[OPE-L] China and Africa / China and Socialism Blog

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Tue Feb 20 2007 - 16:21:45 EST

Sidney believes that the PRC is socialist./ In solidarity, Jerry

---------------------------- Original Message ------------------------
Subject: China and Africa PLUS NEW BLOG!!!
From:    SJGluck@aol.com
Date:    Tue, February 20, 2007 1:44 pm

You  may find the below article as well as past and future articles on our
weekly  updated blog in collaboration with Mr. Alan Maki. Please check out
"China and Socialism"  at (http://understandingchinatoday.blogspot.com/)
We welcome your comments, questions,  suggestions!

China  and Africa
By  Sidney J. Gluck
February  19, 2007
In  the past few weeks there have appeared a number of articles in the
general press  characterizing China’s  relations with Africa  as
“neo-colonialism.”  Since the West, over centuries, has done nothing
but  exploit, colonize and then be pushed out of Africa,  culturally they
have been inured to considering a close relationship with  African states
as “colonial.” That situation began to change with the  establishment
of the United Nations and the freedom of colonial possessions.  This was
followed by an association of former colonialist countries at a
conference over fifty years ago in Bandung,  organized by India  and
China,  at which a general pledge was made to conduct foreign relations on
the basis of  non-interference in internal politics. This, of course, did
not rule out  economic aid, trade, and investment. Former colonial
have maintained  relations through economic controls and influence of
politics. This, too, is  coming to an end. Accelerating that process is the
relationship between China  and Africa.   One  hundred years ago, W. E. B.
Dubois predicted that the “world color line,”  an  expression of
colonialism and imperialism, would be broken when Asia  and Africa  get
together. Some thirty or forty years later, he specifically
stated that China  and Africa’s  relationship would create a fundamental
change in historic world relations. That  is where we are today. Some six
years ago, China  organized the African Forum bringing together Heads of
States to Beijing.
 In January 2004, China  forgave the indebtedness of thirty-one African
nations. It has annually brought  together African leaders, culminating in
last November’s China/Africa Forum  which embraced forty-nine of the
fifty-one African nation’s leaders in Beijing. China  has been engaged
in specific programs with African countries such as Angola, South  Africa,
Somalia, Sudan  and other East African nations.
This  is a super challenge to world imperialism which does little to
assist  economically and is simultaneously both engaged and confused in
political  relations. On the other hand, China  does not get involved in
political relations, yet is most friendly with all  countries in mutually
beneficial strategic contracts that deal with development  of resources,
health facilities, infrastructure, rebuilding of destroyed  industrial
equipment, modernization, etc. without political connotations on a  purely
win-win economic basis.  We  are doing an in depth study of Sino-African
relations. In this context, we have  just received the February 8th issue
of Beijing Review (English  edition) which features, “China-Africa –
Taking Relations to a New Level.” One  of the main stories is a written
interview with Eleih-Elle Etian, the Cameroon  Ambassador who specifically
deals with the mis-characterization of China’s  relationship as
neo-colonial. We attach relative sections of the article.
Beijing  Review
Vol.  50 No. 6
February  8, 2007
Increasing  Rapprochement
In  a written interview with Beijing Review, Eleih-Elle Etian, Cameroon's
Ambassador to China  and dean of the Group of African Ambassadors,
discusses China's  burgeoning relations with Africa,  especially with
Cameroon,  which was the first leg of Chinese President Hu Jintao's
eight-nation Africa  tour

Can you comment on  "neocolonialism," a policy that some people believe
China  is pursuing in Africa?

First  of all, I wonder whom those people are, those who believe China  is
pursuing a neocolonial policy in Africa.  I'm afraid they are worried
about the geopolitical incidence on the  international scene of an
rapprochement between China  and Africa.  I'm also afraid they just want
to distract Africans from a political option that  will for once be to
their advantage, just to prevent them from enjoying the  bright prospects
of that cooperation.
China  was a close partner of Africa  in the early years of the continent's
struggle for independence-I mean in the  de-colonization process of
Africa.  It would therefore be unfair to accuse or suspect China  of
embarking on a colonial or neocolonial policy in Africa. China  is a
responsible country and would not engage in a policy it has been fighting
for decades. Ever since then, China and Africa have built their relations
upon  the five principles of peaceful coexistence, which include mutual
respect for  sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression,
non-interference  in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual
benefit, and peaceful  coexistence. Both parties remain faithful to these
principles and that is why we  can witness such an increasing cooperation
today.  Fortunately,  neither China  nor African countries are fooled by
the saying of "neocolonialism." Counting on  the usual support of all our
traditional partners, we know our cooperation with China  is one of the
most strategic or simply the most strategic stake of the future of  our
international cooperation for the coming decades.
_Increasing  Rapprochement -- Beijing Review_

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