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Debunking Myth of China exploiting Africa Again!

January 18th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Debunking Myth of China exploiting Africa Again!

I have watched this debate much earlier but caught up in too many things to bring it to your attention. In order to go further it is advisable to watch an earlier talk given by professor Deborah Brautigam earlier on the same subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BZfDYnOLw5w

http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2010/11/africa-china-and-the-western-medias-smearing-campaign/

The debate was hosted by Intelligence Squared at Cadogan Hall in London. And the motion was “Beware the Dragon: Africa Should Not Look to China”

For the motion: Ghanaian intellectual George Ayittey and Ana Maria Gomez, European Parliamentarian from Portugal.  Against the motion: Deborah Brautigam, Professor in the School of International Service  at American University and Stephen Chan, Dean of Arts and Sciences at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).

What really bugs me was the poor research done by both Ayittey and Gomez. The former when confronted with the fact that China did not colonize any country, retorted that China colonized Tibet and is threatening Taiwan. Both of them obviously got their “facts” from reading mainstream news of the West. Gomez even ended her talk by mentioning Ai Wei Wei. Instead of relying on numbers and stats they filled their talks with empty rhetoric of transparency and human rights.

Stephen Chan mentioned that he was a peacekeeper in Mozambique. He mentioned the good will China has generated in supporting the then rebels to help overthrow colonialism in Africa. Another interesting point of view was given by a member of the audience who is from Sudan, to him, China’s involvement actually brought about improvement in Sudan.

Both Brautigam and Chan actually have to waste some of their valuable speech time to defend issues that are not part of the debate. Namely, since China has such bad environmental and human rights records as reported in the western press, China is by nature bad. However, their research and presentation paid off, the result was that most member of the audience who is undecided  voted for them. (There is a poll taken before the debate. For the Motion: 154. Against 106, and Undecided 126. When the debate was over, the audience was polled again. For the Motion: 149. Against 212 and Undecided 25.) Despite the exemplary performance given by them, those audience who hold the view that China is doing bad things in Africa barely changed from 154 to 149. This clearly showed that those who had made up their mind will not changed even when presented with overwhelming evidence showing otherwise.

The debate will automatically play in segments and is about an hour long.

 

 

  1. scl
    January 18th, 2012 at 17:27 | #1

    I do not know if this has been mentioned here before, but here is Deborah Brautigam’s website: http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/

    From the website:

    “The audience vote before we started the debate was For the Motion: 154. Against 106, and Undecided 126. When the debate was over, the audience was polled again. For the Motion: 149. Against 212 and Undecided 25. Our side picked up 106 new votes.”

    http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/2011/12/london-debate-on-motion-beware-dragon.html

  2. January 18th, 2012 at 17:46 | #2

    @scl
    Yes, I got it from Deborah Brautigam’s website. I just want to bring it to the attention of our readers here and see their comments if they got one.

  3. January 18th, 2012 at 19:26 | #3

    We need to do a post on what is and what is not colonization. Did China colonize Tibet, Mongola, Taiwan, Hubei, Guangdong, Sichuan, etc.

    Does spread of German, French settlements in its history to its current borders constitute “colonization”? Is a large part of Germany or France today a result of German or French colonization?

    This is a tongue-in-cheek question, but it needs to be dealt with on this blog some time…

    Here is one paper on why the assertion of Tibet as colony does not stand up to objective scrutiny.

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Sautman-2006-Colonialism-Genocide-Tibet.pdf

  4. zack
    January 18th, 2012 at 23:38 | #4

    a vast proportion of Westerners have convinced themselves that in such a zero sum world; a loss for China ie contract losses in africa like what happened during the libyan civil war, must automatically mean a gain for the WEst.

    not to mention, pre-emptive accusations against China will deflect attention away from the actions of WEstern neocolonialist activities after decolonisation

  5. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 03:56 | #5

    In fact Chinese investment around the world, and its overall increasing clout in other areas is seen by many around the world as a positive good.

    For example the Chinese in Africa are helping develop the place, building infrastructure, and actually helping many countries on that continent to grow.

    “China’s presence has coincided with the continent’s strongest period of economic growth. A McKinsey report in June pointed to average real GDP growth 4.9 per cent from 2000 through to 2008.”
    http://tinyurl.com/25jmf8a

    The African people like dealing with the Chinese much more than the West. The Chinese pay for resources. The Europeans just came in and stole the resources, drove the locals off prime land and gave it to European settlers – hence the problems in Zimbabwe today.

    Not only are the Chinese welcomed for their fair dealings, but China’s own model of development and political system is attracting more and more interest around the developing world as a way forward.

    The Rwandan President on China:

    “The Chinese bring what Africa needs: investment and money for governments and companies.China is investing in infrastructure and building roads.European and American involvement has not brought Africa forward.Western firms have to a large extent polluted Africa and they are still doing it”

    The South African President on China:

    “China is there ….to create a mutually beneficial kind of relationship, which is different from former Western colonialists simply taking things by force.”

    The South African president also said:

    “The developing world was told that if it did not Westernize and change its political systems to mirror those of the West, they could forget about achieving economic growth and development. Now we are asking what we could learn from other political systems and cultures. Is the political discipline in China a recipe for economic success, for example?”

