NYT: Help Not Wanted

My friend was visibly shaken. He had just learned that he had lost one of his clients to Chinese competitors. “it’s amazing,” he told me. “The Chinese have completely priced us out of the market. We can’t compete with what they’re able to offer.”

There’s nothing surprising about that, of course; manufacturing jobs are lost to China every day. But my friend is not in manufacturing. He works in foreign aid.

Moises Naim, editor of Foreign Policy magazine, has an op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times on the increasing amounts of aid being given by countries, such as China, at the expense of Western aid programs. He argues that such deals in the long-run hurt recipient nations.

In recent years, wealthy nondemocratic regimes have begun to undermine development policy through their own activist aid programs. Call it rogue aid. It is development assistance that is nondemocratic in origin and nontransparent in practice, and its effect is typically to stifle real progress while hurting ordinary citizens.

China is actively backing such deals throughout Africa; its financing of roads, electrical plants, ports and the like boomed from $700 million in 2003 to nearly $3 billion for each of the past two years. Indeed, it is a worldwide strategy. Beijing has agreed to expand Indonesia’s electrical grid in a matter of months. Too bad the deal calls for building several plants that use a highly polluting, coal-based Chinese technology. No international agency would have signed off on such an environmentally unfriendly deal.

In the Philippines, the Asian Development Bank, which lends money at low interest rates to poor countries, had agreed to finance Manila’s new aqueduct. It, too, was suddenly told that its money was no longer needed. China was offering cheaper rates, faster approval and fewer questions.

What’s behind this sudden Chinese drive to do good around the world? The three short answers are money, international politics and access to raw materials. China’s central bank has the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, totaling $1.06 trillion. Beijing is increasingly leveraging this cash to ensure its access to raw materials and to advance China’s growing global influence. What better than a generous foreign-aid program to ensure the good will of a petro-power like Nigeria or a natural-resource-rich neighbor like Indonesia?

Chinese leaders argue that such aid, coming with ‘no strings attached’, represents a true form of aid, free of the neo-imperialist agenda of Western agencies and is protective of the sovereignty of states such as Sudan. In a speech on February 7 in Pretoria, South Africa, Hu said:

“For more than 100 years in China’s modern history, the Chinese people were subjected to colonial aggression and oppression by foreign powers and went through similar suffering and agony that the majority of African countries endured,” Hu said according to a transcript released by South African officials. He added: “China has never imposed its will or unequal practices on other countries and will never do so in the future.”

Ben Landy, in the fabulous new blog, China Redux, wrote about Hu’s speech:

Whether we believe it or not is a separate question…I’m inclined to agree that China will not likely develop into an imperial power. But the Hu Doctrine leaves a lot of wiggle room. What does it mean that China will not ‘impose its will’ on other countries? And what exactly are ‘unequal practices’? Isn’t undervaluing currency an unequal practice? What about severely restricting foreign investment in domestic markets? The list of nebulous practices could go on and on.

I suppose it also depends on your definition of an ‘imperial power.’ China’s actions on the African continent might not be ‘colonization,’ but they are far from benign. Over time, African nations like Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Sudan might find China’s help to be even “stringier” than Western aid and investment.
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UPDATE:
Commenters might wish to look at the NYT Op-Ed page for February 19, “Patron of African Misgovernment” as well as Ben Landy’s follow-up piece on the China Redux blog.

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Via CDT

The Discussion: 75 Comments

China Redux must be good – it appears to be blocked. Got in using anonymouse.

February 16, 2007 @ 1:09 pm | Comment

Yeah, I’m sorry. I should have mentioned that. I’ve not been able to access the site from China without a proxy. I first learned of the site from China Law Blog and since then, it’s been on my daily list.

February 16, 2007 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

Foreign aid with donor-benefitting strings attached? And it’s from China? The only surprise about that it that it’s from China.

I don’t want to get into the flaws of the whole World Bank/aid controversy — there are legions of people, web sites and tear gas-filled demonstrations devoted to that. Have you read “Diary of an Economic Hit Man” Jeremiah? It’s a book with a few problems (like maybe the author is faking a lot of his background) but it’s a good read about how foreign aid is a crooked game. It’s a game the West has always played. Now the Chinese are playing it, but by the same set of rules.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. The cost is always paid back with interest, often in the form of blood. Only now instead of the “free lunch” coming with an offer of “would you like fries with that?” it’s going to be noodles…

February 16, 2007 @ 1:30 pm | Comment

Bukko,

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve written repeatedly, both here and on my own site, that it would be difficult to imagine the Chinese doing worse by Africa than the European imperialists and American/Soviet Cold Warriors of the past one hundred years.

But that doesn’t mean that China gets a free pass, especially since Beijing is so proud to trumpet “a new kind” of aid for developing countries. I agree that this new kind of aid looks a lot like the old kind only adding that in a few instances, like the Chambishi mine complex in Zambia or support for the murderous thugs in the Sudanese, government, China seems intent on testing my original hypothesis about not doing worse.

I would very much like to see China’s aid programs to Africa succeed. I think it would be great for several different African nations desperately in need and I think it would be good for China as well. But at the same time, I would also like to see China take a leadership role in responsible foreign aid that respects not only the interests of African leaders and elites, but also of the people themselves. Western countries, as you point out, have a poor record in this regard. It would be nice to see China do better, but I’m not holding my breath.

February 16, 2007 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

Morality aside, I see this as further proof of Hu’s shrewdness and his determination to secure the resources China needs to survive at any cost. I won’t give China or the thugs they support a free pass. But I will acknowledge that from a Machiavellian perspective, Hu can’t be faulted for his ruthless pursuit of what China needs to keep going and growing. The US has done the same thing at many points in its history, making Fustian bargains to ensure its supremacy. It’s the real world we live in, I’m afraid.

February 16, 2007 @ 4:08 pm | Comment

Well I think Hu is just following “the art of war”. Best is, if you can capture the enemy without a fight and intakt.

February 16, 2007 @ 5:29 pm | Comment

Precisely.

February 16, 2007 @ 5:49 pm | Comment

@Richard
I agree with your comments, and also those of Jeremiah preceding them.

It may be the real world and the work of a shrewd political operative, but it’s absolutely wrong. There is no moral justification for safeguarding self-interest at the expense of others, particularly in the case of the peoples of Africa.

