Guest Post: Should China Keep Its 'Africa Dreams' To Itself?

Tyler Durden's picture

Since taking over as party chairman Xi Jinping has repeatedly invoked the theme of the “Chinese Dream,” which heralds “the great revival of the Chinese nation.” During his first trip abroad, Xi gave a speech in Tanzania laying out his idea of “Africa Dream,” which entailed, among other things, “unity and achieving development through rejuvenation.” We have covered the race to re-colonize the African continent in depth while Xi's concepts are bound up with the growing economic influence China now exercises over Africa; African states would do well to be cautious in embracing Xi’s African Dream wholeheartedly. As innocuous as “Africa Dream” sounds, it signals a shift in which Beijing is pushing a revised form of its internal ideology on African countries. While the dissemination of such as term might result in policies that produce some domestic growth and rejuvenation in Africa, there is also the danger that it will come to resemble the CCP’s vision of the dream.

 

Via Ross Anthony of The Diplomat,

Since taking over as party chairman Xi Jinping has repeatedly invoked the theme of the “Chinese Dream,” which heralds “the great revival of the Chinese nation.”

 

The phrase should probably be seen as the conceptual framework for Xi’s presidency. Indeed, coining such a phrase has become something of a formalized tradition in China. Under Hu Jintao, for instance, the concept of the “harmonious society” sought to capture Hu’s aims of building a moderately prosperous and more inclusive society. On the other hand, Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents” signaled an opening up of the Party to business and other important societal groups that were empowered through Deng Xiaoping’s own ideological contribution to Party lexicon: “reform and opening up.”

 

An interesting characteristic of Xi’s term, which will no doubt be studied ad nauseam within CCP circles, has been its instant international exportability. During his first trip abroad, for example, Xi gave a speech in Tanzania laying out his idea of “Africa Dream,” which entailed, among other things, “unity and achieving development through rejuvenation.” In the same speech Xi also spoke of a “world dream” that was aimed at achieving “enduring peace and common prosperity” 

 

The degree to which such a term might take hold in foreign countries should not be underestimated, especially in Africa, where China has been engaged in a charm offensive for over a decade. Terms such as “win-win” and “harmonious relations” have already been drawn on extensively by African leaders in recent years.

 

One of the reasons Xi’s concepts of “World Dream” and “Africa Dream” have more appeal in Africa as opposed to countries like Britain or the United States is because they are bound up with the growing economic influence China now exercises over Africa. In short, such terms are not merely hollow slogans but rather embedded within dense capital flows manifested in very tangible things such as roads, railways and refineries. They are also behind more symbolic structures such as the new African Union building in Addis Ababa, which was constructed by the Chinese for US$200 million (it is worth noting that the very auditorium where Xi gave his “Africa Dream” speech was also built using Chinese capital).

 

In certain respects, it comes across as misguided to criticize Xi’s “Africa Dream.” Chinese investment over the past decade has coincided with an all-round boom in African economies and the country’s policy of “non-interference” has been welcomed by African leaders long used to the meddlesome policies of the former Western colonial powers. The vision of an African Dream aptly captures the optimistic spirit of a continent on the rise, growing internally while also gaining a modicum of freedom in its relations with the outside world.

 

However, African states would do well to be cautious in embracing Xi’s African Dream wholeheartedly. As innocuous as “Africa Dream” sounds, it signals a shift in which Beijing is pushing a revised form of its internal ideology on African countries. While the dissemination of such as term might result in policies that produce some domestic growth and rejuvenation in Africa, there is also the danger that it will come to resemble the CCP’s vision of the dream.

 

To understand the reason why one needn’t look any further than the tri-annual Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a platform often presented as a meeting of equals where talk of peaceful co-existence and harmony abounds. But the asymmetry of power is obvious, essentially highlighting the interface between 54 sovereign and sometimes fractured states and one tightly organized and largely unitary one. The unbalance is sometimes reflected in pure formalities. For example, at last year’s forum in Beijing former President Hu stood tall in the Great Hall of the People while African leaders fawned over him. The ceremony was followed by Hu pledging US$20 billion in credit to African nations.

 

Again, it can be argued that such assistance has the potential to benefit African countries immensely – and indeed it can – but the nature of the forum highlights how Beijing, the vast economic powerhouse, determines the rules of the engagement. The fact that such conditions are presented as the meeting of equals, merely reflects Beijing’s desire to portray it as such.

 

The underlying point is that Xi’s notion of an “African Dream” has the potential to spread voluntarily, or through coercive measures, or not at all. What it should not become however, is a blanket term embraced by elites in ways which render resistance or criticism to it as having an anti-Chinese bend. To do so would be to condemn Africa to playing a supporting role in China’s dream on its own continent.

