China Colonizing Africa?


China's leader Hu Jintao just provided Sudan with an interest-free loan to build a presidential palace. Meanwhile, genocide continues in Darfur as Western sanctions prove ineffective.

Does China's willingness to invest in Africa without preconditions cause more harm than good? In the end, could Africa be re-colonized by China?

Posted by William Gumede on February 7, 2007 11:54 AM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (114)

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Jeff :

To Daniel, I say thank you. Growing up in the inner cities of Washington, DC, in a neighborhood we called, "Baby Vietnam," less than two miles away from the Capitol Building, I never once saw a Congressman or Senator visit. The only White people I remember were either police officers or insurance salesman. The one thing I can remember about myself and the other black males is that we were willing to fight for our nation at the drop of a dime. So, when you ask the question "at which point is it moral to fight a true war?" the answer should not be a riddle.

As a Nuclear Power nation the only true threat that we would have from any other nation is that nation developing nuclear capabilities with the objective of using them against us. However, the problem that you present may be much more detrimental than most of us want to admit. I still live and work in Washington, DC, and I often look at professionals on the street and ask myself, "has he ever had a physical confrentation in his entire life." What we are viewing on our streets is a result of the Non-violent movement, and the Women's Liberation Movement. The result is David Bekham (metrosexual).

What we label as non-violence should be labeled, "Non-Physical violence." There is no nation that is only 5 percent of the world's total population, and uses 25 percent of the world's resources that is non-violent. As a Black male that grew up in DC, I would love to tell you that you can rest assured because in the event of a true war, the brothers and myself will be there to fight for you, but drugs that obviously were not grown in my neighborhood have come to ravish these beautiful soldiers. The question now is, "in the event of a true war, who is going to have the courage to fight, other you and myself?"

My question to anyone is, "when did money,success, and education, replace honor, nobility and courage as the premire qualities of being a man?"

mohammad allam :

china is a country with humanistic love towards humanity.What china is doing it is not colonization of scramble of Africa by the european imperialist powers in 19 th century.And much before in the worst form of 'SLave Trade'of presnet civilized world.THese imperialist powers exploit the natural resources of Africa with out any share .and even left the legacy in the form of Aparthied and death of millions of negro tribal people.Thank god that African countries have a friendly option like china who ready to help them against the parasitic interest bankers and loans and racial masters.
If the question of condition is concerned and case of dafure is then ask why the european countries are investing billion of dollars in terrorist countries and provinding biggest military aid to israel-the most racial and barbaric nation of the world.Ask from west the gaza is not like the dafure of sudan.Then why european and american bounty always rained?.Do not worry African is not going to be slave in 21 century by china but going to get their freedom from IMF,WORLD BANK,PARIS CLUB,AMERICAN DICTATORSHIP.And your question shows that how much you frightened with the new development in africa,started by china.A dawn is begun in Africa by china and no wonder this will bright the world .

mohammad allam :

china is a country with humanistic love towards humanity.What china is doing it is not colonization of scramble of Africa by the european imperialist powers in 19 th century.And much before in the worst form of 'SLave Trade'of presnet civilized world.THese imperialist powers exploit the natural resources of Africa with out any share .and even left the legacy in the form of Aparthied and death of millions of negro tribal people.Thank god that African countries have a friendly option like china who ready to help them against the parasitic interest bankers and loans and racial masters.
If the question of condition is concerned and case of dafure is then ask why the european countries are investing billion of dollars in terrorist countries and provinding biggest military aid to israel-the most racial and barbaric nation of the world.Ask from west the gaza is not like the dafure of sudan.Then why european and american bounty always rained?.Do not worry African is not going to be slave in 21 century by china but going to get their freedom from IMF,WORLD BANK,PARIS CLUB,AMERICAN DICTATORSHIP.And your question shows that how much you frightened with the new development in africa,started by china.A dawn is begun in Africa by china and no wonder this will bright the world .

Marie Therese Abdallah :

China is making possible the payment of external debts of some African countries (it is buying the domination of third on such countries).

China is with projects of creation of University, Schools and Hospitals, in Africa, where the main language will not be more dialect, French, Italian, German much less the English (the aid will come with the culture and the Mandarin)!

The interchange will be: economical, scientific, cultural, to militate, energy, social etc(almost everything will have the Chinese interference).

It is good to remember that China has an additional 23 million single men between 20 and 30 years, while Africa had a considerable part of its masculine population deceased for wars, crime and illnesses such as the AIDS.

The money that China spend in Africa is not related to the future geopolitical profits. Eastern Africa, at the very least, will be Chinese also etnically speaking.

The G-8 must be reason of sonorous outbursts of laughter in the corridors of the Chinese Political field. They are practical and they are not concerned with the obligation to keep appearance of democracy. Their objectives are to be busy with the plans of safe and gradual expansion.

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Bobster :

I think it is a great idea for China to provide interest free loans to the Sudan! The world needs more major players than just the evil americans. If Russia and China would only get enmeshed in the middle east like america, people would have other nations to hate, and despise. Yes, I am being humorous. But in reality I think all nations ought to come together, instead of just hoping that all this will just blow away. I mean it will blow away one day, but not in the sense they hope it will.