Two points I’d like to make:

First, those governments that have exploited foreign aid programs in the past have elected leaders and a free press that helps, in some small way at least, to keep them honest. China is not burdened by critics with a voice or an informed electorate. Ask an educated Chinese about the Sino-African relationship and you’ll hear stuff like “strategic partners” or “win-win”, because that’s all they know.

Second – and this is more controversial and problematic – I sense from my time in China that there is an inherent and consistent view that a black person is inferior. Sure, there was a time when western powers held the same disgraceful attitude and acted accordingly, but this is an age of different understanding.

Further to this second point, I believe that a lack of regard for people with black skin will result in Chinese companies displaying a greater-than-usual lack of scruples in their approach to the welfare of local employees.

Jeremiah has already alluded to some evidence of this, as did Si and Lightyear a few days ago:

http://www.pekingduck.org/pond//viewtopic.php?t=1034

February 16, 2007 @ 6:15 pm | Comment

The good old pรฉnรฉtration pacifique, now with a Chinese flavor.

February 16, 2007 @ 6:44 pm | Comment

Stuart, I agree with just about every word you said.

February 16, 2007 @ 8:13 pm | Comment

I wouldn’t say the Chinese are necessarily racist… IMHO, China is not necessarily as bad as others in dealing with foreign cultures (consider how they seem to be lapping up Western culture or commercializing Tibetan culture just as American sports teams commercialize Native American culture.)

Also, Chinese aid is not coercive. The Chinese have never, to my knowledge, forced an African government to recieve their aid, nor attempted to influence African policy through coercive means like economic embargoes, covert military involvement, and the like. I stand on the side of aid, that even if it may be corrupting, still does not involve the intentional toppling of governments through hard power means.

February 17, 2007 @ 3:20 am | Comment

I don’t want to offend any people here. But I think one should look into a mirror first before talking about the skin color and Chinese treatment on the black people. You may be blind and ignorant; but it is utterly obvious for most of other people to see the hypocrisy.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:49 am | Comment

Should it be up to Africans to decide if those aids are good for them?

Tell me any one of you is from Africa… and tell me you are descent from someone of the other end of slavery and colonialism.

Had a discussion with friends about the difference between “Beijing Consensus” and “Washington Consensus”. In summary, the conclusion about “Beijing Consensus”, is “don’t be a jackass”.

There are enough wisdom in Africa, or in Iraq, or in China for that matter, to know how to pursue a better tomorrow on their own.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:58 am | Comment

I would refer you to the volume of material being written by African journalists expressing grave reservations about the strings attached with Chinese aid. I might suggest this article by Onyekachi Wambu as a start.

February 17, 2007 @ 8:58 am | Comment

On most issues, one can find options on the massive media to support one’s view points. Even on the clear-cut issue of the Iraqi war, one can find diverse set of opinion. So people really should not be surprised at all when many people have grave reservations about China’s role in Africa (self interest).

February 17, 2007 @ 9:49 am | Comment

Looking back at my hastily written comment from last night (“Stuart, I agree with just about every word you said”) I think I should have modified it even further, as it can easily be misunderstood. One of the first things newcomers hear from other expats in China is that “the Chinese are the most racist people on earth.” I don’t know if that’s true, but I think I understand why they say it. It would be more accurate if they said, “More than just about anyone else, the Chinese don’t hide their racism the way the rest of us do.” All of us are racist to some degree (except for Steven Colbert, who is “completely color-blind” about race). But we learn at an early age to be polite about it. I was on the subway in Beijing (this was back in 2002) when a black man walked into the car, and you could literally feel all the eyes focus on him and stay focused on him – I had never seen so many people gaping at another, none of them doing the “polite” thing by trying not to stare. I’ve heard countless stories of totally undisguised racism here – and that’s the key word, “undisguised.” While each of us can look in the mirror and see at least part of the reflected image that is racist, many Chinese seem to feel it’s nothing that needs to be concealed. And when I say “concealed,” I don’t mean pretending to not be racist. I mean checking ourselves and acknowledging the prejudice we all harbor and making a conscious effort to rise above it and not be slave to it. Here, that doesn’t seem to be part of the thought process. On the subway, you could see it on everyone’s face – “there’s a black guy and I’m going to stare at him like he’s some kind of animal.” This is what shocks so many newcomers.

Sorry to go off-subject a bit.

February 17, 2007 @ 9:57 am | Comment

China certainly isn’t going to Africa without any motives — whichever government does that is being irresponsible to its tax payers. The beauty of free trade, and thinking win-win (as much as some here hate that term), is parties with each’s self interest can work together.

The difference today is African nations have their independent sovereignty. They are not under coercion to deal with the Chinese on unfavorable terms. Don’t for a second, confuse morally this and what they were treated under the Western imperialism.

Richard, whether staring at a person of different race is racism is debatable. I had been in front of white or black children growing up in a racially homogeneous environment, at age old enough to intelligently able to tell my different appearance but not old enough to be “polluted” by politically correct notions. What did they do? They stared at me, a Chinese.

How do you know those Chinese passengers were thinking that black fellow as some kind of animal? But anyway I am certain that they weren’t thinking that, “I hate that n****, when I get a chance, my buddies and I will lynch him.” An important reason why those Chinese behaved that way and didn’t realize their rudeness, is that no fellow Chinese have done the latter.

February 17, 2007 @ 11:45 am | Comment

I think issues of race and racism are complex enough without trying to compare across cultures. That said, I think portraying Chinese as simply naive when it comes to race is a little misleading. Even now, many African-Americans and other peoples of color are often turned down for simple English teaching jobs, told that Chinese students prefer “a real American teacher” or because of fears that their language skills are somehow inferior to white teachers. This insult is compounded when a blond teacher from Poland is given high praise even though English is his fourth language. Sad to say, this happens.

One might also recall the riots in Nanjing in the 1980s, one part of which included a mob of Chinese students storming the African’s dormitory chanting “Kill the Black Devils.” How did it all start? Well, it seemed that two African students had the audacity to ask a couple of Chinese women to be their dates for a university Christmas party.

Obviously there was a mix of motivations here (nationalism, the usual griping of Chinese males over foreigners dating Chinese women, etc.) but race was certainly a major complicating factor.