 

...and from our previous post on the takeover of Africa:

GS Africa

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
kliguy38's picture

The only thing secret is the exact date the USD reserve currency status goes tits up

ACP's picture

And fake tits at that, since 1971...

Taint Boil's picture

 

 

Check out the world IQ map – it looks like the highest IQ is going to be preying on the lowest IQ ….. ah never mind, the IQ thing is all nonsense anyways.

dbarrett's picture

Hasn't anyone watched Jungle Gold? Where two morons from the US make countless errors in their quest to pay down their debt by finding gold in Ghana. And everywhere they turn, there are Chinese gold camps, which are armed to the teeth and apparently the Chinese are simply taking the gold and paying off the always corrupt national politicians. 

Of course they want to keep all of Africa's resources for themselves. And even more so than us, they don't care what they have to do to get it

Then of course, there are the Gold Price Girls to keep us happy

akak's picture

Soon to be followed by the new Chinese-produced TV series made for the Insanitation Channel, "US 'American' Citizenism Jungle Gold", in which shamelssly and relentlessly evil US 'American' citizen strawmen take the place of all the blobbing-up Chinese neo-colonialists in Africa and South America, farming the third-world poor and extorting the weak while playing "bob for river pig", wokking all the local dogs, and crapping-up all the local roadsides.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

ROR!

Bob for river pig!

Laughing so hard I think I accidentally squeezed out a Chinese chuckhole patch.

akak's picture

Confusedcious say:

He who fall in Chinese road chuckhole land in deep doo-doo.

Meme Iamfurst's picture

One must never forget....bad to loose face with public in China.

Worst to loose face with fire ants in Africa.

Eating little boys alive is no big deal in Africa.

Sweet Crude, gold, diamonds, platinum, pladium, such cookies for the taking. Never a price to pay.

Until....later that day....

Freddie's picture

After the Chinese - the Africans will be praying that whitey comes back.  I read something where Africans were complaining how the Chinese work them to death, pay them nothing, treat them like subhumans and the Chinese eat dogs.

TotalCarp's picture

To be clear, all this shit is simple propaganda. This is a 21st century great game, but its not played on battlefields just yet, but in the media. Do you know that chinese are falling well behind to Malaysia on industrial investment into africa? Malays have a benefit of common religion - Islam - with large parts of the continent, and as much money to spend as the prc types.
10 years ago ghana had barely a paved road.. Guess who built those? Not the western govt's. same goes for hospitals, schools, etc. unlike the west that spend last 60 years handing out aid to prop up corrup and moronick dictators, chinese are smarter and have a clearer vision for the place. Which is why west is panicking. Which is why you see these propaganda reports..
Not saying red chinese are "good" by any means. But they are not much worse then the west. So at least lets not play the moral high ground bullshit here, this blog is better then that.

thisandthat's picture

I read they take all the jobs at their building sites, and even if they open up positions, their engineers earn even less than African ones, so they take all the jobs either way...

McMolotov's picture

There's a joke about wet dreams in here somewhere.

Jack Burton's picture

Oddly enough I think the US and NATO are jealous of China's wealth and economic power. France brings tanks and bombs to Africa and begins killing, that is all NATO can offer, China comes with development, jobs and lots of money. It just shows the collapse of the west, killing is all we do anymore. When the world needs to develop and create wealth, it is China that shows up.

I'm not saying I like it that way, I am saying we are going to hell and this China story shows that the west is losing it's economic power and all it has left is debt and war.

nmewn's picture

The "new & improved" chi-com is the same as the old.

You're not sittin around thinkin they have purely altruistic motives here are you?

///////////////

Well, I guess not ;-)

What is your opnion of this (leaving East-West "tension" aside?)

"Both buildings were burned down, according to the mayor, who said the information came from an informer who had just left the town. Asked whether any of the manuscripts might have survived, Cissé replied: "I don't know."

The manuscripts had survived for centuries in Timbuktu, on the remote south-west fringe of the Sahara desert. They were hidden in wooden trunks, buried in boxes under the sand and in caves. When French colonial rule ended in 1960, Timbuktu residents held preserved manuscripts in 60-80 private libraries.

The vast majority of the texts were written in Arabic. A few were in African languages, such as Songhai, Tamashek and Bambara. There was even one in Hebrew. They covered a diverse range of topics including astronomy, poetry, music, medicine and women's rights. The oldest dated from 1204.

Seydou Traoré, who has worked at the Ahmed Baba Institute since 2003, and fled shortly before the rebels arrived, said only a fraction of the manuscripts had been digitised. "They cover geography, history and religion. We had one in Turkish. We don't know what it said."