Dave! :

BobL-VA
"We need to stop hating other cultures that are different then ours. We need to stop telling the world how they have to live."
I think you may be on to something. I guess we should have refrained from telling those communists to stop killing those tens of millions of people in the USSR and that they needed some capitalism and democracy. Those Palestinians shouldn't be told that suicide bombing is wrong. The Taliban - well what do we really care about women anyway. If their culture says its ok to brutally repress them, who are we to say its wrong. The Hutus and Tutsis? Darfur? Chairman Mao? I know, I know. We share the same biology, regardless of ideology... Every culture is ok, just different...

Robert Rose :

Daniel, the quote was from Chuang Tzu. In his "Complete Works", under "Kings who abdicated", you will find that: "Yao wished to surrender the world to Hiu Yu... that Chuen offered the world to Tzu Tchu Tche-po, to Chan Kiuan and to his former friend called the peasant of Che-hu, that his people gave the world to rule to Tan-fu and followed him, that the people of Yue offered it to Tzu, the prince of Lu to Yen Ho, that king Tchao from Tch'u asked his war minister Tzu-Ki to offer it to Yue, that the Son of Heaven offered it to Tseng-tzu, Chuen to his old friend Wu-chai, and T'ang to Wu Kuang." Problem remains to convince anyone not the least interested in ruling the world that he should accept an offer to rule it...

As for "how.. we tell the courageous from cowards in a world without war?" You are the world. Make it one of non-violence. Try non-violence (ahimsa) yourself, for a year, a month, a week, a day... and see how really and truly courageous you are. You be the judge.

WooDoo :

U.S don't know what is the difference between threat and competition that why U.S gorvernment is alway paranoid about China. Anything China did represents threat to U.S. that's really pathetic.

When U.S can't complete with China in Africa, the best way label China as threat with all kind of excuses and speculations: human right abuse, colonization, steal africa's good, sponsor of dictators...and try to make themself look good. U.S is not only misleading Americain peoples but make them feel less secure and Paranoid.

Today China is American's Threat, next will be Russian, India, Iran...well U.S will have a long nasty job to run after the threats one after other.

daniel :

To Robert Rose from Daniel. Robert Rose, that statement of yours about the world being given to only those that do not want to rule--that statement which you already gave expression to in that piece from Lao Tzu--how do you reconcile that view with the fact that it totally contradicts modern biology--that such a totally passive being can never come into existence? In fact Robert, give me an example of such a person from history--and do not mention Christ...That statement of yours is a contradiction...no such person has ever existed...It is a piece of idealism..beautiful to be sure, but idealism...You want to help your cause Robert? Give me a good definition of courage in a world in which war does not exist...The problem with people like you is that you are against war but do not assure us the supreme virtue of courage will exist without war...What is courage without war? I am not saying it cannot exist, but how do we tell the courageous from cowards in a world without war? How for example can I tell whether you are a coward or not? It is easy to be against war today and oh so moral, but how to tell whether this stance is really one of courage?

MikeB :

Salamon - If I understand what you are saying, then I, as an American, can only criticize my own government and people and heritage. That isn't just silly, it is morally bankrupt. It's the sort of nonsense we heard from the SDS crowd and the Marxists back in the 60's and 70's. Utterly stupid blathering by a bunch of immature fools. China is guilty of all sorts of human right abuses, she is guilty of atrocities and barbarism, that turn the stomach. Likewise, my country was railroaded into Iraq by a White House run campaign that the press and American people bought into. Our President and corporation globalization schemes are nothing more than an attempt to reinstitute indentured servitude, 21st Century slavery.

As for the Sudan and Somalia, from what I understand, various Islamic groups and war lords are fighting each other for power and control. The Islamic groups really have affiliations with genuine terrorists, including some of the very people who planned the 9-11 attacks on my country. Furthermore, they have provably murdered tens of thousands of people for simply being Christians or Jews or animists. Now, having been subjected to propaganda and spin campaigns by my own government, I have become pretty adept at smelling bullsh*t and the "atrocity" photo's coming from the Islamic groups in the Sudan and Somalia look an awful lot like the garbage Hizbolla released when they were accusing Israel of atrocities In other words, it was made up.

I have no doubt that innocent people are sometimes killed in a war and this is especially bad when it is a fight I don't think we needed to get involved in in the first place. But, in the end, Americans wont tolerate that being done purposefully. In the Islamic world, I see innocents and civilian's being targeted all of the time. So, Salamon, if I am to be honest and consistent, I will continue to point out that China and India and every land controlled by an Islamic government along with American corporations and businessmen, are rife with barbarism and hatred and abuse; they are all guilty of murder and worse. We may not be able to do much about China, and we ought not do much about the Sudan or Somalia other than to continue to bomb terrorist camps whenever and wherever they are discovered, but we can do something about the corporations and the monsters that run them. If you want to be consistent, criticize - point out evil whenever you see it.