    The Botswanan President on China:

    “the Chinese treat us as equals. The West treats us as former subjects.I prefer the attitude of the Chinese to that of the West.”

    Ugandan President on China:

    “The Western ruling groups are conceited, full of themselves, ignorant of our conditions, and they make other people’s business their business. Whereas the Chinese just deal with you, you represent your country, they represent their own interests, and you do business.”

  6. Michael
    January 19th, 2012 at 03:58 | #6

    Sounds like an interesting debate and poll. But why in London and not Beijing?

  7. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 03:59 | #7

    “Asked how they view the possibility of an economically far stronger China, around four in five Nigerians and Kenyans said they looked forward to such an outcome, according to the survey of more than 28,000 people in 27 countries commissioned by the BBC World Service. “All African countries view China’s increasing economic power positively,” the survey report said”

    http://en.m4.cn/archives/6679.html

    Pew research polls align with the BBC results:

    http://pewglobal.org/2010/06/17/obama-more-popular-abroad-than-at-home/6/

  8. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 04:00 | #8

    The consensus prevails among African countries as well with regard to how they consider China’s fairness in the way it trades with its partners…….On average, in the continent, China is considered the fairest partner, with an average fairness score of 7.02 on a 0–10 scale, ahead of the US (6.61) and the EU (6.52).

    The original full report is here:

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/mar11/BBCChina_Mar11_rpt.pdf

  9. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 04:03 | #9

    The consensus prevails among African countries as well with regard to how they consider China’s fairness in the way it trades with its partners…….On average, in the continent, China is considered the fairest partner, with an average fairness score of 7.02 on a 0–10 scale, ahead of the US (6.61) and the EU (6.52).

    The original full report is here:
    http://tinyurl.com/3gm2w7r

  10. January 19th, 2012 at 08:18 | #10

    @Allen
    I agree. Thanks for the link.

    @Wayne
    Thanks for supplying the statistics.

  11. zack
    January 19th, 2012 at 10:08 | #11

    @Wayne
    strange how all we hear from the Western press about Chinese investment in Africa is ‘dem chineez be hexploitin’ dem pooor pooor africanz’! i’ve yet to hear anything about the Chinese investment from such towering powerhouses of journalistic impartiality that wasn’t based on the following themes:
    1) evil China
    2) evil China exploiting Africa via investing ie giving money for starter projects; you won’t hear anything like that about the continued post colonial Western exploitation of African countries under the aegis of the IMF and world bank.
    3) such media includes the likes of caixin i’m afraid; i remember reading a piece they did of China Investment Fund and really, the writers stooped so low as to making ad hominem attacks of the CEO/President of the company.

  12. January 19th, 2012 at 11:04 | #12

    When dealing with China we also see very dishonest scholarship from supposedly academic studies best summarized by the following article by Deborah Brautigam’s http://www.chinaafricarealstory.com/2012/01/zambezi-valley-chinas-first.html

    These are some high light on the “academic studies” by a Loro Horta with refutation by Brautigam:

    “China’s search for new land has led Beijing to aggressively seek large land leases in Mozambique over the past two years, particularly in its most fertile areas, such as the Zambezi valley in the north and the Limpopo valley in the south.”

    Did this really happen? Sigrid Ekman’s study, summarized in a recent Mozambique political bulletin by Joseph Hanlon (8), “notes that the now abolished Zambeze valley office (Gabinete de Promoção do Vale de Zambêze, GPZ) tried hard to get Chinese investment and failed.” So rather than China “aggressively” seeking large land leases, the Zambeze valley investment promotion office was aggressively courting Chinese investment.

    “Chinese interest in the Zambezi valley started in mid-2006, when the Chinese state owned Exibank [sic] granted $2 billion in soft loans to the Mozambican government to build the Mpanda Nkua mega-dam on the stretch of the Zambezi in Tete province.”

    In fact, although discussions were underway on Chinese financing (China Eximbank) for the Mpanda Nkua dam, this project did not go forward. No Chinese bank has ever granted a loan for Mpanda Nkua.

    “Since then, China has been requesting large land leases to establish Chinese-run mega-farms and cattle ranches. A memorandum of understanding was reported to have been signed in June 2007, allowing an initial 3,000 Chinese settlers to move to Zambezia and Tete provinces to run farms along the valley. A Mozambican official said the number could eventually grow to up to 10,000. However, the reports of this deal caused such an uproar that the Mozambique government was forced to dismiss the whole story as false.”

    Maybe it was false. In a 2007 story, Horta put the figure at 20,000. I tried to find out more about this in Mozambique. However, no one I interviewed in Mozambique recalled such an uproar. I could find no reports on the alleged memorandum of understanding or an “uproar” in the press (I hired a university student to go through four years of newspapers looking for any stories on Chinese engagement in land or agriculture) or in the memories of the dozens of people I interviewed across civil society, think tanks, journalists, the donors, and academia. The whole story began to sound fishy to me.

    If Chinese investors wanted large land leases, they clearly could have signed some. After all, as a 2012 Oakland Institute study (9) showed, “Mozambique granted concessions to investors for more than 2.5 million hectares (ha) of land between 2004 and the end of 2009” almost entirely to European and South African investors — there were no Chinese investors in their list.

