Also many Westerners come off as extremely phony in how they talk about China relations with African countries, because they seems to be unaware on how their own countries are connected to China and how much trade they do with China.
It’s extremely phony that Westerners don’t see that. For instance USA seems not to notice they have more Chinese people in their country than all the Chinese people in all 54 African countries. They seem not to notice that they have Chinatowns and “eating Chinese” has become a TV trope in their TV shows.
It’s phoney that to the West “China in the West” is ok, but “China in Africa” is bad.
Linda Keres Carter
I’ve heard Americans claim that, in some countries, there are tons of Chinese emigrating. Then, they start trying to take over. Are you aware of this happening anywhere in Africa or is this just American propaganda?
It's propaganda. That is what they (Europeans) did to the world when they had the power for the first time. Now they think anyone who has the power thinks like them.
In other words, they are projecting European minds onto the Chinese.
There are more than 5 million ethnically Chinese people living in America. They are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Most are American citizens. They raise their families, work at their jobs, and pay their taxes.
I live in San Jose, California. The Chinese population here is much higher than in the rest of America. We have the best public schools in America, the lowest crime rate of any major city, and household incomes more than twice the national median.
Is this a bad thing?
If not, then why is it bad if the same thing happens in Africa?
I think a few Americans have a serious concern.
My assumption is that China’s domestic overpopulation problem concerns a few Americans since they think China is dumping their population overseas on purpose to claim land
Who in America is saying this? Sounds like you heard this from an illegitimate source. Why would anyone say this?
Anton Van Zyl
Africa is China's next conquest, they already own half of it
Excellent answer, though I am pretty sure that a lot of the infrastructure they builds are, in turn, another example of a phoney contribution: infrastructure needs the maintenance and manpower to ensure it stays useful, otherwise it falls apart within a couple of decades. If African leaders can’t be trusted to spend contributed money wisely, they aren’t going to invest in these essential elements either. The least expensive thing about a hospital is the building itself, and without the staff it is useless.
In other words, China has found something cheaper than money to exchange for access to African resources, and these African nations are going to have to be particularly resourceful to reap any sustained benefit from these hospitals and highways.
You are reading too much Western propaganda. Why is there so much ill-will from the West? Can’t you just mind your business?
Vote a thousand votes for you. But while developing industrialization, I hope that your country will not relax the national defense cause and the political education of the people. Soon some Western countries will look at those African and Middle Eastern countries that have just established an industrialization framework. They dare not fight head-on with China because it will cause world destruction, but they will relentlessly launch proxy wars and color revolutions. Destroy those countries that cooperate with China. I wish Tanzania prosperity.
You are right. We need nuclear weapons.
You are speaking truth words…and truth is not something the Western countries love.
Good point. And many of us do realise that the polararisation of western and Chinese views is fundamentally unnecessary.
Never seen China do this…. Oh wait I have. So China is just as the West. China is just as likely to screw them over.
I was born in Tanzania (in Tabora, when the country was still Tanganyika Territory) and I now live in Europe. I thoroughly agree with you about the short-sighted, greedy attitude of Western governments to African countries - they simply don’t see (or refuse to see) that African countries would be far more valuable to them as strong, well-developed trading partners rather than being kept in semi-permanent debt by “aid” which is really a loan repayable only in “hard” currency.
Some of the remarks made by white Quorans about Africa and African people are breathtakingly derogatory. And some of the most interesting posts- as far as I’m concerned - are African. Why is it that today no one is genuinely curious and interested in other countries, rather than making crude political judgements? It’s pathetic.
None of the aid given by the west is required to be repaid.
why not live in China? why west?
Well said sir. Living for three years now in Kenya being a South African, my previous ideas about the Chinese have evaporated and turned to respect and acceptance. I like what they’re doing in Kenya which will improve everyone’s live. Nothing wrong with that.
In the first picture you show a ugly row of apartment buildings.
In the second one you show a …something. Where is that in Africa? Ok. Source, name, location, cost? You imply that Europeans, in 200 years of history, didn't help you build any roads or rails?