For scholarly treatments of the subject see:

The 1988-89 Nanjing Anti-African Protests: Racial Nationalism or National Racism?
Michael J. Sullivan
The China Quarterly, No. 138 (Jun., 1994), pp. 438-457

Collective Identity, Symbolic Mobilization, and Student Protest in Nanjing, China, 1988-1989
George T. Crane
Comparative Politics, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Jul., 1994), pp. 395-413

Certainly one hasn’t seen the horrible racial violence against Africans in China that one can easily find in US history (that sort of violence is generally reserved for Tibetans, Muslims, and anti-government protesters). But neither do the Chinese get a free pass here.

February 17, 2007 @ 11:58 am | Comment

JXie, you’re right, it was probably friendly staring, an invitation actually, sending a signal that they wanted to be close friends with the guy. Only, if you had been there you most likely would not have come to this conclusion, but then, anything is possible. I’d comment further but I have to go out and lynch a n*gger, the way all of us Americans do.

I can go on about examples of racism I witnessed in China, but then I’d be accused of having been a slaveowner and a Klansman. All I can say is racism of any kind infuriates me, and I speak out against it all the time when it happens in Ameirca, which is quite frequently.

Thanks for your perennially balanced and insightful comment jeremiah – you are quite right, comparing “racism” across cultures is a risky business and I should avoid it.

February 17, 2007 @ 12:17 pm | Comment

Jeremiah, there is of course racism in China and among Chinese. Denying that would be ridiculous.

OT: I travel to Brazil often. Brazilians are far more open in talking about race than Americans. Many daily discussions there could be easily considered offensive in the US. Yet if you look at the history, blacks were treated much better in Brazil than in the US.

OT2: In a closed topic that someone justified American exceptionalism on its being a “melting pot”. In New Continent, Brazil is far more a melting pot than the US. There were no Chinese Exclusive Act and Gentlemen?s Agreement in Brazil. At the time of that indelible image of Carlos’ and Smith’s black power salute on an Olympic medal stand, Pele was the heart and soul of Brazil.

February 17, 2007 @ 12:41 pm | Comment

t_co wrote:

“I wouldn’t say the Chinese are necessarily racist… IMHO, China is not necessarily as bad as others in dealing with foreign cultures”

The apologist misses the point, as usual. I was talking specifically about the attitude of most Chinese people towards those with black skin and the ramifications in relation to China’s African aid program.

You’re making excuses for China based on the number of McDonalds and Starbucks in the high street. And what a damn surprise that you should trot out the “…not necessarily as bad as others…” defence. Do you get paid a retainer by the CCP to do this?

z wrote:

“But I think one should look into a mirror first before talking about the skin color and Chinese treatment on the black people. You may be blind and ignorant; but it is utterly obvious for most of other people to see the hypocrisy.”

It wasn’t at all hypocritical. First, we are talking specifically about China’s agenda in Africa, not anyone else’s. Second, I made a clear reference to “…the same disgraceful attitude…”. But all you see is the criticism of your beloved motherland, which is followed by the knee-jerk response typified by your post.

Forget other countries for a moment. Tell us honestly, if you can, about how the average Chinese perceives black people and the possible consequences as China gains a foothold in Africa via its foreign aid.

Jxie wrote:
“Tell me any one of you is from Africa… and tell me you are descent from someone of the other end of slavery and colonialism.”

It may come as a shock, Jxie, but the general consensus is that you are also a descendant of the migrants out of the plains of Africa. ‘Peking man’ is the Chinese denial of an ancestry that strikes at the very heart of Chinese racism.

Then you wrote:
“There are enough wisdom in Africa…to know how to pursue a better tomorrow on their own.”

Precisely. Which is why the people of Africa are voicing their concern about Chinese aid.

@ Richard

Yes, we all harbour our prejudices. And these are the cornerstone of cultural diversity. It is also true that the ‘polite’ western attitude that ‘it’s rude to stare’ does not exist here in China. And I see that as a cultural difference – and in some ways a more honest, albeit discomfiting, one. Being curious is fine, although personally I could do without the amused onlookers when I’m having painful physio in the hospital.

But I’m talking about what people are actually thinking – the product of deeply held beliefs implanted by parents, teachers, stereotyping etc. Of course racist attitudes lurk beneath the surface in western countries, but most people have a clear understanding through education that race (particularly that distinguished by skin colour) has no bearing on an individuals qualities as a human being or right to respect.

There is a strong link between attitude and behaviour. In the west we have learned to modify our behaviour according to ‘politically correct’ values, even if our minds do play host to some racist thinking. Over time we adapt these attitudes to reflect our behaviour. My argument is this: China has not even scratched the surface of a mindset that believes it belongs to a different race than that of people with black skin.

How does this attitude play out on a continent of black people increasingly reliant on Chinese aid and in the factories and mines where locals are working for Chinese bosses?

February 17, 2007 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

“At the time … Pele was the heart and soul of Brazil.”

Free trade? Cultural diversity? Tolerance?

How long before China accepts its own Pele, JXie?

February 17, 2007 @ 1:20 pm | Comment

Stuart, why my personal subscription of the out of Africa theory was even a part of the question? You lost me somewhere. What’s “Peking Man” got anything to do with the topic in hand?

If Africans collectively are not happy about China being in Africa, they can show the Chinese the door. If the Chinese want to stay in Africa to do business, they’d better learn the racial sensitivity. I think you give too little credit on how the Chinese has handled it so far. Not that I necessarily know better, but at least my uncle has spent years in Africa since the early 80s.

February 17, 2007 @ 1:47 pm | Comment

Learning a little racial sensitivity would go a long way. And it’s important to remember that despite the lovefest shown on CCTV, not all in Africa are thrilled with the Chinese presence. When Zambians organized a wage dispute at the Chambishi mines, the police and the Chinese managers (nobody is really saying who) opened fire on the demonstrators.

In March of last year, Michael Sata ran for president of Zambia on a platform that explicitly criticized the Chinese for various exploitive practices. He ultimately lost an election that seemed so obviously rigged even Zambians were aghast. (Exit polls had Sata at 3-1 over the winner, incumbent Levy Mwanawasa, who is a big supporter of Chinese investment in Zambia.) Whether or not the charges of vote-rigging were accurate, Zambians were outraged and Sata’s loss led to widespread anti-Chinese demonstrations that quickly turned violent.

I say again, it would be difficult to imagine the Chinese being worse than the European imperialists of yesterday, but neither is it all sunshine and baozi.