    “One thing seems to be certain: China is committed to transforming Mozambique into one of its main food suppliers, particularly for rice, the basic element of Chinese diet. An analysis of China’s activities in the valley in the past two years provides some strong indication of China’s long term intentions.

    Following this statement, Horta has put together real facts about China’s aid program and interest in building dams, roads, and modernizing harbors, and surmises that this interest “is clearly designed to maximize production and facilitate the rapid export of foodstuffs to China”.

    That’s quite a leap. Chinese are interested in building infrastructure all around the continent, but I don’t think one can conclude that this is evidence of a masterplan to feed China!

    Horta then makes what I believe to be his most egregious claim:
    In early 2008, the Chinese government pledged to invest $800 million in modernizing Mozambican agriculture …"

    I have seen no evidence, anywhere, in Mozambique or outside, of this pledge. People were baffled when I asked about it. No one knew anything about it, even as a rumor. While I can often find the source of big mistakes, I haven’t been able to track this down (11). The trail starts with Horta.

    “…with the goal of boosting rice production from 100 000 tons to 500 000 tons a year in the next five years.”

    The goal of boosting rice production was Mozambique’s goal, not China’s. The amount mentioned here represents the gap between local demand and local production, at the time filled by imports. Which makes Horta’s next statement all the more surprising:

    “Mozambique’s increased rice production is clearly destined for export to the Chinese market, since the staple accounts for just a tiny fraction of the Mozambican diet.”

    Clearly, Horta didn’t look up consumption and import statistics for rice in Mozambique (12).

    “With this objective in mind, China is funding the establishment of an Advanced Crop Research Institute and several other small agricultural schools throughout the country.”

    Horta here uses as “evidence” for Chinese plans to make Mozambique into its rice bowl a real project — the Umbeluzi/Boane agro-technology research and demonstration center, one of 20 China is building across Africa as part of its aid program.

    “Over 100 Chinese agricultural specialists are currently in Mozambique, including teams from the Hunan Hybrid Rice Institute, China’s top institution in the field.”

    There is no evidence that I could find that China ever sent 100 agricultural specialists to Mozambique. I suspect Horta was mixing up China’s pledge to send 100 agricultural specialists to Africa. It’s true that the Hunan Hybrid Rice Institute did send a team to Mozambique (13). They later decided to bid to run China’s foreign-aid funded agro-technology demonstration center in Liberia, not Mozambique (14). I suspect their visit was connected to a decision about which project to bid on.

  13. January 19th, 2012 at 13:00 | #13

    When you talk to Africans in person, most believe China is helping them more than the west/US.

    http://tonyp4idea.blogspot.com/2009/11/china-helps-african-countries.html

    On charities to Africa.
    http://tonyp4idea.blogspot.com/2011/12/efficient-charities.html

  14. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 15:02 | #14

    @zack

    This is particularly nasty and racist article, sadly typical of the British press, on China’s involvment in Africa:

    How China has created a new slave empire in Africa

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1063198/PETER-HITCHENS-How-China-created-new-slave-empire-Africa.html

    This article could have been written by the KKK. Yet it passes as respectable writing in the Anglo world. And it is designed to foster hatred of Chinese people and appeals to fears of a takeover of the world by ‘yellow’ people.

    In fact this stuff I believe is far worse than any sort of blatant ‘hate’ speech. Because it has a veneer of respectability and will fool many people.

  15. melektaus
    January 19th, 2012 at 15:15 | #15

    I came to the same basic conclusion as you after watching that vid a while ago: the ones that have made up their minds are not receptive to reason. They simply go on rhetoric and bias. People who have basically conservative mindsets are usually even more convinced of their previous position after being disabused of their views by the facts. Even many liberal minded people will steadfastly hold on to previous prejudices despite overwhelming factual data showing their previous positions wrong. In this case, it was patently obvious that those for the motion had nothing more than empty rhetoric and appealed to base prejudices and sinophobic fear mongering to support their conclusions getting very basic facts, big and small, wrong.

    As for both Gomez and Ayittey’s use of Tibet, that made me physically ill. It shows that they are intellectual either lazy or incompetent to engage in any kind of serious debate about China. They have never heard any alternative perspective on that issue and are completely complacent with the usual propaganda. They don’t give a damn about what alternative perspective exists about the issue simply assuming that the perspective of their culture is correct. They simply assume that their view that China is “colonizing” Tibet is not even controversial. They disgust me. These are thoroughly despicable individuals.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if both are paid agents of conservative US and European organizations such as the Heritage organization or American Enterprise institute or the NED.

  16. January 19th, 2012 at 17:14 | #16

    @Wayne
    That article is indeed nasty. It’s propaganda.

  17. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 17:40 | #17

    @YinYang

    Note these lines from the article, designed to appeal to the basest anti-chinese racism in the West:

    Sata knows the Chinese are unpopular in his country. Zambians use a mocking word – ‘choncholi’ – to describe the way the Chinese speak. Zambian businessmen gossip about the way the Chinese live in separate compounds, where – they claim – dogs are kept for food.…….
    …….
    There are persistent rumours, which cropped up in almost every conversation I had in Zambia, that many of the imported Chinese workforce are convicted criminals whom China wants to offload in Africa.