The third picture is a tram. Bus. Train, whatever. Just the front. How do we know is Chinese? How do we know is in Africa? How do we know the cost and the underbelly of the story?
Sorry, but because of your unconvincing pictures, which don't look from personal experience ( you can find ANY kind of pictures on the web, pretend that they are from ANYWHERE and done by ANYONE) I call bs on your answer
* “In the first picture you show a ugly row of apartment buildings”
Beauty is in the eyes of the beer-holder.
* “In the second one you show a …something. Where is that in Africa? Ok. Source, name, location, cost?”
That’s the Mombasa to Nairobi SGR. Other such projects are the Nigeria new SGR and Ethiopia SGR. Another contract was signed for a portion of the Dar to Isaka SGR in Tanzania. Previous project of TAZARA in the mid-1970s was also a masterprice that had been rejected in Washington as unfeasible.
* “The third picture is a tram. Bus. Train, whatever. “
It’s the Addis Ababa light railway.
* “( you can find ANY kind of pictures on the web, pretend that they are from ANYWHERE and done by ANYONE) I call bs on your answer”
The bs is yours.
How much time have you spent in Tanzania? I spent time in Tanzania in the early 80’s and drove from Arusha to the Kenya border. It was one of the most impoverished places I have ever been. There was one small tourist hotel in Arusha and the vast majority of the population lived in dung dwellings with dirt floors. The Chinese are doing an admirable and fantastic job of helping Tanzania lift their living standards to a level that would never be attained if Tanzania depended on the west.
“You imply that Europeans, in 200 years of history, didn't help you build any roads or rails?”
Europeans in Africa mostly stuck to this
and whatever they built was never “help.” It was to make their colonies more useful to THEM. They were conquerors, rulers and self-enrichers. That was the only reason they were ever there. Look at the state they left Africa in. Look how they ensured Africa remained under their control, no matter who was in charge. France still retains kingmaker status in Algeria and French-speaking West Africa. During the Rwandan Genocide, it equipped the Hutu army.
America builds nothing in Africa. China builds a ton. Americans call the buildings ugly. Yeah they're not gonna win any architectural beauty contests, so what? Look at their value to the poor. People who were living in slums or remote villages, children who were walking for hours to get to school, can now live in the city in buildings that are safe and provide modern amenities. For some people who will move into these apartments, it's the first time they'll have a roof that isn't made of straw. I'm sorry China didn't have time to build a 3,000-square-ft suburban villa per family? Africa has explosive population growth and rural-to-urban migration. It needs to house people at an affordable cost.
America does nothing positive in Africa. China partners with Africa for decades with the support of Africans. Americans call it colonialism.
Americans ban vaccine export until very recently. China exports over 800 million doses at the height of the pandemic. Americans call these vaccines garbage.
Jesus. This country is good for three things: (1) enriching itself, (2) tearing down all others, and (3) endless moralizing. I bet you if America and all its people disappeared today, the world would be in deep shit for a few decades from the missing population and economy, and then be on its way to paradise.
Europeans built the Railways for whom?
Think about it.
Japanese built great railways in China’s Northeast too. Was those Railways for Chinese people?
Have you ever been to China and seen the cities, infastructure, amazing bridges, parks, transportation … i suspect not
You are judging others by your own standard! Mike Pompeo's own admissions “ we lie, we cheat, we steal" Wait…aren't those what China has been accused of doing by US and its western allies/vassals states??
Ugly or or pretty , at least they have roofs and walls that protect people from the very basic elements — winds, rains heat and cold! Did the Western colonisers leave or made anything that provide similar protection for the natives? We all have to start somewhere and the Africans finally getting their starts!! And mostly important, all these are being done through trades, not slavery!!
Finally, Africa doesn't want help or hand outs but opportunities to develop and grows as an equal on the international stage, rather than being treated as the second class colonial past by Europe and Europe has never given Africa any of those opportunity. Europe just took from Africa, then threw the scraps back occasionally and expected to be treated as the good Samaritan, as the hero, how arogant!!
You are right. China’s position is one of transactional trade and where needed provide flexible payment terms (naturals resources or IOY).