February 17, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

That was OT (off topic), Stuart. Merely my personal observations. The implied message: when it comes to racial relationship, the US has much to learn from countries like Brazil. Overt political correctness, does not equate to racial harmony.

Once when China was an open country, in the Tang Dynasty, many Arabs, Jews, immigrated to China. They settled in China and married the locals. Eventually they lost their own identities and became Chinese.

I just hope China has never lost that inclusiveness in her soul after all those years, when now China opens itself to the world again.

February 17, 2007 @ 2:01 pm | Comment

JXie,

“If Africans collectively are not happy about China being in Africa, they can show the Chinese the door.”

As Jeremiah’s comments indicate, it’s not so easy to show the door to China when they are subverting democracy in pursuit of their own agenda or actively supporting brutal dictators that the rest of the world refuse to deal with.

Perhaps this ‘Art of War’ makes you feel proud. It would reflect better on the Chinese people if more of them were ashamed, or at least openly critical of their country’s African policy.

February 17, 2007 @ 2:49 pm | Comment

@Richard and Jeremiah,

On China’s role in Africa, I can agree with your view that China is not worse or better than European imperialists or US for their roles in Africa.

And on the race issue, I can also agree with you that we are all racist to some degree under some circumstance. But, using a few examples such as the riots in Nanjing to support the claim that China is one most racist country certainly won’t fly, and you know that.

@Stuart,

Please cut the free press and democracy argument in the discussion of China’s role in Africa. You asked me how average Chinese perceives black people in Africa. I honestly don’t know. (and, from your many posts in this blog, I do know your attitude toward the Chinese people).

China’s current role in Africa is plain and simple: it is about business: Africa has the natural resources which China needs. China’s role in Africa is generally welcomed by African people and their governments. Of course, many people have concerns because China is stronger in this relationship. If you condemn China’s certain roles such as the dealing with the government of Sudan, then I can accept that. But, please don’t lecture me that you are loved and I am hated by black people in Africa. I just don’t know where and how you get this notion.

February 17, 2007 @ 3:33 pm | Comment

One great thing about growing up in China under the red flag is that you develop a healthy dose of cynicism towards media, and a good ability of detecting bullshit, be it spewed by People’s Daily or the likes of Judith Miller.

Just to show you a different viewpoint by Brutus: http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=11306

What give you so much confidence the same media outlets that drummed up all the WMD bullshit, get it “right” this time — or at the very least, know what’s the best for Sudanese or Zambians?

February 17, 2007 @ 3:54 pm | Comment

Stuart,

You said:

“brutal dictators that the rest of the world refuse to deal with”.

Please check your record first before you say this. Western powers deal with brutal dictators (including the one in China) all the time. When it is convenient, it is good to say something likes to claim the high ground: yes, we don’t deal with dictator; when it is not convenient, then, it is: well, we have a strategic interest there. Among the countries in the Africa-China conference in Beijing not long ago, there were a few dictators, but there were also many elected leaders of decent governments.

February 17, 2007 @ 3:58 pm | Comment

Hi z, nice to meet you. You certainly make a strong first impression. If you’ve been following Jeremiah’s replies in this and other threads, you’ll know he’s a pretty knowledgeable fellow and he’s not one to make cheap, false claims as you are implying.

Jxie, whoever said we trust the major media outlets to tell us what is best for Sudan and Zambia? What are you referriong to? As far as I am aware, there is no consensus in the US media about how these countries should be run, and quite honestly most Americans don’t much care. Nicholas Kristof has been banging his head against the wall for two years over Darfur, for example, and the response has been underwhelming, to say the least.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:09 pm | Comment

Jeremiah,

I had an excellent, Harvard-educated, African American English teacher during my college in China. People prefer white teachers because (1) white people are more attractive, at least on the surface and to some people, and (2) Some African Americans have an accent.

In your example, if the Chinese students find out the English of the blond teacher from Poland is not good, and they have an option to choose a good African American English teacher, I think the choice is very clear; they are not stupid.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

Z,

You wrote: “People prefer white teachers because (1) white people are more attractive, at least on the surface and to some people, and (2) Some African Americans have an accent.”

I’m not even going to touch statement #1. I think you’ve taken enough rope to hang yourself. I have no idea what the connection is between standards of beauty and the quality of instruction. (For which I am grateful.) All I’m going to add is that the ‘standards of beauty,’ if you think about them, often have clear connections to race and class.

As for #2, most white Americans have an accent too. But the ASSUMPTION is that African-Americans have an accent. See what I mean?

Certainly not all Chinese students reject their teachers on the grounds of race nor do all blond, European non-English speakers succeed as English teachers in Beijing. But here’s the salient point: Both of these things happen with sufficient frequency to be troubling.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:36 pm | Comment

Richard,

Most of the time, I am impressed by you and Jeremiah. I did not say Jeremiah implied the Chinese people are the most racist people. I said you (actually, not exactly you, you just said some people told you that …). And I don’t think you can give me good evidences for that. As to your staring example, I had my own experience. I had lots of staring from Americans when I was in a deep-south state. Being new in the US at that time, I was very sensitive to that and often though about this in term of racism. Over years, I have learned it is often not the case.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:39 pm | Comment

I don’t really want to steer this thread further off-topic on the subject of racism, real or imagined, in China. Enough. Back to Africa.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:50 pm | Comment

“I have no idea what the connection is between standards of beauty and the quality of instruction”.

Of course, it should not a connection. But, people like pretty actresses and handsome actors even if the acting is not so good. So why should there be a connection between standards of beauty and the quality of acting? see, similar question applies.

You does not seem to live in reality but most common people do.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:53 pm | Comment

Z, you have a point. An idiotic one, but a point nevertheless.

February 17, 2007 @ 4:57 pm | Comment

z wrote:
“Please cut the free press and democracy argument in the discussion of China’s role in Africa. You asked me how average Chinese perceives black people in Africa. I honestly don’t know. (and, from your many posts in this blog, I do know your attitude toward the Chinese people).”

Cut the free press and democracy argument? If you don’t think these issues are important to the countries whose freedoms are likely to be compromised by China’s aid to Africa, I suggest that you get the hell out of this debate.

You don’t have even the slightest notion of my feelings towards the Chinese people. You do, however, have a grasp of the basics concerning my attitude towards the Chinese government.

