masses, it is as good as fact. That’s journalistic fraud.”

    Exactly. Well said…unfortunately.

    And there’re still people trying to find excuses for this kind of fraudolent behaviour..

  4. August 16th, 2011 at 16:31 | #4

    The scary thing is you have to search hard to even find this news article. If it is news about Chinese company plundering Africa, it would be all over.

  5. cp
    August 16th, 2011 at 19:46 | #5

    A great book if you are economically inclined or just curious about the Chinese developmental model in Africa.

    http://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Gift-Story-China-Africa/dp/0199550220

    And if you don’t want to read the book, these are still good resources about what is happening between Africa and China.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZfDYnOLw5w
    http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/

  6. August 16th, 2011 at 20:12 | #6

    @cp
    Yes, I have read some articles written by her. Thanks for the link.

    Nobody wants to report that the second largest Chinese investment in africa is in manufacturing, some 20 plus percent of total investment. I learn about that from an interview with Justin Lin.

  7. August 17th, 2011 at 06:22 | #7

    zack :
    let the west believe that it was their urging that compelled the chinese to donate aid; correlation is not causation but these idiots won’t listen to reason.

    Yeah, either that or you suck at reading.

    The article reports only correlation, and does not state that there was any kind of causality there.

    “Germany’s Africa policy coordinator said last month that large-scale land purchases by China in the Horn of Africa which had exacerbated the drought”
    This is the state of western journalism. Hearsay and rumors are printed as fact. The author did not have the will to check that statement himself, but publishes it anyway. Once it’s published, to the mostly brain dead masses, it is as good as fact. That’s journalistic fraud.

    What? First of all, you’re being just as dishonest. By leaving out the second part of that sentence — accidentally I’m sure — you’re making it look like the article presents only one side of the story.

    Secondly, the article is just presenting two differing views. One person says it’s China’s fault, China says it’s not. If you’re going to demand that journalists personally confirm the “truth” of something like that — which would require years of study, field expeditions, and would inevitably STILL be controversial no matter what the results ended up being — well, I guess you don’t like reading the news.

    Look, both perspectives are reported, and it’s very clear where they’re coming from. If people are too stupid to understand that, that’s their fault. Reporters (especially the ones who work for wire services like AFP) have extreme time constraints and they work with certain basic assumptions, such as that their readers are literate and have functioning brains. The fact that an idiot might misunderstand that sentence (assuming he didn’t read the second half of it) isn’t “journalistic fraud”, it’s just a reflection of the reader’s own stupidity.

    As for the rest of your comment, this is a small article about a specific event. You can’t expect them to get into the entire history of the continent. If you want that kind of depth, read a book.

    Honestly, half of the anger directed at the media on this site comes from a basic misunderstanding of how the media works and the resulting ridiculous expectations some of you have. It’s like you’re looking at a cow going, “Cow? What the fuck! That’s not a car! This sucks.”

    “Yes, but no one said it was a car…”

    “You’re missing the point, Custer! Can you ride that cow? Does it have power doors or satellite radio?”

    “No, but that’s not the point of a cow, a cow is for milk and steak…”

    “You’re obviously super biased if you’re willing to defend this cow even though it’s very obvious the cow is way worse than a car.”

    Reminds me of this: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/9/6/

  8. colin
    August 17th, 2011 at 13:13 | #8

    @C. Custer

    You have absolutely no credibility as shown in other posts and your illogical/strawman arguments in this one.

  9. August 17th, 2011 at 23:59 | #9

    colin :
    @C. Custer
    You have absolutely no credibility as shown in other posts and your illogical/strawman arguments in this one.

    Right back atcha, buddy.

    If I have “no credibility” and these are “straw man arguments”, it should be really easy for you to refute them, right? I wonder why you didn’t try….:)

  10. raventhorn2000
    August 18th, 2011 at 05:54 | #10

    “If I have “no credibility” and these are “straw man arguments”, it should be really easy for you to refute them, right? I wonder why you didn’t try.”

    I thought he just DID, by calling out your “straw man arguments” for what they are!!

    What do you want, an essay explaining to you what “straw man arguments” mean??!! (Like that’s going to work with you).