China is running a economic development policy towards parts of Africa and make no mistake, true hospital, housing, infrastructure is being build by China, but China does nothing for free.
Obviously the initial development that China initiates is great for countries as it is aimed as improving average quality of life. China happens to have a lot of experience in that respect.
To be fair, China is no angel either. In developing Africa, it has access to essential raw materials in repayment ( better than cash ).
I did not read all 487 comments so I am sorry if I repeat. This answer is as much a criticism of the West as it is an answer to the question about China and Africa but that approach likely was necessary. The information and point of view likely is accurate and is quite valuable to me as an American. All during the Cold War, everybody knew what American and Russian Aid were really all about. I am sorry the West and Russia did not come up with a better plan long ago. I hope Chinese exchange leads to long term improvement in the economy, standard of living, and all the good institutions that you say will follow. If Chinese trade does lead to a better economic base, I hope it does not stop with only economics and does include real freedoms and responsibilities. Thank you for a well written honest useful answer.
Valerie Van Kerckhove
China trades with Africa because it sees strong potential in Africa. I think we’re all a bit sick of living in an unipolar world, and China is a bit too peculiar to be a true leader in a bi-polar world (as pointed out here, it’s interested in trade to make itself rich, not in setting an example in terms of ideology). I hope African nations can quickly catch up so they can form a new superpower in a new multipolar world.
Besides, I very much look forward to what Africa can bring in terms of cultural influence. Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr and Oprah Winfrey are all heirs to African culture, I suspect there’s treasure there that is more valuable than gold and oil.
If true, Chinese model is certainly the best compared to the western “aid".
But it requires a cooperation of local corrupt leaders to agree to invest their oil and other revenues into an economy instead of just pocketing it, as they usually do. Logically inconsistent.
I see in the comments that Western citizens are bashed for making donations. OK. Shall I turn a blind eye now and mind my own business? I was sending my little money to numerous NGO's to help with clean water projects, schooling, protection of environment, food aid in warzones. Shall I stop? The Chinese will solve all these things, right?
Also, this “Westerner" term makes no sense. Who are you talking about? Are you talking about the UK government or the German chancellor or the Slovakian baker or the Portuguese shoemaker or a Hungarian singer or a French cook? Who is it that is ruining your life?
I'll give you an answer. Keep your money. You can also stop sticking your nose into those matters.
Let me tell you who the “westerner” is. It isn’t classified by country, skin color or religion. It is classified by any people that has the idea that: any undevelopped area need aid, help or anything free. Which means even a Asian guy with yellow skin which share the same idea can be at least called: have typic westerner point of view.
Don’t misunderstand me that I am not criticizing your donations or questioning your goodness. And I am 100% sure most of the individual donator has a kind heart as same as you. But you have to understand “the free thing is actually the most expensive thing in the world”. As most of the time, it is not free but serve a more big goal eventually. Especially when this kind of free is not coming from individual person but a organization. That is always how things will end when money, human, power are mixed together.
So not treating Africa people as beggar, doing business with them instead of offering free food. The Africa certainly has the resource and ability to develop themselves. Like Chinese always says “teach the people how to fishing instead of just give them fish”
The chinese don't generally employ local laborers. They bring their own workers from China. If they were really so benevolent they should keep the money in the local economy. Western countries make it a point of using local labor and thus stimulating the local economy.
Enough have been written that is opposite to what you said as well. It’s economically ridiculous to believe China imported most of the labor from China. If I use a train or an aeroplane, frankly I dont quite mind who owns it as long as its good, safe and affordable.
I am not denying that so far China has done more than Western countries have done for African countries. I believe that what some Chinese people want is a win-win relationship in these cases. Simply speaking, for the side which is less powerful, what are written down in a contract are harder to be supervised as what they are supposed to be done. So, being more careful is not a bad idea.
Joan Vredik Broadley
China does do good things in Africa. It’s just that I hope Africans realize that they aren’t doing those things for free. There will be a payback time coming.
Emmanuel-Francis Nwaolisa Ogomegbunam
Did you read his answer?
Everything is bought and paid for. How hard is that concept to understand?