BobL-VA :

Tom,

I'll try this again. I've written a couple of responses to you, but the web site doesn't seem to be working very well.

I just don't see the need to worry about China having expansionist desires on Africa. Trade is one thing, but colonization is something entirely different. China has no history and has shown no interest in wandering from it's region of the globe. Sure they need the oil. Sure they need to buy raw materials to feed their emerging industrial complex. Yes, they will be competing with us (they already are).

If my memory is correct China holds over 300 billion in US Treasuries as well. This is only 2nd to Japan. However, China has been increasing it's investment in the US debt while Japan has been decreasing theirs. However, even at the current trends it would be many years before China would surpass Japan. What I'm trying to do here is show you China is already a partner in the US economy. They have a vested interest in trading with us and they also now have a vested interest in our currency remaining strong.

China is not our enemy. We're a pretty good job of being our own worst enemy.

Steve :

Curious as how the global warmest have determined what the "correct" temperature of the earth is?

How do we know our attempts to "cool" the earth won't cause even more harm?

Many times the earth has been warmer than it is today, even 1000 years ago. Why is this not a natural correction?

Since Mars is seeing their polar ice caps melting, doesn't this point to a solar system issue not an earth or man made issue?

Salamon :

MikeB:

But I note that USA TV does not show the regular destruction, carpet bombing etc of Iraq by USA AIR FORCE, nor the attempted elimination of some "terrorist" [whom you missed] while carpet bombing in Somalia. Nor do we see pictures of the beauties in foreign rendition as they are "encouraged to talk". Nor do we see the effect of Gold mine accidents caused by USA mining firms when Cyanide is "accidentally released" the world over.

When your nose is clean, then you can talk about other noses, til then it is MOST PRUDENT TO REFRAIN DISCUSSING NOSES - else you appear as a HYPOCRITE [resembling Mrs. Clinton on Senate vote or "I changed my mind" McCain on torture].

MikeB :

captainjohann, BANGALORE, INDIA - "...is the Chinese Emporer sitting in Sudan's Palace?" No. But, the Chinese are sitting on Tibet! When was it, last week? There was a film on the evening news where Chinese soldiers sat on a pass and shot dead a group of Tibetan nuns walking through deep snow. There were, perhaps, 30 people in that group, waking single file and the soldiers picked them off one by one. Now, these were smugglers, they weren't armed, hey were simply follows of a Buddhist religious sect that the Chinese have been trying to exterminate. SO they, in cold blood, shot them one by one. And think, also, of Tianamen Square where 2 to 4,000 people were murdered. And, today, think of Chistians and emembers of other religions not sanctioned by the Chinese government, think of prisoners having their organs "harvested", tens of thousands of poor people, whose only crime was to speak or write something that the government found threatening, think of them strapped down on an operating table, alive, the drip of a sedative putting them to sleep for the last time, as their eyes and heart and lungs and kidneys and other organs to cut from their still living bodies. That, surely, is as bad as a misguided and perhaps greed motivated policy that led us in Iraq. And, think too, of India and her treatment of it's Muslim minorities, think of the "untouchable" casts and organ harvesting every bit as horrible as is taking place in China. Think, too, of the Tibetan's living in India. And this is going on right now, not in the distant past.

The point is, no one has clean hands and no one has the right to lecture another about human rights nor about humane treatment of others. We either quit blaming each other and begin right now to live as best as we can, treating others as we would be treated, or the cycle of wars and inhumanity will simply continue.

I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that China is doing in Africa what is in her own interests and not in the interests of the African people.

Robert Rose :

As I am allergic to multiple copies of a post on any site, I want to apologize for the multiple copies of my latest posts. They have nothing to do with my being anxious they appear on the site ASAP... I simply started getting error messages whenever I clicked POST, yesterday, which made me assume the text had not been sent. I have already reported that "bug" to the WP.

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

“…When it comes to international meddling I think you would have a very hard time making anyone believe any other country on the face of this planet has meddled more then the US since the end of WWII…”


When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, fully 15 countries gained their independence. In addition, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and East Germany were democratized, i.e., ALLOWED to form a democracy. The former USSR was instrumental in shaping US policy after WWII. In that respect, Bob, I think you look way to simplistically at the US post WWII.


US policy was shaped by the rise of Russian communism, which was considered a huge threat to not only us, but to millions and millions of people around the world. As you know, millions died of starvation, and /or political murder under that system. This is especially true in China under Mao. The Cuban missile crisis brought us to the brink of a nuclear war. That was a near catastrophic event which shaped US policy in South and Central America as well as Viet Nam.


Most importantly, we provided a deterrent to Soviet aggression. The point I want to make is that many countries, including western Europe lived under the US nuclear umbrella. In addition South Korea, Taiwan and many other countries were backed (protected) by the US. American military strength was instrumental in PREVENTING wars during the cold war. The US military's presence in South Korea, alone, probably saved millions of lives, given North Korea's humanitarian/political record (about four million dead). Think about it. We probably had more to gain (economically) by regime change in the Sudan (oil) than either Korea or Viet Nam. The wars in Korea and South Viet Nam were fought more on ideological than economic grounds.