    Note…..the rumours are obviously completely unsubstantiated bullshit (and they may in fact exist only in the writers imagination).

    But the average reader will just accept them as fact.

    And the writer knows this. This is just blatant racist fearmongering. Yet the writer is a completely accepted member of the British fourth estate.

    Note that you would never get an article in the Chinese press making the similarly outrageous assertions about the West. Overall the Chinese press paints the West in a good light, and only criticizes the foreign policy of Western governments. It never stoops so low as to foment hatred against Westerners or Western culture in general.

    That is why allowing the Western media unfettered access in China would be analogous to unilateral disarmament on the part of China.

  18. melektaus
    January 19th, 2012 at 17:43 | #18

    I’m far from surprised by the blatant racism in contemporary American and European society directed at some groups such as Chinese (and Arabs).

    Some claims in mainstream media are so blatantly racist but the lack of attention paid to their racism is just as racist.

    I remember seeing a show from National Geographic a few years ago that could have passed as a Nazi propaganda film. The documentary was about the people that lived in western China more than 2000 years ago. The documentary kept on insinuating that these were blond haired blue eyed Aryans who then went to China and civilized the Chinese and that eventually the Chinese had diluted the pure Aryan blood of these people through interbreeding. They suggested that these people could not have been Chinese because they were very tall and inventive. I’m not exaggerating the language used in the film. No ruckus was made of that explicitly, virulently racist program in the mainstream media. There was two articles I have read by an anthropologist who is an expert on Central Asia and these ancient people who wrote about the similarities between the film and racist Nazi narratives of purity and blood. He argued that these people are Central Asian, not European “Aryan” blond haired blue eyed people. But other than those two articles I have not seen anybody even batter an eye at the hideously racist film.

    To National Geographic credit, they then made another documentary that is basically a follow up and had a British geneticist do genetic testing on the bodies of these people in western China and the geneticist concluded that these people were ethnically central Asian much like the people of that region today; they had East Asian, North Asian, South Asian as well as some European genes from their maternal side. This was basically what the anthropologist of Central Asia claimed all along.

  19. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 18:07 | #19

    @melektaus

    The show you mentioned obviously plays to white racist ideas that only whites are ‘creative’ and all civilizations derive from whites, or had to have that initial spark of ‘white ingenuity’.

    Where does this come from…..one of the sources is of course Mein Kampf: Hitler divided the world into culture creators (nordics), preservers (Chinese and Japanese), and destroyers (other dark skinned peoples).

    Of course Hitler’s ideas were not that original. These types of ideas had been percolating in the West for at least half a century prior to Hitler’s rise.

    So even Chinese civilization was started by white people – according to these racists.

    These themes tie in of course with current stereotypes of Chinese students (covered in another thread here) – that we are simply rote learning robots with not an innovative bone in our bodies.

    That is whites want to believe (and often do believe), that they created all civilization and technology – we can assimilate it – but only up to a certain level.

  20. January 19th, 2012 at 18:45 | #20

    Well, the Chinese colonists are more sinister than that. They also come for African women, according to this http://www.myweku.com/2011/06/chinese-men-develop-a-taste-for-very-pretty-high-end-black-girls/

    Instead of being praise as crossing boundaries, the Chinese are again to be blamed!

  21. January 19th, 2012 at 18:51 | #21

    More of the same: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/06/in-zimbabwe-chinese-investment-with-hints-of-colonialism/240978/

    But it is interesting to read some of the comment from real African (you can tell from their intimate knowledge of the continent and lack of arrogance and self righteousness in their tone)

  22. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 19:22 | #22

    @Ray
    Yeah. And if Chinese men are not interested in black women —they are racists…..true I’ve heard that claim before.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  23. Wayne
    January 19th, 2012 at 19:38 | #23

    @Ray

    Fucking blatantly racist article…..but excellent comments, particularly Batanai.

    And it is quite amusing how these whites try to demonize one of the great anti-imperialist fighters of the 20th (and 21st) centuries as one who would sell out his own country.

    Mugabe is POPULAR in Africa.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/2224175/Zimbabwe-Robert-Mugabe-a-hero-say-African-leaders.html

    The Western press started demonising Mugabe about 10 years ago when he started the movement to re-possess land held by whites (2% of the population owned about 60 % of the most arable land).

    And how did these whites get their land in the first place?

    Here is how even a Western newspaper described the process:

    Muvonzi talks the talk of stony ground, sandy soil and British imperialism. He also tells a personal story about his grandfather, Mutyambizi Muvonzi.

    “He came back from fighting for the British during World War II and was given £200 [$680]. A white soldier my grandfather fought alongside, Tom Houston, came back and was given £200 and a horse.”

    Post-war Britain had rather too many Tom Houstons on its hands so men like him were encouraged to join an ambitious settlement scheme: in the following 10 years, the number of whites in Southern Rhodesia more than doubled to about 220,000, 5 per cent of the population.

    “My grandfather bought 30 head of cattle with his £200 and farmed a smallholding until the end of his life.