  11. August 18th, 2011 at 08:22 | #11

    @C. Custer
    A few words of advice, take it or leave. You seem to have a genuine interest in Asia and China in particular but if your site and the pekingduck site continue to be a variation of the manistream western press, you would always be catering to the same small prejudiced crowds out there. What insight does your blog offer other then more detail on your distorted view of China. There are quite a few Chinese language blogs who report the peculiar incidents that happened in China today. You seem to copy those stories and post it on your blog. Reporting the one in a hundred occurence does not give a true picture of China. And talking of taking a swipe at China, can you even remotely compete with Han Han? Here I see you are simply parroting him all the time. He may be immensely successful and popular in China, but most older Chinese think one day he will matured to be like Zhang Yimou.

    I don’t know if you remember two magazines on Asia: Asiaweek and FEER. I used to read them when they are available, they used to be the only English language source on Asia. However, their info mainly cater to the “amateur crowd”. All those western “China hands” or “Asia hands” who really do business or work and live in Asia know the place and culture better than the reporting in those journals. So nobody reads them anymore after the internet open up and they fade away.

    Tell us, what can a potential investor, businessmen, scholar learn from your website about China. What infomation would be relevent or useful to him? I went through your blog but can’t really find a significant reporting on a relevent cultural, academic, scientific, business or political event. There’s actually a hint on how to make yourself standout, you wrote about Li Ao or Chen Wenqian’s cristism of Han Han. Read what is written or reported by Li Ao or Chen Wenqian. The latter hosted quite a few factual TV shows in Taiwan, and used to be a DPP elected representative. And the main reason Han Han did not to respond to their critique is he would make himself look even more stupid. If you know Chinese culture, Han is more like the equivalent of western rapper/driver cum writter but with Chinese characteristic. Although I consider myself an expert China hand I always learn something new from them. They are no less critical on some of China’s policy but they know how to pick the important and relevent ones.

  12. August 18th, 2011 at 08:59 | #12

    Ray :
    @C. Custer
    A few words of advice, take it or leave. You seem to have a genuine interest in Asia and China in particular but if your site and the pekingduck site continue to be a variation of the manistream western press, you would always be catering to the same small prejudiced crowds out there. What insight does your blog offer other then more detail on your distorted view of China. There are quite a few Chinese language blogs who report the peculiar incidents that happened in China today. You seem to copy those stories and post it on your blog. Reporting the one in a hundred occurence does not give a true picture of China. And talking of taking a swipe at China, can you even remotely compete with Han Han? Here I see you are simply parroting him all the time. He may be immensely successful and popular in China, but most older Chinese think one day he will matured to be like Zhang Yimou.

    Trying to “give a true picture of China” is a fool’s errand. China is a massive country with 1 billion + people, anyone who expects that one blog could accurately portray that is — how can I put this delicately — an idiot.

    My blog is not meant to be reporting on China, either. If you’d looked at it hard enough to read the title, you would have noticed it says this: “Translation and analysis of modern China.” That is what I — we, actually, since it’s a group blog — offer.

    If you find nothing of value on the site, that’s fine. But plenty of people do — in fact, as you’re probably aware, my site gets significantly more traffic than Hidden Harmonies. Not trying to be a dick by pointing that out; all I’m saying is, people obviously find some value in it or they wouldn’t read it. As for what they get out of it, I suppose you’d have to ask them. But if you find nothing useful, I think that’s more of a commentary on you than it is on my site, frankly.

    As far as Han Han goes, I have no interest in copying him; in fact, I think he seems like kind of a prick, although I agree with a lot of what he says in his essays and I think he writes very well. I don’t find much of value in Li or Chen’s criticisms, and I have no interest in “standing out” by parroting the opinions of other people.

  13. August 18th, 2011 at 11:01 | #13

    @C. Custer
    What you have on your blogs are nothing but cut and paste from other blogs. There’s nothing original on your blog. And like I have said earlier, your blogs attract pretty much the average and mediocre western viewers of China. The reason your blogs get more traffic is because people who understand China don’t need to read Hidden Harmonies. I didn’t even discover HH until June this year. I find their works commendable that’s why I post here.

    Everybody know of June 4th inccident, do you know the significant of April 12th inccident? Any serious historian on China will know the latter event sparked off a chain of events that let to modern China. However, it is almost never discussed or mentioned on mainstream western press!

    Let’s face this fact, the majority of western reportings do not even try to accurately portray China. And thanks to mainstream western press, the stereotype and prejudice is perpectuated and maintained.