More recent wars were fought for various reasons including Bosnia (humanitarian), Kuwait (for oil, but backed by the Arab league, and other oil guzzling societies around the world, including Europe), and Iraq, principally a reaction to 911.

No one can defend all of the US’s “meddling” because many were just plain stupid, but overall, US policy (and military strength) of “shaping” the world probably has prevented large-scale wars and given some people, at least, an opportunity to thrive under a democratic system.

I'm apologize Zoltan if this sounds too pro American.

captainjohann, BANGALORE, INDIA :

Sir,
Is the Chinese emperor sitting in Sudan's Palace?
Is there a single chinese soldier in Africa? American soldiers are in somalia and it has established African command.
American soldiers are in Iraq, Afghanistan,Saudiarabia, okinawa, south korea,Taiwan ,Europe etc etc and what to talk of innumerable aircraft carriers circling the earth.
There is not a single chinese soldier in any of the foreign countries.It has invaded vietNam,India,Tibet and now threatening North Korea but all these are border problems surrounding china.
But US is colonising notonly the world but it has monopoly over outer space also.

MikeB :

BobL-VA - Without going on and on, I agree with you on every point you made in your post to me. I was merely trying to point out to people to point to country or culture "A" and claim they are so much better than we are. They are not. Likewise, those twits who keep inventing statistics about how much of the world's resources the U.S. uses. It's really silly. I lived in Europe and I know first hand that European's consume quite as much as American's if given an opportunity. All of us in this world need to live together and watch each other and hold each other responsible. We need to be activists. Once we get too involved wih ourselves, someone like Bush will come along and really screws things up. He could have been stopped years ago, but we allowed him way too much freedom. Now, I honestly feel that we will not survive him. He seems dead set on attacking Iran, even in the face of Congressional and public wishes to the contrary, and that is going to lead to a civil war right here at home and damage to our democratic institutions that we cannot and will not survive. It's rather sad, watching the right wing posters here and elsewhere in complete denial that they took this country and wrecked it because it didn't work they way the wanted it to work.

Tom Wonacott :

Zoltan:


"...Tom, you're talking about focus: "when the question is about China [...] you will see that France [...] for North Korea's nuclear weapons"

look-up "focus" in a dictionary.

And let others express their views, yours are well known by now (USA is the greatest nation on earth)..".

Your previous post to me suggested the European Union was none of my business. You've mentioned (several times) that you are an engineer, so act like it and provide something meaningful to the discussion.

Chinese policy is the discussion and, in my opinion, North Korea is fair game, and it is certainly a lot closer (to the PG question) than the US in Iraq.

Finally, sorry, you are right, France is off topic, but for such a small country, they are a world class arms dealer (remember the exocet missile in the Fauklands war?, or Israel's nuclear weapons program?).

Robert Rose :

Daniel, I do “have all the answers for existence”. I just find humiliating that you forgot to mention I have them not only for this world but for the next as well. Which means I know what I shall write for eternity, a net advantage, you will admit. That is because I am an old extremist while you are a modern moderate. For as you write, “if it takes the U.S. civil war to be extended to the world until all are free and democratic (and capitalistic) --no matter how many people have to perish in the process--so be it.” One can’t be more modern and moderate than that.

As a matter of fact, I do know what you will write tomorrow and the day after tomorrow: “You are either with us or against us, you old-fashioned nonsensical leftwing foolish clowns”. That is very original, Daniel. I must admit I had never read, heard, least of all thought of that before.

It’s getting late, tonight, for a model statesman and political vision. Suffice to say, then: “It is only to someone who is not interested in ruling the world that we can give the world to rule.” You will no doubt remember reading that in one of those books you mentioned in your posts. Do not attempt to see in my heart, Daniel. People whose “entire purpose is the diminishment of the United States” do not have any.

who is the real colonizer? Please stand up. :

The Chinese violate the West's most important principle: Do as I as not as I do. Now let nuke them back to the Tang Dynasty.

daniel :

To Salamon, Robert Rose and Bob. You guys make me laugh--really. Do you know what you will write tomorrow--and the next day and the next day and the next day? I do. You demonstrate no originality whatsoever and have all the answers for existence. Do you know what I will write tomorrow? No you do not. And if you think you do, prove it. Just look over my last years posts alone. I always range far and wide. And I am an American. Land of freedom and opportunity. As for all the books you clowns suggest, half of them are ones I mentioned in posts already! Perhaps you can suggest some modern books--perhaps by your Muslim or Chinese or Russian compatriots--or if you are just plain old leftwing clowns, perhaps some leftwing nonsense. Your entire purpose is the diminishment of the United States with no real suggestion of national let alone international order. I keep asking you fools to build me a nation let alone a world order and you keep chattering nonsense. For all the sins of the United States it was the first nation to brutally fight a civil war against itself in the name of a total internal alteration of itself, and this alteration is still the highest hope of man. The president that won this victory had his birthday exactly today. And if it takes the U.S. civil war to be extended to the world until all are free and democratic--no matter how many people have to perish in the process--so be it. And even if the U.S. fails in this process, so be it--it will come to pass, for it is the course of history. What you three fail to grasp is the historical process itself. It is not China, Russia or Islam. It is not Marxism, etc. It is a total revolution from within which has already been embodied in the American civil war. And you are either with the north or the south. And the north will win. The future of the world is democratic and capitalistic. And of course violence will have to be used to bring the world to law and order and capitalism and democracy. The question is will it be as violent as the American civil war. Perhaps only people like you can answer this question. But perhaps I am wrong. I am still waiting for a coherant political order suggested by you three. Tell me the course of history please. I have been so bold as to suggest one--now you tell me one. What will the world be like politically a thousand years from now? I have had the courage to suggest a vision and to suggest the Lincoln is the model statesman for the next thousand years--the same Lincoln that waged war brutally for freedom. Now you suggest to me a model statesman and political vision. Then perhaps we can really see into each other's hearts.