The price is negotiated before the transaction, there are no hidden terms, and you don’t need to worry about it.
Who does anything for free? If you borrow money, you pay it back at an agreed interest and time frame. When did your bank ever give you free money.
Didn’t the OP say that China isn’t doing things for free?
As much I am critical of China in Africa, I am also against unfair European trade policies towards Africa. EU wants an open trade with Africa i.e when African opens it market for EU goods but they close the Access of Africa selling goods to EU unless only when Africa is selling them raw materials
Payback time is coming for the Europeans for all the good deeds. And that is for sure.
Nothing is free in this world. Even the wars waged by the west in the Middle East will have eventual consequences. The mass immigration to Europe will significantly alter the demographics.
so it is important to set your house in order before being concerned about China in Africa.
Corruption is Africa’s biggest problem, not the West. When colonial powers left there was incredible infrastructure in Africa, for the time. The time has come for Africa to stop blaming its woes on colonialism and the west. That was a long time ago, it’s time to man up and rise up intellectually.
I agree with part of this. Africa, specifically sub-Saharan cannot develop until unite. If most of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa did unite they could rapidly become an economic force to contend with despite the challenges they face.
While I am no geopolitical expert, I think it is a mistake to attribute too much good or evil to either side of a geopolitical divide. There is good being done in “developing” (Africa boasts some of the earliest well-developed civilizations, but we are talking about infrastructure here) countries by China, and by the US and EU, there is very terrible stuff being done in developing countries and at home by China, the US, and EU. I agree that trade is better in many ways than endless funding that largely goes unaccounted for. I wouldn't believe for a second that it is intended to be “no strings attached “ It is also rather silly to claim that corruption and human rights abuses simply sort themselves out with a better economy. The deeper question to my mind is whether we ALL will figure out how to cooperate and help each other and live as a human, or we continue tearing up each other and our habitat…
Well said … imagine what could be accomplished together.
I don’t pretend the West isn’t helpful to Africa. But it doesn’t automatically mean China is thus the saviour. You’ll begin to learn it ‘the hard way’, as some countries like Sri Lanka has.
Yes, yes, China’s not to blame in this case. You can argue that. But I’m not saying China is to blame. China has every right and rightly so seeks economic opportunities, but China does so without caring what you entrapped yourself into and China doesn’t have to care. It doesn’t mean that you, a citizen of a country doing this ‘trade’ with China, should just willingly jump into it without weighing future risks.
我不会假装西方对非洲没有帮助。但这并不意味着中国就是救世主。你将开始 "艰难地 "学习，就像斯里兰卡等一些国家那样。
When you buy a house or car, do you not plan for maintenance, upkeep, and taxes? Do you not think African governments knows this when developing infrastructure or you think they are not intelligent to do so?
Africa has a love and hate relationship with the west, and it will be the same with China in the next 20–30 years. What Africa needs to be understand is that either all African countries go up, or all go down. The world doesn't owe anything to Africa, and Africa doesn't owe anything to the world. We all are alone and together at the same time.
Such a good answer. Democracy is just a tool by the west as with any other political tools. What China is doing is right, if you develop the infrastructure of the country, everything will just follow, investing or helping make sense. China help with your infrastructure by lending money and man-power, you will pay with interest in the future. Your government will do its role of using that infrastructure for further development and everyone is happy. Farmers can trade with his goods, government create jobs as well as for private sectors. Then democracy will just follow. If you put first democracy, and yet there is no infrastructure, how can it be helpful? The west will end up of installing a puppet regime, then opposition will arm themselves, then you have a civil conflict. In this manner, the military industrial complex of the west will reap the rewards and the targeted country will sit in ruins.
Great answer, there are some problems with what China does in Africa but it is doing a way better job than Europe and America has done since 1970. We see the positive and negativeof China in Zambia and Zim but it is still better than a lecture from London , Washington or Zurich about what Africans should be doing.
Sorry to break to you, but China is no better than the West.
And China is not very sincere with their partnership with Africa. China is on the same agenda as the West.
Just wait and see.
Do you know when China reached Afrika for the first time?
And do you know what they did?