JXie wrote:

“What give you so much confidence the same media outlets that drummed up all the WMD bullshit, get it “right” this time — or at the very least, know what’s the best for Sudanese or Zambians?”

I think you’ll find that media outlets had little to do with drumming up “WMD bullshit” – more likely they were the ones calling it ‘bullshit.’ Even if they had been culpable in this regard, we are talking about China’s aid to Africa here.

So, back on topic as our host quite rightly directs us, let’s consider some items in the aids package.

“Aids package” was not an intended pun, but AIDS is quite simply destroying much of Africa. Let’s hope that the Chinese government care enough to send over medical supplies and doctors where they are needed most. On a related note, they should NOT send home-produced condoms without upgrading both durability and elasticity first.

February 17, 2007 @ 6:07 pm | Comment

@ Z

You made a bad mistake with your claim about Africans being less beautiful. Drop it.

@ Richard

I agree, talking about racism in China is pretty pointless; it’s secondary to the fact that Chinese aid is noncoercive, and conditional to profit rather than trying to change the society it is given to. I’m wondering why no one touches that point?

February 17, 2007 @ 6:12 pm | Comment

Well t_co, you just touched on the point. Non-coercive or not, it’s still dancing with the devil. I used to argue more vociferously about this, but in the age of bush I can’t make much of an argument. As I’ve said multiple times, I admire Hu’s ruthless ability to broker these deals, as much as I detest these deals for lining the pockets of mass murderers and leaving the people on the ground doing the hard labor with very little, aside from a lot of bloodshed. But at least Hu’s getting something back. Bush has forged partnerships with Pakistan and other notorious human rights violators and our return on investment has been wretched – we all know Pakistan harbors the lion’s share of terrorists, and the big cahuna himself (remember Osama Bin Laden, anyone?) is almost certainly hanging out there himself.

Stuart, some of our media did help spread the WMD BS – both the NYT and WaPo issued formal apologies for their shoddy reporting about it in 2003. To their credit, they at least policed themselves and put the truth on their front pages despite the embarrassment. Can you see Dhina Daily doing that? Anyway, don’t expect to get very far with this argument. Z and JXie are here to preach, not engage, though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

February 17, 2007 @ 6:47 pm | Comment

“Chinese aid is noncoercive, and conditional to profit rather than trying to change the society it is given to. I’m wondering why no one touches that point?”

t_co, I think the point is that Chinese funds are actively seeking to put in place a mechanism that strengthens Chinese influence and thwarts change. Africa needs change. It may not be a coercive policy, but it’s certainly restrictive and exploitative.

February 17, 2007 @ 6:55 pm | Comment

@Richard

OK, thanks for clearing that up.

Apology and truth from CD? I’ll convert to the religion of your choice when that happens ๐Ÿ™‚

February 17, 2007 @ 7:01 pm | Comment

Richard, preach? Nah, life is too short to do that (unless I get paid handsomely doing so).

To Africans, the keyword here is change. But what direction of change is the best to Africans? The difference is I don’t profess any deep understanding let alone convictions on what direction of change is the best for them. It’s the best to let Africans decide, even if they turn out to be different than us. It will be tremendously disappointing if the human history really has ended.

Were those poor miners under the gunpoint? If not, maybe they chose to work in that Chinese mine with their own will. A poorly paid job — it’s not like you or I am sending a portion of our incomes to them — is infinitely better than no job.

February 17, 2007 @ 10:38 pm | Comment

Ha! Ha! Ha! When the white wolf shows concern for the black sheep, well, the sheep better watch out.

It always amazes me how concerned Western (former colonial/imperialist) countries become once Chinese and Africans begin to trade with and assist one another without whites as the go-between.

Western countries, especially the US, didn’t lift a finger to help the African countries overthrow their colonial masters. However, they had a lot of bad names to call China because she did.

The US has just decided to establish a military command in Africa. Now why would they want to do that?

Recently, Western mining companies have complained to the UN and the World Bank that China has tied up all the mining rights in Africa. Amazing! So what if the Africans decide they want to give all their business to China? Do the Africans have the right to choose who they want to sell their resources to?

Human rights in Dafur is a smokescreen. The uranium and oil fields are the primary goal of US interests in the Sudan. Sudan has a perfect right to prevent its country being split apart the way Yugoslavia was by the Americans.

If the US was so interested in preventing “genocide,” what was the “black President,” Bill Clinton, doing while a million Ugandans were killed. Oh, Unganda has no oil.

How many schools, hospitals, sports stadiums, civic centers has the US built in Africa? How many medical teams has the US sent to Africa over the last thirty years?

Why has the US rejected the Doha Rounds which would give African countries a chance to export their agricultural products to the West?

Africans are not as stupid or as gullible as whites think. China is currently training doctors, technicians, managers, etc. These people will remember who helped them when they needed help. In the future, if they’d rather do business or show a preference for China than the US or Western countries, well, so be it.

There are Chinese in every country in Africa yet the same few complaints about problems in a few African countries are exaggerated and repeated ad nauseam.

China and Africa will develop closer ties in the future. All the crocodile tears shed by Americans for the poor, little Africans will be wasted. China and Africa respect one another. American whites should spend more time showing concern for the blacks in their own country.

February 17, 2007 @ 10:46 pm | Comment

mingtian,

It will be a momentus day in history when the CCP apologists break free from the chains of their indoctrination and say something that is not utterly predictable. You have a long way to go.

If Africans are voicing respect for China a decade from now it’ll be through economic blackmail or looking down the barrel of a gun.

“problems in a few African countries are exaggerated and repeated ad nauseam”

It would be nice if there was acknowledgement of just one of these problems in the chinese media, wouldn’t it? Until that happens you should thank western journalists for their efforts in bringing these stories to your door.

February 17, 2007 @ 11:58 pm | Comment

The West has raped Africa for many many years, now its dick has shrunken, and Africa is awaken, and is rejecting the West. Finally, Africa found China, who treats Africa like a human being and does not force Africa to do anything, and will cooperate with it only as equal parties.

Now this dying old man called the West, who can no longer rape Africa, starts to yell hysterically, “Africa! Be ware of China! It may rape you! Don’t do business with China! Everyone should hate China! I HATE CHINA!!!!!!!!!”

Everyone amusedly looks on at the West’s incoherent and desperate rantings.

