Embrace the Dragon

Africans are repeatedly warned to beware and shun the dragon. The story goes like this: Africa should be terribly worried of the proliferation of China’s investments on the continent. According to advocates of this view, this economic development poses threat of ‘new colonialism’ to Africa. The irony of this warning is that it comes from neocolonialists and their surrogates.

It is not as if there is political, economic and cultural freedom in Africa which must guarded against China’s supposed evil designs. These advocates, plunders of our minerals, looters of our wealth and exploiters of Africa’s labour have nothing to prove genuine concern for the well being of Africa and its children. Africa remains a victim of neocolonial economic, political and cultural exploitation and manipulation in the hands of the same criminals who today pretend to care for Africa. The real complaint of these neocolonialists’ is that China is intruding ‘their’ economic territory.

Another cry is that China supports alleged despotic governments in Africa which have no regard for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We all know who supported Apartheid in South Africa and continue to support the murderous state of Israel and many other repressive regimes in the world. The memory of brutal slavery is still vivid in our minds. The whole world also knows the founders of colonialism who gathered at the infamous Berlin Conference and authored the tragedy of mother Africa.

It is true that China does not have a policy to foster regime change in any African state or any other country in the world. In the contrary, the United States of America and Britain in particular supports coup de tats, regime change and rebel movements against democratically elected governments in Africa and elsewhere. The same culprits attacked Afghanistan and Iraq in defiance of United Nations resolutions.

Once upon a time in history, China and Africa were victims of colonialism by western powers. There is no history of antagonistic relations between China and Africa. The difference between China and Africa is that China banished western imperialism while Africa reached a ‘settlement’ with the system resulting in nothing but sham independence.

The Wild West scoundrels begrudge the fact that China managed to reconstruct its society, reengineered its economy and is now an independent, stable democratic self-reliant country. They do not want other countries to follow China’s good example.

They are also worried that China, with its fair development finance and trade policies, is becoming an alternative source of funding and economic partner (to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank), for the ‘developing’ world including Africa.

We must use this progressive China-Africa partnership to isolate imperialist forces, weaken imperialist economic base, and ensure mutual transfer of skills and equitable economic engagement. The poor African working class masses must intensify the fight against neocolonialism and at the same time the continent must move to unite and speak with one powerful voice to enhance its bargaining power on all international matters.

Hulisani Mmbara
Chief Editor