And the world never will.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/28/mali-timbuktu-library-ancient-manuscripts

thisandthat's picture

To be "fair" it was all more than predictable (at least to me...), once the salafreaks got in the mix and actually took over and they had plenty time to take it all to safety/hidding (and from what I heard, many/most was actually hidden and safe) - what were they expecting from fanaticists?

Also, this reminds me of the US admonishing Brasil about Amazonia, to which they reminded the US about the 90% of the original forest they devastated back home...

In any case, European/American cultural devastation around the world throughout history (either through physical destruction or cultural/economical colonization) is orders of magnitude worse than all the current brand of fanatics could ever achieve.

nmewn's picture

"In any case, European/American cultural devastation around the world throughout history (either through physical destruction or cultural/economical colonization) is orders of magnitude worse than all the current brand of fanatics could ever achieve."

Oh I don't know about that.

The modern mind only seems to think in terms of the present or near present, in other words their life time and what they are familar with or have readily observed.

What this "present" crop of fanatics desire is to erase the conquered peoples domestic cultural and/or religious history. Much the same as earlier. Whether the Moors as conquerers in Spain suppressing catholicism or islamic immigrants of the Ming dynasty entreating the rulers to suppress Tibetan buddhism and catholicism in China centuries ago, the pattern seems to hold through history.

While no one of good conscience can justify the pillaging that europeans engaged in over the centuries America's was more of a blue jeans plus (fill in the blank) instead of mandated burqas minus (fill in the blank)...lol.

thisandthat's picture

I know history is nothing but a graveyard of civilizations, and obviously we tend to focus  on our own historical/cultural environment, but for a reason - we can't compare apples to oranges. The "west" only came into the scene centuries ago, and more significantly with the industrial revolution, in the 19/20th centuries, so you can only compare with it within that time frame, and it doesn't look good that way, specially if you take into consideration actions vs words...

Muslims and (pre-Crusades/Inquisition) Christians didn't suppressed each other (nor Jews), rather tolerated and coexisted, even while fighting each other for "religious" reasons (those days "freedom and democracy"). The current resurgence of intolerance among Muslims has nothing to do with ancient history, or religion, but is a direct consequence of the continuing and increasing trampling of the Muslim world by the west.

I don't think you can just whitewash America that easily - just the whole Palestinian and "terrorism" affair, and it's consequences (cultural, economical, social, etc.), both local and global, are proof of that - and they aren't going to just fade away easily, either. America actually did worse than the British and Europeans together - just compare the attitude of Iraqis towards British and American troops, during the invasion, for evidence.

 

Meme Iamfurst's picture

you do not understand China.  All good points, but the picture is clouded by illusion.  Never piss off a Chinese, and have him meet you in a dark alley....  or his childern, or his children's children, or his children's children's children.

Now, what were you saying?

TotalCarp's picture

What exactly does he not understand? I think he is writing more about the west and that the west is trying to impose itself after years of failure in the region just to spite the Eastern powers, no?

Jack Burton's picture

Precisely. I think the obvious difference between what the West brings when it comes to Africa and what China brings shows a decline in western economic power.

France is at war in Africa, the US is starting drone wars in Africa. China has mines, railways, roads, factories and such things springing up all over Africa. Even the blacks must see the difference.

thisandthat's picture

West is trying to not lose grip; China is gaining grip - that's the difference. Africans couldn't care less about either; every opportunist is the same, and so is every opportunity.

New_Meat's picture

Jack,

"When the world needs to develop and create wealth, it is China that shows up."

Well, when they do use the Cecil Rhodes techniques that were tried and true and proven, then they can gain something with respect to "progress".  Will sweat the native PRC populace, imho, to free up "Capital" for "investments" * in sub-Saharan Africa.  No surprise in the "sweat" condition that the PRC Overseers will impose.  No doubt about the silence of the protest industry at these conditions.

Take away the Western Guilt issue, and the so-called "West" would already have shown up and completed their exploitation.  But the guilt trip lead to e.g. the South African disinvestment movement in '86, the other outcomes of that political movement. 

Hands-off attitude with respect to the Clinton's ignorance ;-) of the ongoing genocidez.

But I give you a reddie for the presumption that PLAN can possibly support any kind of operation on that long of a tether.  Frogs can't do it across the N-S of the Med into Lybia, even with "NATO" so-called "support".  no fucking joy on a long trip from Shanghai to ????? and offload and depot supplies and distribute them.  Same-Same on the reverse trip.

Arthur K. Cebrowski is worthy of your attention with respect to PLAN capabilities.  One of the sharpest blades in the drawer.  And the data for me giving you a reddie.  Ain't feasible for +/- 30 years.