BobL-VA :

MikeB,

Mr. Rose has a valid point. China is not the problem from a world peace standpoint. They have done little to nothing subverting world peace. When is the last time China sent 150K-550K troops 8,000 miles from Chinese soil to impose their will in our hemisphere. Easy answer. Not in modern history. I think you would have to go all the way back to the Khan's.

Look at the history of the US. We're basically a geographically isolated country. Forget the revolution. Let's start with the war of 1812, The Mexican-American War, The Civil War, The Indian Wars (which were tantamount to annilhation), The Spanish American War, The First World War, The 2nd World War, Korea, The Cold War, Vietnam, The first Gulf War, Afghanistan, The 2nd Gulf War and the War on Terror. Throw in the various uses of our armed forces for things like Beirut, Panama, Somalia, etc., etc. and if you can't see a pattern developing here I'm sorry. For a country who geographically shouldn't be fighting all the time we are. Our history isn't accidental. Our history is of an angry nation that is willing to unleash massive amounts of force to impose our will when we see fit. It's a problem.

China doesn't have this problem. They're not about to invade Africa and start blowing the place up like we have done to so many countries around the world. Sure, you can accuse China of human rights violations. Yes, you can accuse them of being an economic pain in the US's butt. Yes, you can accuse them of taking over Nepal, border skirmishes with the Russians and even supporting North Korea (their immediate neighbor). It's true they also want Taiwan back.

We need to focus on using our massive resources to build worth while things like a health care system that all Americans can access. Upgrading education. Medical research. Poverty programs. Homeland security. Funding social security properly. At the same time maintaining a military that can respond to attacks (the key word here is attacks) against the United States. IRAQ DOES NOT FALL INTO THIS CATEGORY.

We need to stop hating other cultures that are different then ours. We need to stop telling the world how they have to live. Basically, we need to grow up and pursue a doctrine of peace except to defend ourselves. We need to learn to lead through example and not at the end of a gun. That, my friend, is maturity and it's something this country is sorely lacking under the current lame duck administration.

Salamon :

TOM:

That the politicians of Canada deemed it proper, in their view, to join in on several wars in the last 10 years, while that before then they were for peacekeeping [for the idea of UN peacekeeping M. Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize, ere he became the PM of Canada] is not indicative of anything BUT A POLITICAL DECISION.

I do not recall that the electorate was asked whether they wish to participate in any of the wars you mention. There is almost as strong opposition to our involvement in Afganistan as you have in the USA against your involvement in Iraq.

That the USA President can with help LIE the USA into War, or that the PM of Canada can discuss war involvement in the House of Commons for a few hours, and that both leaders thereafter commited their citizens to war [while they are both keeping their life SAFE with bodyguards away from any bloody conflict], is not a reflection on DEMOCRACY, it is a reflection on the CORRUPT POLITICAL PROCESS - which is backed by the ANGLO-SAXON cultural traditon as something to be desired. FORTUNATELY, most of the world rejects this WE GIVE YOU OUR DEMOCRACY AT THE POINT OF A BAYONET -- after destroying your country [at the expense of the unborn children of USA/UK both of which are financing the war NOT with tax raise, but with DEBT REPAYABLE BY THE NEXT GENERATION.

Robert Rose :

MikeB. You're right, we're all human (and that includes the Chinese...). But questions above are: 1. "Does China's willingness to invest in Africa without preconditions cause more harm than good?", leading to 2. "In the end, could Africa be re-colonized by China?" -- I happen to think that before we "indict" China or even comment on its political behaviour in Africa, we revisit the three notions of "Colonialism", "Neocolonialism" and "Imperialism" in their historical context. One can refer to those, for instance, in encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com. Readers such as Daniel, looking for reading material, will find there references to substantial studies on those subjects. It is my opinion that should we just begin doing a little research in that direction, we are likely to soon conclude that "We, the West (not China) have been and still are -- to say the least -- the biggest part of the problem(s)" those notions refer to. I may be wrong.