February 18, 2007 @ 12:50 am | Comment

“…now its dick has shrunken…”

Freud will see you now, PkuWestLion. I suspect he will find your case a challenge. So many issue, so much insecurity.

February 18, 2007 @ 2:17 am | Comment

It seems to me that the West is the one with so much insecurity. How else do you explain the hysterical and illogical call for ethics and morality against China’s totally non-political and non-coercive economic relationship with Africa? The West is a has-been with regards to Africa, and is now angry because it can’t get a piece of the pie, and can’t accept that a scrawny little asian kid is stealing his thunder in what he believes is his natural playground.

The West had its run in Africa. Now step aside and let China try its hand. And I suspect history will be much gentler to China.

February 18, 2007 @ 3:31 am | Comment

“it’s secondary to the fact that Chinese aid is noncoercive, and conditional to profit rather than trying to change the society it is given to”

t-co- That is exactly the problem. What do you think the cess-pools of most African countries’ government institutions result from. Greed-pure and simple.

Whatever actions by any country past or present aside, there are some very bright and very passionate people trying to make positive change in African countries. They are challenging the principles of throwing money at a failed system to insure your objectives and your profits. Such actions lock the failed system in place and devastate the lives of the citizens under that system. Some people have realized that they have royally f-ed up and are trying (failing and succeeding) to change foreign business and government relationships with African countries.

Along comes China and undermines any attempt to make real change. If you’re not willing to throw money into a failed system to reap the benefits that’s your loss because China certainly is.

Who cares about the past, the future certainly doesn’t look any brighter because of the developments in question.

February 18, 2007 @ 5:21 am | Comment

PkuWestLion,

“China’s totally non-political and non-coercive economic relationship with Africa”

Another dream implanted by CCP propaganda. Your denial of China’s exploitation of the African continent is, as ever, juxtaposed with the past indiscretions of others in order to lend it some justification. This is a discussion about China’s current African aid program and its future ramifications.

February 18, 2007 @ 10:35 am | Comment

Your denial of China’s exploitation of the African continent…….

Ha, haha, hahaha, hahahaha.

The West has been exploiting the shit out of Africa for the past 2 centuries. Where is your anger back then? Do I see any mainstream Western media coming to such uniform consensus about your own, VERY REAL, VERY BLOODY EXPLOITATION of Africa for the past 200 years?

And NOW, all of a sudden, like clockwork, the West is so united about China’s “exploitation”.

LOL!

Sorry, but do you think Africans are dumb shit? Oh, oops, you DO think so…..

February 18, 2007 @ 11:44 am | Comment

PKU is a long-time troll. I’ll leave his stuff here for now, but be aware, he will just mock everyone and spray the site with snide, ugly shit.

February 18, 2007 @ 11:52 am | Comment

Why is that everytime a Chinese points out the hypocrisy and weakness of the US in its relations with China and Africa, people must call him a “troll”?

American and other Westerners on this blog, feel perfectly free to insult Chinese leaders past and present yet Chinese are supposed to accept this because American’s have the monopoly on truth.

Point of information, China is rising; the world is changing; the US is in decline.

It is understandable that the US should feel nervous at the idea of China and Africa developing close ties. Americans are incapable, because of its infamous slave trade and racism, of establishing close ties to Africans. China does not carry this baggage.

If Africans do not want China in their countries, they would not invite them. Americans should ask themselves why aren’t the Africans inviting them into Africa.

When hypocritical whites talk about African corruption, why is it that they totally ignore the corrupt African leaders they put in power?

Racist, paternalistic whites do not like the idea of Chinese and Africans getting together to help each other. It’s noticable that the only complaints one hears is from the former colonial rulers. Latin American, Asian, and Islamic countries voice no complaints – only the US, England, and France.

As the Arab saying goes, “The dogs howl as the caravan moves on.”

February 18, 2007 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

Mingtian, look up and down this thread, Many people taking exactly the argument you raise are here, and none has been labelled a troll. Only one, based on his IP address and past commenting history. Have I ever banned you or called you a troll although you make similar arguments all the time? Of course not. So while I won’t call you a troll, I am afraid I do have to call you a liar.

February 18, 2007 @ 4:40 pm | Comment

“China does not carry this baggage.”

No, but its people do carry an enormous chip on their shoulder – the one placed there by the propagandists and nationalists bent on extracting revenge for perceived loss of face in the past.

So far you have failed to address any of the issues concerning China’s aid to Africa without taking a swipe at past transgressors. Try again, but relieve yourself of that burdensome chip first.

February 18, 2007 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

What I want to say might be a bit off topic. But since I notice this problem has occurred over and over again in almost all the threads, I just could not hold my breath any longer.
It seems that every time people debate over any questionable practice of CCP, some people will bring up all the mischiefs that the US or UK have done from the past few centuries till now to justify the questionable behavior, be it the polution or human right violation. But dont you see that we human beings are supposed to learn from the history so if the west has gone through all these mistakes and learnt some precious lessons from them, shouldn’t we be happy that we could be prevented from making the same mistake because of those lessons instead of using other people’s mistake as our excuses for wrongdoing? I remember when I was learning history in high school, the teachers always told us that the history always repeats itself and I always wondered why.
But now I think I start to understand it! It is the human nature to find excuses for themselves and the pride and arrogance to believe they, unlike the ‘other stupid people’, are above all mistakes.
It really pains me to know that all the improvement of human society is undermined this way. Imagine how long it takes us to know how to protect our environment and to learn to respect people from all races.
(By saying the above I did not imply the Chinese government was always in the wrong, but was just to point out the folly of such kind of arguement.)

As for Chinese aids to Africa, it would have been a nice thing were it not for the fact that they have lots ot troubles at home they need to deal with before they send all the money to Africa. Yes, the Chinese government has lift 400 million people out of poverty. But when talking about the 900 million left behind, they always say, well, it is a huge country to govern and we do not have sufficient funds. And then when asked if they could invest on Green power, they say they have 70% of power relying on coal, it will ‘cost too much’ to change that and then continue to build a couple coal power stations on a weekly basis. But what about the billions of dollars they lend to African countries? China must be a selfless country.
It really makes me wonder about the motivation behind it.

February 19, 2007 @ 2:24 am | Comment

Stuart,

I believe you are the one who turned this thread into such a nasty debate by claiming the bad treatment of black Africans under the Chinese (and you are loved by black Africans).