I offer for consideration Thomas P.M. Barnett, who is apparently one of the sharpest blades in the drawer, but his predictions are so far out into the future** that they can't be tested.

http://thomaspmbarnett.com/

So, good comments, but the other side is not there yet and we are not degraded yet.

Given other ZH posts, PRC will implode well before the necessary "investments" have achieved their intended outcome.

But that will leave a significant Chinese population stranded in Sub-Saharan Africa.

- Ned

*Au contraire to Lackoff's sophistry.

** that is, more than our lifetimes ;-)

 

TeamDepends's picture

"I have an African dream..."

Martin Luther Ching

akak's picture

"Free at last, free at last, thank Mao the mudskins'* resources are free at last!"

 

*AnAnonymous' chosen and preferred term for the Negroid races.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Actual* quote from Chinese citizenism propagationist:

"Logics of lowest level. Even understood by negroes, so to tell how lowest level it is..."

Expect typical Chinese citizenism eternal nature offuscationary response of duplicious divertion and distanciation, uniformously.

 

*http://www.zerohedge.com/news/free-market-capitalism-impossible#comment-...

TeamDepends's picture

We would like to take a moment and respond to the race-sensitive down-voter and say:  "Fluck You!  FLUCK YOU!!!!!"

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Tx, I'm working on a glossary for all this new terminology. I thought the financial side was hard and now there's more to learn! Education is never ending.

Miffed ;-)

formadesika3's picture

Dreams of my father... suck Chinee dick.

Stock Tips Investment's picture

According to the IMF, as of 2016, 6 of the 10 countries with the highest growth will come from Africa. What a coincidence that China invests so much there, no?

Solarman's picture

And will compete with China for the resources they wish to extract.

nmewn's picture

Ha!...make me ralf. Chinese shitizin citizenism is eternal.  

Major Major Major's picture

In an international school, the teacher asks the students, "can you-all tell me your individual opinion towards shortage of food in other countries?"

The African student asks, "what is food?"

The European student asks, "what is shortage?"

The American student asks, "what are other countries?"

The Chinese student asks, "what is individual opinion?"

jonjon831983's picture

You only need to reveal when it is too big to hide.  Even then, that's to be nice.   Otherwise keep denying or hiding.

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

There is still so much to exploit in Africa as far as natural and human resources, and China seems to have the right play in "not doing it like the West", even if their aims are ultimately exactly the same.  Think of it as "yeah, we are definitely going to fuck you in the ass, but we'll actually use lube, not like the Westerners!"

TotalCarp's picture

Spot on.. And we'll do it slowly and become part of the place by the time you figure out what is going on.. Its creeping colonial immigration that is a key part of the strategy.

spanish inquisition's picture

However, African states would do well to be cautious in embracing Xi’s African Dream wholeheartedly.

They should stick with the American Dream where the CIA creates terror cells and helps prop up dictators so US and European companies can strip the country bare. The Chinese are bribing them with infrastructure and crazy ideas about self determination. Ha, good luck with that China. Africa will be crawling back on its knees for the US to bomb it in no time.

lolmao500's picture

SHIIIIIIIIIIIIAT. It's about to get real.

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2013/04/03/0200000000AEN20130403001...

NK holds up S. Korean workers' departure to Kaesong industrial complex

NoDebt's picture

They're going to get all of Africa using the Yuan in a currency union.  Then they've got 'em by the balls and they'll hand over those resources right quick or risk a banking collapse.

rich_wicks's picture

Africa could do worse than allying themselves with Africa.

They could ally themselves with either the United States or Europe...  Oh wait, they already did that, and look at how they were treated as a result.

akak's picture

Yes, if Africa would ally themselves with Africa, maybe they could finally end their war against Africa, and come to peaceful terms with Africa. Unfortunately, Africa has long been the traditional enemy of Africa.

smlbizman's picture

do you mean like detriot, baltimore, dc etc. etc. etc.....i guess some people need chinese......

lolmao500's picture

Unconfirmed reports that DPRK is fuelling a KN-08 ICBM and have closed access to the Kaesong industrial area for #ROK workers

Mr. Hudson's picture

: "Xi gave a speech in Tanzania laying out his idea of “Africa Dream,” "

I have a hard time picturing the Chinese swinging from vines, running around naked, while eating bananas.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Gaddafi had a similar dream ... Therefore, the transnational banksters responded to that in their typical ways. 

Tragically, the only real choices we appear to get are between the lesser of evils, and none of them are all that much less ...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The US had practically zero interest in Africa, until it awoke to China's presence and choice of economic tools, rather than America's default tools:  Death And Destruction.  The official story is that it's about "resources" (oil, gold and minerals) and to some extent it is, but at its core it's about Sibling Rivalry 101.