MikeB :

Robert and other forum members - "....we are the problem." Oh, come on. The Chinese are no less human than we are, subject to greed, love, pride, hatred, and human decency. In her long history, China has conquered neighboring countries and people and done as much harm as anyone in the West. I am Native American and I just laugh when I hear people talk about our, somehow innate, association wiht "the land". In recent years, Native Amecian's, when granted fishing rights in Washington State under the Bolt decision, completely wiped out the salmon runs in several rivers. They netted every single fish that ran, in some river. In other rivers, they used bleach and explosives to stun fish and scooped them up. People are human beings, and no one is beyond committing the next Nazi atrocity. We either have a community, where we watch each other or we will have a world where we watch out for each other.

Robert Rose :

To the readers -- I know full well this conversation is meant to be about China. But in this debate, China is not the problem. WE (the West “led” by the USA) are. I wanted to let others join in before answering. Please allow, now, what follows…

Daniel, as you insist, a copy of my “”Simple answers” and “psychological WARfare 101””:
Q1. “Ghandi or Christ… something of a life of non-action?” A1. Their lives have been anything but lives of non-action! Q2. “Suicide of the nation?” A2. Diplomacy, peaceful coexistence, international cooperation and peace are the life of any nation. “War should be treated as a funeral service. Even victory is a funeral.” (Lao Tzu). Q3. “Would the nation continue to exist?” A3. Yes. Q4. “Does that make a difference?” A4. Yes. Q5. “Would that compromise the ability to ask questions?” A5. No. Q6. “Was not Zen… the philosophy of samurais...?” A6. Of many, of the greatest. Q7. Aren’t you “nothing but a moralist?” A7. A humanist.
Q8. Aren’t your views “psychological warfare pure and simple?” A8. It would be more glamorous (and lucrative) if they were, wouldn’t it? I find it amusing (to put it mildly) that you associate an open democratic debate in a prominent online American newspaper to “psychological warfare pure and simple”. WAR-fare? Again? I understand all kinds of people are interested in what is going on in debates such as this one, that they follow and monitor them closely, try to exercise some degree of “control” over what goes on in all sorts of ways… etc. Now do their presence and intervention in our midst really amount to “psychological warfare pure and simple”? You must know things I am unaware of.
Q9. “How is that different from psychological warfare?” A9. Humanists use Reason to influence people. Specialists in psychological warfare resort to Propaganda to activate the famous BS coalition (Brainwash! Blackmail! Bribe! Bully! and Blind!). They lie and deceive whole populations and nations all the way to Hell. Q10 “Is it useless to expect from you a simple answer…?” A10. Useless? You tell me. Hopeless? No. Q11. “Am I condemned to being a questioning and answering being?” A11. I don’t know, Daniel. As Socrates said: “Know thyself!” He himself claimed he was, by his “daimon”. Socrates thought a life without “inquiry” was not worth living and drank the hemlock. Who’s to say, you may well be a contemporary Socrates? Q12. “May this (questioning and answering) be the fate of my nation?” A.12. Surely not! Just consider the deep self-induced coma it has been in, in recent years, and that friendly “shoot now, ask questions later” attitude of its Armed Forces in action, for years on end.
Q13. “What exactly is a moral war?” A13. Benjamin Franklin said: “there was never a good war or a bad peace”. My position is that, strictly speaking, there are no moral wars. Never were, never will be. Wars are essentially evil, cannot rise to the level of “being moral”. The onus is therefore always on the person who wants to wage war to put forward the arguments as to why one should consider it “moral” for anyone to follow him/her. That person has thereafter the duty to be first to walk to the frontline, in front of everyone. I believe even the greatest human beings who have attempted that, have failed at the task. It is not only war that is intrinsically evil, immoral. So is executing a human being, be it Eichman or Saddam Hussein. That is why some people are against the death penalty. They consider such an evil act can never rise high enough to be moral. Moral acts involve the best in human beings, while immoral acts involve the worst in us. War and executing people always involve the worst in Man. Need to. So always have, and always will.
Q14. “What exactly would it take for the United States to be politically united for a war these days?” A14. Truth and integrity, in lieu of lies and deception. They may not be sufficient, but are unquestionably necessary. Q15.”What are these circumstances which would unite us as a nation in war?” A15. The onus is on the person who wants to take the nation to war to find out and tell us, with accompanying justification. Q16. “What exactly is there worth fighting for?” A16. Depends what one means by “fighting for”. Again, the onus is on the person wishing to “fight”, to determine what he/she considers worth fighting for and how. It will then be open to debate. I understand some claim that it is worth fighting in every way possible for the liberation of one’s own country from invaders and occupiers. Q17. “Is it the nation will be as divided as today regardless of whether a war is moral or not? A17. No. Q18. “Did it really make a difference whether or not Iraq was immoral?” A18. Yes. Q19. “Would we not be in the same position as today politically?” A19. Certainly not. Q20. “Even if we had not invaded Iraq wouldn’t a great part of the nation have been opposed to war?” A20. I doubt it. Q21. “Can the U.S. fight any war at all?” A21. Not only it can (and destroy civilization and the planet in the process), but it keeps on doing just that, and even unilaterally. Q22. “If no war at all, why speak of foreign policy at all, worrying about China or anybody else?” A22. Because exist other relationships between nations, than war (e.g. diplomatic relations). Q23. “Are we to depend on diplomacy?” A23. Yes. We are to pursue the diplomatic road first and foremost, and to the limit, by every honourable means and in every honourable way we know. Q24. “Perhaps we should just have a nuclear holocaust and end things now?” A24. You make a case for it. Onus is on you. And you go first, in front of everybody. Q25. “You want me to be fearless and serene?” A25. I want nothing from you. Q26. “Don’t you seem to want the U.S. to go down alone?” A26. No need to. Don’t you see the US currently going down fast, deep, and alone enough, already? Q27. “Is it not that nobody can do much about anything anymore?” A27. Quite the contrary. The concept of “non-action” that bugs you so much has nothing to do with doing nothing. It means “non-action IN action”. This is only a (ZEN) paradox for the intellect. In everyday life, it is something as natural as everyday consciousness (yet takes years to achieve). Q28. “Do we have any choice but to be serene and fearless?” A28. You surely give the impression you have all the choice you need not to be. Q29. “Isn’t it that nobody can change anything about man?” A29. If you were right, we’d still be no different from the Bushmen. It is true some wish we still were not. Q30. “Won’t China do as it pleases?” A30. Yes, although China should and ought to do as it pleases the US, don’t you think?
Q31. “Some reading?”
A31. 3 very short books plus 1, more elaborate, #2… even though meditation and meditative action, not reading, be doors to the garden of zen.
1. Albert Camus, “Letters to a German Friend” (“Lettres a un ami allemand”, Gallimard, 1948). (On war and “morality”)
2. D.T. Suzuki, “Zen and Japanese Culture”, Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series LXIV, 1959. (On many aspects of zen for the layman/woman)
3. Eugen Herrigel, “Zen in the Art of Archery”, Vintage books, 1971 (Pantheon, 1953) (On non-action)
4. Thomas Merton ed., “Gandhi on Non-violence”, New Directions, 1964-65. (On Gandhi not repudiating violence)