    And I find it laughable that you said Li and Chen”s criticisms is of no value. Chen just did a documentary on construction of dams in western China that will relocate three times more people than the Three Gorge Dam. I bet this is news to you. No western press has yet to report it.

    And talking about blogs hit, Li and Chen’s website, book, program are all commercial hit netting millions of NT$ for them. When can your blog turned a profit?

    Like I said if you really want to capitalize on blogging, you cannot be aping the views of mainstream press and other “me too” English language China blog.

    HH is more a rants/information site for English language speakers outside China, and represent actually the more accurate and diverse views on China. It is supposed to be the minority view as opposed to mainstream reporting. People who want first hand reporting will go straight to the Chinese source. Your site caters more to the Jerry Springer style of reportng and will definitely enjoy more hits but is this what you want?

  14. August 18th, 2011 at 11:22 | #14

    @C. Custer
    I think I sounded a bit harsh on my last post. You are right in that there are many faces of China, I don’t deny this fact. However, I can’t speak for everybody here but your blog reporting are closer to what a Chinese Jerry Springer show would be like.

    You need to give more aspects in your blogging. Chen and Li are actually good example. The former is one of the pioneers of political reform in Taiwan, the latter was a political prisoner who spent 7 yrs in prison on charges of sedition and Taiwan independece.

  15. denk
    August 18th, 2011 at 19:55 | #15

    IF propaganda is custer’s beef
    he seems to be barking up the wrong tree 🙁
    http://tinyurl.com/3qcl9j3

  16. August 18th, 2011 at 21:36 | #16

    Ray :
    @C. Custer
    I think I sounded a bit harsh on my last post. You are right in that there are many faces of China, I don’t deny this fact. However, I can’t speak for everybody here but your blog reporting are closer to what a Chinese Jerry Springer show would be like.

    Clearly, you either haven’t seen the Jerry Springer show or you haven’t seen my blog. Or perhaps both.

  17. August 19th, 2011 at 06:07 | #17

    @C. Custer

    Alright, now you are just SPAMMING this forum with 1 liners.

  18. denk
    August 19th, 2011 at 09:15 | #18

    custer seems to be pissed that he isnt being treated fairly here…..
    i’m a newbie so i wouldnt know
    but BIG DEAL,
    i’ve been ruthlessly censored by the likes of
    bbc, economists, reuters, war street journals etc etc
    all *highly respected icons of free speech* [puke], no less
    go figure

  19. Charles Liu
    August 19th, 2011 at 10:49 | #19

    I’m soooo glad this isn’t his blog. He banned me after I offered to meet another commenter to talk over his personal attack against me (Custer, real men don’t fight, they deal with conflict in a civilized way.)

    That’s why I’m boycotting his blog, for his unfair treatment of me.

  20. CalamityJane
    August 19th, 2011 at 20:46 | #20

    Howdy, folks! Just stumbled onto youse li’l outpost here!! Am hunting for an oddball character who thinks he is some American general or sum’thing…always makin’ some sorta last stand, around the town. (Shhh….can’t call him village idiot cos he might be listening around here and git’ upset…)
    So jus’ in case, you good people find him bucking and prancing, some loony bronco, around your place, just holler. I’ll bring him home to his folks! May need to hogtie him, but you folks treat him gentle, hear? Bye now!

  21. denk
    August 19th, 2011 at 20:58 | #21

    in any case,
    custer can still post freely here
    a few yrs ago while posting at peking duck,
    another anglo site dedicated to china bashing
    i was rudely cut off in the midst of a debate
    god damned hypocrites

    once i posted 3 comments in a thread about tibet [another fav anglo cause celebre]
    in the economists
    all disappered within mins of posting
    while the opposition who hurled insults at me remained intact
    isnt economists one of the *pillar of free speech* which likes to
    wag its finger at perceived censorship in china ?
    damned hypocrites

  22. August 19th, 2011 at 22:31 | #22

    @denk #15

    Thanks for that link. Resonates with me deeply. I’ve put it in the recommended reading list.

  23. denk
    August 19th, 2011 at 23:02 | #23

    allen

    we all need to share resources
    to counter this awesome propaganda machine
    cia proudly called it *our mighty wurlitzer*
    *we play the world’s media like a giant wurlitzer*

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