    But Tom Houston was given a real chance. The white man was told to ride his horse as far as he could until he was tired and put a peg in the ground. Each day he rode about 20km, along four sides of a square. That is how Houston got his land. And all the black people living in that square were moved to places with stony ground, ‘native reserves’.

    The hypocrisy of these Western attacks on China is simply staggering.

  24. zack
    January 19th, 2012 at 22:08 | #24

    @melektaus
    this is an example of the racist mentality amongst white anglo society that is so deeply ingrained that they-in their whitewash of political correctness- are ignorant to the fact that postulating that ‘other ethniciites just don’t have it in them to be as inventive as whites’ might be a tad bit racist.

    i’ve pointed out before the many many forces contributors and elsewhere who’ve trumpeted over and over again about how ‘the Chinese don’t innovate, they can’t innovate, it’s cultural/educational/racial’ with ppl stopping just short of saying ‘them chinese are jus’ mentally inferior’ hence the emphasis that somehow Confucian culture-the same culture that engineered and invented the compass, gunpowder, the seismograph, landmines, rocketry-are somehow lacking because them slanty eyed gooks just aren’t as pure and white enough to innovate.

    need we remind these people that the vast majority of material scientific research being undertaken in the States as well as Europe are invariably being conducted by ethnic asian postgrads?

    so as i’ve said before, let these propagandists give their audiences what they NEED to hear; that China is a weak and tottering nation that’ll collapse any moment now and which’ll never become a first world country because they’re not christian/white/western/etc etc.when reality bites, it’ll be as much a shock for them as it was for the Qing Chinese when british opium traders ignited the first opium war.

  25. Michael
    January 20th, 2012 at 04:28 | #25

    Interesting that nobody saw fit to answer my question – why is this debate being held in London rather than in Beijing? Would it be possible to have a genuine debate in somewhere like the Poly Theatre or the CASS, involving Chinese and African speakers about Chinese involvement in Africa? And I mean a genuine debate, with speakers representing the interests of Zimbabwean market traders and Gambian villagers whose lives have been affected by Chinese investment and immigration?
    It’s easy and lazy to link to scare stories in cheap English tabloids. But what about the accounts in local African papers?
    http://www.newsday.co.zw/article/2011-11-03-uproar-over-houses-damaged-in-chiadzwa
    http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=35107
    http://www.ghananewsagency.org/details/Social/Ghana-Immigration-Service-detains-25-Illegal-Chinese-Miners/?ci=4&ai=35587

  26. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 04:45 | #26

    @Michael

    So linking to newspaper articles is a statistically valid way of gauging african public opinion? How many negative stories versus positive stories dude?

    What about the polls which over and over again show that Chinese engagement with Africa is widely supported by Africans? What about the polls which show that public opinion of China is, out of all countries in the world, strongest in Nigeria, and Kenya? Surely that is a more scientific way of finding out what African people really think?

    As to why it was held in London, you should ask the organisers. I doubt anyone here is privy to that information. And it is irrelvant. Whether the debate is held in London, Bejing, Antarctica, or the moon – has nothing to do with the substance of the debate and the arguments put forth. The debate was clearly lost by the anti-china side, who could muster only emotive, unsubstantiated claptrap.

    As for my linked article, it does show what blatant racism one can get away with in the Western press when covering China. Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher) is one of the most well-known and respected journalists in the UK.

  27. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 04:47 | #27

    So linking to newspaper articles is a statistically valid way of gauging african public opinion? How many negative stories versus positive stories dude?

    What about the polls which over and over again show that Chinese engagement with Africa is widely supported by Africans? What about the polls which show that public opinion of China is, out of all countries in the world, strongest in Nigeria, and Kenya? Surely that is a more scientific way of finding out what African people really think?

    As to why it was held in London, you should ask the organisers. I doubt anyone here is privy to that information. And it is irrelvant. Whether the debate is held in London, Bejing, Antarctica, or the moon – has nothing to do with the substance of the debate and the arguments put forth. The debate was clearly lost by the anti-china side, who could muster only emotive, unsubstantiated claptrap.

    As for my linked article, it does show what blatant racism one can get away with in the Western press when covering China. Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher) is one of the most well-known and respected journalists in the UK.

  28. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 04:55 | #28

    Since when did linking to three newspaper articles become a statistically valid way of gauging popular opinion? Maybe there are 100 positive articles for every three negative?

    What about the polls which over and over again show that Chinese engagement with Africa is widely supported by Africans? What about the polls which show that public opinion of China is, out of all countries in the world, strongest in Nigeria, and Kenya? Surely that is a more scientific way of finding out what African people really think?

    As to why it was held in London, you should ask the organisers. Maybe because of the language issue? But really, whether the debate is held in London, Bejing, Antarctica, or the moon – has nothing to do with the substance of the debate and the arguments put forth. The debate was clearly lost by the anti-china side, who could muster only emotive, unsubstantiated claptrap.

    As for my linked article, it does show what blatant racism one can get away with in the Western press when covering China. Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher) is one of the most well-known and respected journalists in the UK.

  29. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 05:04 | #29

    So linking to newspaper articles is a statistically valid way of gauging african public opinion? How many positive stories for every negative story dude?