Meng Wang :

This is about as silly a question as possible, even by blogging standard. It reflects more on the racist instincts of modern Americans than on Chinese intention in Africa.

Colonization is by natural an unilateral process that must be enforced by force. This fundamentally Western practice involves imposing the colonial master's will not only on the colonized but also against interference of other powers.

The Chinese efforts in Africa are based on mutual interests and open competition. There is not a shred of monopolistic tendency. Say whatever you want about the indirect effects Chinese commerce has on Durfar, but comparing China to the Western powers can only be justified by either ignorance or malice.

Salamon :

Daniel:

Reading list:
I believe that St Augustine in the City of God was the first to contemplate war as a moral issue. However, it is but 40+ years since I read the old philosophers, so my memory is of questionable validity. On War read Carl von Clausewitz: ON WAR, and Sun Tzu's The Art of War, on the Golden Mean in Ethics read Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics [Notes transcribed by Aristotle’s son is best guess I read about --- the connection is to Wikipedia: highlight and control+click ], On Golden Rule your best source is WIKIPEDIA

BobL-VA :

Tom,

It's the hypocracy that bothers me. I'm certainly not opposed to taking stances. However, I am also a firm believer in practicing what we preach. We can't run around and condemn other nations for meddling and making the world a more dangerous place when we are the worst offender.

China has never been an expansionist state. Sure, I know you can bring up Nepal and Taiwan, but they are local to China and there is a history there that doesn't even make these two cases an issue. (unless your from Nepal or Taiwan) As China continues to industrialize they will need to buy energy and raw materials. They started well behind the US, Britian, France, Germany, etc. and they weren't blessed with the natural resources of Russia.

I've lived long enough and read a sufficient amount to be tired of the US acting badly on this planet in the name of "enemies." Then to compound our mistakes we want to make everyone that doesn't see eye to eye with us potentially bad. China is such a case. The flap over Sudanese oil is about nothing more then us pointing a finger and saying, "See, they're worse then we are." Of course to say something like this you have to either discount reality or truely believe they are bad.

We can dump 230 billion into Iraq this year trying not to lose, but we can't rebuild the Gulf Coast. We can't find a way to ensure our population has health insurance and make a meaningful attempt at seriously reducing poverty. No, it's just easier to have an enemy and destroy then to build. Simply put, we need to spend more time evolving into a nation that understands force is a last resort and should be avoided at almost any cost and spend less time worrying about whether China is buying oil from a nasty third world country or giving away T-Shirts in Africa.

Salamon :

Daniel:

Reading list:
I believe that St Augustine in the City of God was the first to contemplate war as a moral issue. However, it is but 40+ years since I read the old philosophers, so my memory is of questionable validity. On War read Carl von Clausewitz: ON WAR, and Sun Tzu's The Art of War, on the Golden Mean in Ethics read Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics [Notes transcribed by Aristotle’s son is best guess I read about --- the connection is to Wikipedia: highlight and control+click ], On Golden Rule your best source is WIKIPEDIA.

Reply to your notes will come next.