Now, in front of PKU and mingtian, all you can say is not much more than: well, that is CCP propaganda. I certainly don’t agree with PKU and mingtian on their charges on a race and a country as a whole, you should certainly change your attitude a bit. You clearly look like a looser here.

February 19, 2007 @ 2:41 am | Comment

Stuart, the past loss is less about face but more about the real monetary loss. For instance, the war indemnities to the Boxer Rebellion were $333 million (in 1900 gold standard US dollar). Collectively those losses could’ve easily covered free education all the way to college for many generations.

Imagine this, those young women toiling in some Dongguan factories, would’ve been able to… Well, some of them would’ve just gone to be on Girls Gone Wild College Spring Breaks editions.

Here is a rhetorial question, what if you had been a young Chinese boy growing up with such knowledge and what kind of man would’ve you turned out? A propagandist and a nationalist, maybe?

Meg, of course China is going to Africa with selfish motives — mostly securing resources that will ensure the continuation of industrialization and ultimately reducing poverty at home. The world is not a zero-sum game. Africans are also benefiting from it, IMHO.

February 19, 2007 @ 3:12 am | Comment

Meg,

I think it is naive to say that just because there are many poor people, China should spend the money at home; and if not, then people should question its motivation. JXie is exactly right. There is no free lunch; and China wants to make good return from the investment. It is essential a business relationship, China needs the resources that Africa has; it is as simple as that. And it is good for Africa development too. I already heard the positive role China is playing in the booming economy in a few African countries. The western powers have tried their approaches in Africa for a long long time, and they have messed it up badly, now it is China turn and let’s see it works or not.

February 19, 2007 @ 3:49 am | Comment

I am hopeful that as China takes its turn, it does work and that China embarks on a responsible aid program that truly benefits all involved while protecting the environment, the safety and quality of life for workers, and human rights. That will be great for Africa and it will also be good for China. But let’s just say, given the track record on these issues so far, both at home and in Africa, I’m not holding my breath (even if I could breath through all the pollution here). It’s going to be more of the same and it is the African people who continue to suffer.

It seems we are starting to argue in circles on this thread.

February 19, 2007 @ 9:37 am | Comment

Yes, Jeremiah, we are treading the same ground somewhat. But if I may, I would like to respond to a couple of questions and one petty snipe.

z wrote:
“I believe you are the one who turned this thread into such a nasty debate by claiming the bad treatment of black Africans under the Chinese ”

There have been a few silly responses, but this has not been a nasty thread. And I made no such claim; go back and read more carefully what I wrote.

There is evidence of mistreatment of African workers by Chinese firms in Africa. Fact. Although not an attitude exclusive to the people of China, people with black skin are not given the same level of respect or courtesy enjoyed by Caucasians. Fact.

My point was that the persistence of racial stereotyping in Chinese thinking may impact negatively on the treatment of African workers by their Chinese benefactors. It was a point worth making in the context of Chinese aid to Africa, unlike some of your off-topic comments.

@ JXie (sorry, OT here for a bit)

Yes, such vast monetary losses could have been used for building a fairer society for the people of China. Girls gone wild? I doubt it, JXie. We’re talking about an era when China was still binding the feet of its women. While it in no way excuses the colonial theft, to suggest that this money would have somehow found its way to the Chinese people in greatest need, or used for building schools and hospitals is a bit fanciful.

Further, if the sum you mention (or its modern day equivalent) was returned to the CCP now, exactly how many of those young girls toiling in the sweatshops do you suppose would enjoy better treatment as a result? Spring break isn’t denied to the exploited workers of China because of the war indemnities to the Boxer Rebellion.

As for your rhetorical question – all nations can look back and find grievances and injustices, some more than others. The danger lies in fostering these grievances in the hearts and minds of future generations. Sadly, China’s history education seems geared towards developing the ‘chip on shoulder’ psyche.

Grievances over past indiscretions are one thing. One of the debating points here is that Chinese aid to Africa might be breeding future resentment and discontent on a continent that doesn’t need another ‘win-lose’ partner dressed in ‘win-win’ clothing.

February 19, 2007 @ 11:50 am | Comment

Z, you have a point. An idiotic one, but a point nevertheless.
Posted by: richard at February 17, 2007 04:57 PM

Z and JXie are here to preach, not engage, though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

PKU is a long-time troll. I’ll leave his stuff here for now, but be aware, he will just mock everyone and spray the site with snide, ugly shit.
Posted by: richard at February 18, 2007 11:52 AM

Mingtian, . . . So while I won’t call you a troll, I am afraid I do have to call you a liar.
Posted by: richard at February 18, 2007 04:40 PM

[deleted for intolerable rudenss and obscenity)

“Idiotic,” “troll,” “ugly shit,” “liar,” is this your idea of “engaging”? (smile)

For Chinese, your blog is very informative. It is not often we get to see how the white, American mind works.

February 19, 2007 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

There seems to be a fundamental misconception here, and I did not see it addressed in any of the comments (though I may very well have missed it). Many are acting as though the decisions of the rulers in the African countries receiving aid are the equivalent of the “Africans deciding for themselves.” It is not. Most African countries (not all) are ruled by despots who are more interested in taking aid and using it to maintain or enhance their own power than to aid the people. The people, needless to say, would prefer the aid be used as aid.

February 19, 2007 @ 3:25 pm | Comment

Mingtian, the only one I call at troll is PJU – his IP address proved it. And yes, he sprays ugly shit. And yes, I hate to say it, but you do lie – sorry. I never have deleted you, nor any of the others – only PKU, because he knows what he is doing and he has tried on multiple occasions to ruin this site and the forum. But again, he is the only one I called a troll – right Mingtian? And yes, since it bears repeating, you do lie about things, like this incident. Saying I call everyone a troll who disagrees with me on China. I welcome all viewpoints, and Bingfeng and I, who are diametrically opposed on this issue, manage to have civil conversations with no nastiness. You, on the other hand, are always trying to provoke and have been called on it multiple times. But being a nice guy, I let it go, but I do point out that you have a track record of lying. Calling someone on a truly absurd comment is not calling him a troll. Get your definitions straight. And JXie and Z have been given complete freedom here, without ever being called trolls. I appreciate their comments.

This quote of yours from 12/19 says it all:

Chinese who read this blog, see everyday insults, slanders, distortions, etc. about every aspect of Chinese society. From China’s political and economic system and its leaders, to the the social and hygienic behavior of the Chinese people, we are constantly held up to ridicule.