    What about the polls which over and over again show that Chinese engagement with Africa is widely supported by Africans? What about the polls which show that public opinion of China is, out of all countries in the world, strongest in Nigeria, and Kenya? Surely that is a more scientific way of finding out what African people really think?

    As to why it was held in London, you should ask the organisers. I doubt anyone here is privy to that information. And it is irrelvant. Whether the debate is held in London, Bejing, Antarctica, or the moon – has nothing to do with the substance of the debate and the arguments put forth. The debate was clearly lost by the anti-china side, who could muster only emotive, unsubstantiated claptrap.

    As for my linked article, it does show what blatant racism one can get away with in the Western press when covering China. Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher) is one of the most well-known and respected journalists in the UK.

  30. Yihetuan
    January 20th, 2012 at 05:06 | #30

    @Michael

    So linking to newspaper articles is a statistically valid way of gauging african public opinion? How many positive stories for every negative one dude?

    What about the polls which over and over again show that Chinese engagement with Africa is widely supported by Africans? What about the polls which show that public opinion of China is, out of all countries in the world, strongest in Nigeria, and Kenya? Surely that is a more scientific way of finding out what African people really think?

    As to why it was held in London, you should ask the organisers. I doubt anyone here is privy to that information. And it is irrelvant. Whether the debate is held in London, Bejing, Antarctica, or the moon – has nothing to do with the substance of the debate and the arguments put forth. The debate was clearly lost by the anti-china side, who could muster only emotive, unsubstantiated claptrap.

    As for my linked article, it does show what blatant racism one can get away with in the Western press when covering China. Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher) is one of the most well-known and respected journalists in the UK.

  31. January 20th, 2012 at 07:17 | #31

    @Michael
    In case you don’t know Intelligence Squared is a UK based organization hence the debate is held in London. China is also actively engaging all parties in the African projects. The Chinese workers, engineers all the way to the managers sent to work and train in Africa live among the populace. The 1st talk by Brautigam clearly showed the great contrast of the living quarter between the Chinese engineers and a Belgian aid worker.

    Sorry, I didn’t realized The Atlantic is now considered a cheap tabloid.

    If you bother to watch the whole debate you will have the answer to your question and accusation. Please don’t be lazy.

  32. jxie
    January 20th, 2012 at 08:57 | #32

    melektaus :
    I remember seeing a show from National Geographic a few years ago that could have passed as a Nazi propaganda film. The documentary was about the people that lived in western China more than 2000 years ago. The documentary kept on insinuating that these were blond haired blue eyed Aryans who then went to China and civilized the Chinese and that eventually the Chinese had diluted the pure Aryan blood of these people through interbreeding. They suggested that these people could not have been Chinese because they were very tall and inventive.

    You probably were watching the “research” done by Victor Mair. This piece gives you a primer of what Mair is up to.

    If we look at the human migration from Africa as a large tree with trunks and branches, the premise that there were exchanges of knowledge, some even mostly one-way, from trunks to branches after the branches fully formed, or even from branches to branches, is quite plausible. But please, it’s very unlikely it’s at the direction from ancient Europe to ancient China. Time just doesn’t make sense. The Dead Sea Scrolls were at least a couple of millennia younger than the oldest ancient written Chinese artifact. If there were somehow related, a far more plausible scenario was that they were both branches in human knowledge migration trunk going through the modern-day Middle East. For example, it’s possible that both were from the Sumerian culture, or more possibly belong to the subgroups of the main group that later started the Sumerian culture.

    Also what’s the deal of the Iceman Otzi, 5300 years old, other than he looked “white”? Millennia before him, ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations were way more advanced. If anything, likely all the “inventions” by the Otzi group were derived from those who then lived in the modern-day Egypt and Iraq.

    Quite frankly, the idea of that the Tarim Mummies were related to Otzi, and the advanced ideas flowed from Otzi to ancient China, is nothing but crackpot “science”. It just doesn’t make much sense. If part of Egypt and Iraq was covered with snow/ice, likely we would far older and far more advanced specimens than Otzi.

  33. January 20th, 2012 at 14:48 | #33

    [nevermind. recovered a duplicate message in the spam queue already recovered. very confusing.]

  34. melektaus
    January 20th, 2012 at 14:59 | #34

    @Michael

    Nobody answered that question because it is incredibly dumb and easy to answer. The debate was an Intelligence Squared sponsored debate which is a UK organization. These debates are in London and other approved places by IQ^2. That’s like asking why is the US presidential debates always held in the US.

    If you mean something like “Why aren’t these *kinds* of debates held about China’s role in Africa in Beijing,” there are many active debates held in China about China’s role in Africa presently and into the future. The Chinese internet is replete with these kinds of debates by common people and experts.

    Here is a lively debate with various views being discussed (some critical) of China’s many roles in Africa in a Chinese newspaper.

    http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/4468

    That kind of pluralism and intellectual debate is almost never seen in mainstream western media regarding China’s role in Africa with almost all discourse negative and lacking evidence.