Sorry, but I’ve learned when people talk this way, from perpetual victimhood, there is no reasoning with them. Still, I try, and still I give them a platform. But oh, the hell they give me for letting them in. What can I do? I’m just a nice guy.

CLB, you are absolutely right. I think the point has been made here several times, but it might be hard to find among some of the You Don’t Understand China hysteria. Still, this has been a great thread, and I appreciate the participation by so many with such diverse viewpoints.

February 19, 2007 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

CLB & Richard, this could be a long discussion… For instance, why Russia under Putin whom is being more and more called a dictator by the popular Western media, is so much better than the liberal democratic Russia under Yeltin — for goodness sake, life expectancy under that liberal democratic Russia had been reduced for close to 10 years!

But let’s zoom in to the aid to African “despotic” countries such as Sudan. Though problematic in so many ways, I will grant you your contention that since their people have no say of whether or not to accept the aid, we can’t know for sure if the aid are good for them. Would you think, the opinions of their neighboring “liberal democratic” African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria on these aids, carry far more weight than your, my, or NYT’s opinions?

As far as I can tell, the reactions in the “liberal democratic” African nations, to those aids to the “despotic” African nations, are overwhelmingly positive.

All you need is to empty that zen proverbial glass of water in your head first. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.

BTW, Stuart, you missed the drift totally, but it was nice to talk to you.

February 19, 2007 @ 11:05 pm | Comment

“BTW, Stuart, you missed the drift totally…”

No, I didn’t. But I chose to address the question within the context of the discussion.

@ CLB

Absolutely, and China doesn’t give a damn about “Africans deciding for themselves.” If anything their aid is designed to thwart this eventuality.

February 19, 2007 @ 11:32 pm | Comment

How do you know an idea as an eventuality in human history? Regardless how intellectually audacious it is to decide for future human beings, would you want to achieve that eventuality with sufferings and deaths of other human lives — for instance for lack of medical supplies in Iraq or an area but not a nation otherwise known as Palestine?

Look, there is a fairly simple and selfless solution for all the sufferings in countries like Sudan, open your border and let them all in.

February 20, 2007 @ 12:05 am | Comment

“Look, there is a fairly simple and selfless solution for all the sufferings in countries like Sudan, open your border and let them all in.”

And if Sudan had a border with China?

February 20, 2007 @ 12:21 am | Comment

all China did are fault. Maybe they should learn from the US the way to exterminate Native Indians?

February 20, 2007 @ 4:56 am | Comment

looks like everybody’s english is great,
let me join join and talk talk with you 8.

February 20, 2007 @ 5:58 am | Comment

Despite some people’s delusions, the US has by far the largest presence in Africa, followed by the EU. China cannot and will not even try to upset these circumstances any time soon. All China has is a bunch of rhetoric as they pick up the dregs.

Any development, I repeat- ANY development assistance that is in any way honest requires commitments from the recipient. Proof of functioning institutions, transparent accounting, a plan for how the development will proceed among many others. Without such commitments in place, the money will be wasted, guaranteed. Everyone knows this. Unconditional aid, which China is now so proud of, is undeniably blatant purchase of influence.

The US and EU relationships in Africa are still largely self serving and corrupt. Everyone knows this. But is China actually challenging US and EU entrenched interests? No they are not, because they can’t. They have nothing to offer. Instead they pit their wits and money against aid agencies that are actually trying to be honest. Or, they are propping up tyrants that others, however corrupt, simply can’t defend any longer. Either way they are undermining positive change.
If they were actually challenging US and EU practices with anything other than words, I would cheer them on wholeheartedly.

PkuWestLioin, JXie, mingtian and Z, why can’t you simply admit that some things your government does are wrong. Criticizing your government can be a lot of fun. Trust me.

February 20, 2007 @ 6:03 am | Comment

to: dingle
your wrote
“PkuWestLioin, JXie, mingtian and Z, why can’t you simply admit that some things your government does are wrong. Criticizing your government can be a lot of fun. Trust me.

I guess to determine soemthing’s “right ” or “wrong” depends on who will be the judge. EVEN IF CHINA is forcing Africans into slavery, this is right for china because it somehow adhere to chinese national interest.

oh, i see, you mean “right” “wrong” by some objective means? that’s alright, china didn’t take Africans into slavery, and china didn’t force africans to do anything. Since americans and europeans are having business in Africa, why chinese can’t?

February 20, 2007 @ 6:18 am | Comment

Dingle, since you asked. Don’t know the others, but I disapprove many actions by the Chinese government. What gave you the idea that I don’t, BTW? As to the rest of your post, I’ll take a pass in commenting.

February 20, 2007 @ 7:33 am | Comment

this is pku again, aka “Hello” – of course, he’s posting from the US.

Richard

February 20, 2007 @ 10:08 am | Comment

Long time no see. I have been busy. China’s interest in Africa is basically selfish, there is no denying and the fact that they are propping up a country like Sudan is very very troubling. And in my opinion is too amoral and opportunistic. That is where I stand in some business loans they have given out.
It is wrong and need to be pointed out. And the genocidal Sudanese governement needs to be stopped.

But if I am an American or otherwise especially a Europeans that had started mess in the first place, Africa is a mess now because of the colonial past ( and this a a fact not a sweeping statement), you are not guiltless. Have I the right to criticized China? ( although they do need critising) The post colonial engagement have been selfserving too
had the opportunity and the power to right the wrongs committed over 200 years. Did you not actually engaged the Nigerians as you have now asked of the Chinese to stop.
Stuart, I do not know what nationality you belong too but did you write to your government when the multinationals oils giants also kept some of the despots in power?
Did the US not created the tyrant Sadam Hussien despite knowing that he had commited similar atrocities of what the African despots have done.

I am not apologising what the CCP has done. Especially in Sudan, they should join the international groups that had at least paid lip service to helping out in Darfur and isolate the Sudanese government. It is poor foreign policy for what will be considered in the long term bad business. But what I want Stuart and the rest to appeal to their government to stop what is happening in Darfur rather than paying lip service. Talk is cheap and that is all President Bush had done on the cheap

February 20, 2007 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

Jeremiah, I am closing this thread – PKU has been spamming it non-stop. I think it’s had a long and healthy life – thanks for a great post.

February 20, 2007 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

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