  35. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 18:15 | #35

    Not confusing at all De Wang. Wayne and Yihetuan are the same person. Makes me wonder about the rest of you…pretty pathetic boys

  36. January 20th, 2012 at 19:40 | #36

    @Andy Lau
    The really pathetic thing is you still come and post here plus using a HK Chinese name! LOL

  37. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:05 | #37

    Sorry for the confusion….I posted several times because I could not get my comments through on this thread for some reason….suggest you delete this post and the yihetuan one….thanks.

  38. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:12 | #38

    Clumsy Wayne, very clumsy. Why did you post under 2 names Wayne???
    Oh Ray, I assume Ray is your real name right? And Wayne, of course thats his real name. You think it’s OK to take English names but you see a problem with me taking a “HK Chinese name”???
    Please explain

  39. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:23 | #39

    Why did you post under 2 names Wayne???

    Simple. Because I just wanted to check whether it was a server problem or a problem with my account. It wasn’t to fool anyone….otherwise would not have raised the issue.

  40. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:31 | #40

    Human rights in Africa ‘Western style’, just two examples:

    King Leopold’s Congo (10 million killed), where children had there hands and feet chopped off for failing to meet their rubber quota:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3516965.stm

    British in Kenya:

    “They also had sand, pepper and water stuffed in their anuses. One apparently had his testicles cut off, and was then made to eat them. ‘Things got a little out of hand,’ one (macho European) witness told Elkins, referring to another incident. ‘By the time we cut his balls off he had no ears, and his eyeball, the right one, I think, was hanging out of its socket. Too bad, he died before we got much out of him.’ Women were gang-raped, had their nipples squeezed with pliers, and vermin and hot eggs thrust into their vaginas.”
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n05/bernard-porter/how-did-they-get-away-with-it

    I think the West should just pull its head in and shut up when it comes to China and Africa. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  41. Andy Lau
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:34 | #41

    Sure Wayne, sure you did. Is that also why you posted under 20 different existing names on the Peking duck site? Just testing eh

  42. January 20th, 2012 at 20:42 | #42

    @Andy Lau
    You are now either officially a troll or is really stupid. People can take a nom de guerre, you can take whatever name you want but changing a last name to imply you are a certain ethnicity is simply distasteful. On top of that you took the name of a well known actor. You can call yourself shithead, idiot, Francois, Faizal, or Feilong and nobody would mind but calling yourself George W Bush or Napoleon Bonaparte is trolling!

    Impersonating someone simply showed your lack of character. No need to thank me for explaining the fine art of commenting online.

    Anyway, happy new year to you, Mr.Andy Lau. I really like some of your movies.

  43. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:46 | #43

    @Andy Lau

    250 years ago?

    Shows what an ignoramus you are. The Belgian atrocities took place just before WWI.

    The Kenyan atroclties took place in the 1950s and early 60s, which is of course after the Holocaust, the so called Soviet ‘Gulags’.

  44. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:53 | #44

    I agree, anyone who is still alive and inflicted those terrible things on the native populations has no right to lecture China today. But then, they’d have to be at least 250 years old by now…

    Also an idiotic comment. Individual criminal responsibility is different from the responsibility of a country or even a company.

    Of course if all the perpetrators have died (they have not in the Kenya case), no one can be held criminally responsible. But the nation they fought for, or the institutions they represented most definitely can.

    It is similar to the responsibilities of an incorporated company. A company can be sued and fined for actions in the past (obviously), even if all the company personnel have been replaced by new staff.

    Similarly a country or a polity can be forced to pay compensation and apologise for crimes, which were committed in its name by people long dead.

    That is why I believe China has a very strong case to pursue compensation for the crimes of imperialism, such as the Opium Wars. This would be an interesting avenue to explore. Personally I would not wish to inflict massive financial suffering on the British or French people say. But a symbolic victory, and large payment to some charity, together with an apology, would be a great way of getting across to the Western public some awareness of modern history and understand part of what drives China to rejuvenate and rebuild herself.

  45. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 20:55 | #45

    Correction to paragraph in above post:

    Of course if all the perpetrators have died (they have not in the Kenya case), no one can be held criminally responsible. But the nation they fought for, or the institutions they represented most definitely be held accountable

    Note that criminal responsibility extinguishes with the death of the perpetrator, of course.

  46. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 21:17 | #46

    @Andy Lau

    No one has taken away that right for you to say what you want.

    In fact you are kindly provided a forum here to unload your hatred and racist venom.

    Calling you out on your hypocrisy and racism does not impinge on, or abridge your ‘right to criticize any damn thing I please’ one iota.

    “Besides if “the West” was to be punished, it would affect the likes of Ray, Allen, and YinYang than myself, so good luck with the compensation claim.”

    The West deindustrialized and plundered the East. That is a fact of history. China was richer than the entire European continent in 1820. India was almost as rich as Europe. In fact when the British went to Bengal, for one, they were amazed by its incredible wealth.

    That is why Westerners wanted to get to the East. After all what impelled the so called ‘age of discovery’ —of course it was the fabulous wealth of the East which the West wanted to get their hands on.

    By 1949, after well over a century of Western and Japanese imperialism, China was reduced to perhaps the poorest country in the world per capita. Poorer than India. Poore than Ethiopia (refer Cormac O’Grada’s work on this).

    The West became a sinkhole for the wealth of the world. Coloured people are going to the West is just part of the equalisation process, and naturally benefit from some of this wealth stolen off their own countries.

    Compensation for imperialism would helf further this equalisation process, and would be a good thing. However obviously with the dire straits of the Western economies some massive payment would be difficult —but a symbolic victory and an apology would be great. All this is hypothetical of course, but I think it is something that would be an option to consider, especially if the West continues to get more and more truculent in its attitude towards China.

  47. Wayne
    January 20th, 2012 at 21:20 | #47

    @Andy Lau

    The fact is coloured people are in the West because the West forced itself on the rest of the world, and took the world’s stuff back to the West.

    Coloured people in the West have every right to enjoy a small portion of the living standards which by right are their ancestral patrimony.

  48. dan
    January 26th, 2012 at 11:17 | #48

    “Stephen Chan mentioned that he was a peacekeeper in Mozambique. He mentioned the good will China has generated in supporting the then rebels to help overthrow colonialism in Africa”????
    Stephen Chan was in Mozambique? And he forgot that China had no principled stance against Portugese colonialism and chose its side in the fight against India for the libertion of Goa and Damao?
    And he forgot that China supported or created every division or split in the Frelimo (Ulipamo, Coremo, Papomo…)?
    I sincerely hope that the rest of the debate was of a higher level….

  49. true blue sea
    January 26th, 2012 at 13:07 | #49

    “Do I what I tell you and don’t do what I did” seems like a new theme that current western countries (U.S. and U.K., etc) are pushing for now.
    There is another old westerners’ cliche, “Don’t throw stones when you are living in a glass house”.
    Sun already had set on British Empire.
    U.S. called it’s colonization “manifest destiny”.
    Why would U.K. not to let Ireland be independent?
    Why would U.S. not return the American southwest (CA, NM, AZ, TX) to Mexico and the rest of the country to native American Indians?
    Why would U.S. not to really set the African Americans free?
    U.K., U.S. and the some of the EU countries are kept forgetting this is 21th century now, not 17th, 18th, or even 19th century now.
    U.S. and some of the EU countries can not and shall not kept holding on the past glories and shall facing up to 21th century.
    Furthermore, sharing, cooperation and swallow your prides are the words of the 21th century now for the yesterday’s new U.S. and some of the EU countires

  50. true blue sea
    January 26th, 2012 at 13:20 | #50

    British had retreated back to their islands.
    U.S. is still throwing it’s weight around the globe.
    It is more like U.S.’s military industry complex is talking.
    Selling more expensive weapons to third world countries still unable to cover U.S. trade and fiscal deficits.
    It certainly will not create enough jobs domestically to reduce national unemployment down below 5 percent.
    When push comes to shove, What if China wants to cash in it’s 1.4 trillion dollars worth of U.S. treasury bills?

  51. dan
    January 26th, 2012 at 22:06 | #51

    Please, do not forget that SIPRI mentions that the US delivers 3% of major weapons to black africa and China 25%!

  52. dan
    January 27th, 2012 at 21:12 | #52

    Obviously, I am not the ‘dan’ as in poster #49. Admin, do you allow anyone to use the same name and spell the same way?

  53. kchew
    January 28th, 2012 at 01:34 | #53

    dan :Please, do not forget that SIPRI mentions that the US delivers 3% of major weapons to black africa and China 25%!

    Isn’t it obvious that all countries have armies -and all armies need weapons. Since the black African are much poorer than the rich Arab states, many could not afford to purchase the much more expensive Western weapons. The richer Arab states go for Western arms. Infact Chinese sales are tiny when compared to the weapons sold by the West to the Arab states.

  54. January 28th, 2012 at 07:44 | #54

    @dan
    Well, we use an honor system so posters are free to use their own id. However, the admin can see the email and IP address.

  55. January 28th, 2012 at 08:24 | #55

    dan, please email us and post (as you did) when you recognize a problem. If there is a real problem, we can always require registration – in which case names will be unique. Otherwise, the only rule we really have is not for people to cause confusion on purpose. So if one clearly is impersonating, then we have a problem.

    But where 2 people happen to choose same handle, and may not even know about each other’s handle (since we don’t require people to read all comments prior to posting), I don’t think we have a specific rule against that. If you have suggestions, please email us. I will discuss with the group of editors soon about this.

    Here looks to be a California law on impersonation in blogs. We might look into this, too… http://wordcastnet.com/2011/california-bans-online-impersonations/

    Thanks,

    Allen

  56. January 31st, 2012 at 11:06 | #56

    China’s EXIM Lend More to Sub-Sahara Africa Than World Bank, Fitch Says

    “35 African countries had debts canceled by China, amounting to approximately $30 billion.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-28/china-exim-loans-to-sub-sahara-africa-exceed-world-bank-funds-fitch-says.html

  57. zack
    January 31st, 2012 at 22:05 | #57

    @Ray
    whoa, wait til we see any Western country forgiving african countries’ debt without any expectation of quid pro qo. As Perkins of ‘Confessions of an Economic Hitman’ has noted, this has not occurred.

  58. July 5th, 2012 at 12:44 | #58

    “Beijing, a Boon for Africa”
    By DAMBISA MOYO
    Published: June 27, 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/opinion/beijing-a-boon-for-africa.html

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