Zoltan :

Tom, you're talking about focus: "when the question is about China [...] you will see that France [...] for North Korea's nuclear weapons"

look-up "focus" in a dictionary.

And let others express their views, yours are well known by now (USA is the greatest nation on earth).


Tom Wonacott :

To BobL

Once again, Bob, you are focussed on the US when the question is about China. If you look further into arms sales, you will see that France was the largest supplier of weapons to third world countries in 2005. Arms sales is big business, but my point regarding this forum's question is, simply, that China's policy is not good for the people of the Sudan, or, for that matter, Zimbabwe. China has as much a right to secure energy and other goods as any country in the world, but in these cases, they cross the line.

Lets also not forget that China is more responsible than any other country for North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

BobL-VA :

Tom:

Damn those Chinese for sending T-shirts to Africa.

According to the Congressional Research Group the United States sells about 45% of all arms to the developing world. Followed by Russia (15%) and Britian (13%). In 2005 the US sold 6.1 Billion in arms to the developing world. China is so far down the list it's barely worth reporting.

When it comes to international meddling I think you would have a very hard time making anyone believe any other country on the face of this planet has meddled more then the US since the end of WWII. North America, South America, Africa, Asia. Pick the region. One of my personal favorites was Iran/Contra.

BobL-VA :

Tom:

From the Boston Globe:

Headline reads US is top purveyor on weapons sales list
Shipments grow to unstable areas
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | November 13, 2006

"WASHINGTON -- The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show.


Breaking News Alerts According to the annual assessment, the United States supplied $8.1 billion worth of weapons to developing countries in 2005 -- 45.8 percent of the total and far more than second-ranked Russia with 15 percent and Britain with a little more than 13 percent.

Arms control specialists said the figures underscore how the largely unchecked arms trade to the developing world has become a major staple of the American weapons industry, even though introducing many of the weapons risks fueling conflicts rather than aiding long-term US interests.

The report was compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service."

Did I miss China's name?

BobL-VA :

Tom:

From the Boston Globe:

"US is top purveyor on weapons sales list
Shipments grow to unstable areas
By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | November 13, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show.


Breaking News Alerts According to the annual assessment, the United States supplied $8.1 billion worth of weapons to developing countries in 2005 -- 45.8 percent of the total and far more than second-ranked Russia with 15 percent and Britain with a little more than 13 percent.

Arms control specialists said the figures underscore how the largely unchecked arms trade to the developing world has become a major staple of the American weapons industry, even though introducing many of the weapons risks fueling conflicts rather than aiding long-term US interests.

The report was compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service."

Did I miss China's name?

Tom Wonacott :

Robert Rose

Chinese activity and trade in Zimbabwe:

"...And as Zimbabwe becomes more isolated from the West, China has sent crates of T-shirts for ruling-party supporters who will vote in Thursday's parliamentary elections.

In addition, China or its businesses have reportedly:

• provided a radio-jamming device for a military base outside the capital, preventing independent stations from balancing state-controlled media during the election campaign;

• begun to deliver 12 fighter jets and 100 trucks to Zimbabwe's Army amid a Western arms embargo; and

• designed President Robert Mugabe's new 25-bedroom mansion, complete with helipad. The cobalt-blue tiles for its swooping roof, which echoes Beijing's Forbidden City, were a Chinese gift..."

and...

"...Mugabe often praises China and Asia as part of his new "Look East" policy. He responded to tough questions from an interviewer on Britain's Sky News last year about building his $9 million new home, while millions of Zimbabweans live on the verge of starvation..."

Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times wrote last year that Zimbabwe was better off under white rule than ruled by the Mugabe. Coming from Mr. Kristoff, that indicates how badly Mugabe’s leadership has failed.

"...Reporters Without Borders, a group dedicated to freedom of the press, based in Paris, had this to say about the jamming: "Thanks to support from China, which exports its repressive expertise, Robert Mugabe's government has yet again just proved itself to be one of the most active predators of press freedom."...".

I support many Chinese business and trade deals with developing countries (how could I not?), and the Chinese are lifting third world countries up even as they develop their own economy (just as the West is), but some trade (and the supply of military equipment) is harmful to the people of very oppressive and/or murderous regimes such as the Sudan and Zimbabwe.

China’s supply of military equipment(against a western arms embargo in both cases) and influencing elections are interference in the internal affairs of the countries they trade with which is exactly the opposite of their stated policy .


Tom Wonacott Top Commenter:

To Robert Rose and Salamon


Canadian hypocrisy: Canadian involvement in the internal affairs of other countries and support of war.

1. WAR TO LIBERATE BOSNIA (civil war). “…The involvement of NATO (CANADA), during the 1995 Operation Deliberate Force against the positions of the Army of Republika Srpska made the war an internationalized conflict…”

2. GULF WAR(1990). “…The United States… assembled a coalition of forces to join it in opposing Iraq, consisting of forces from 34 countries: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, (CANADA), Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Honduras, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States itself…”

3. WAR IN AFGHANISTAN (2002). NATO (CANADA).

4. ISRAELI-ARAB CONFLICT(subverting/blackmailing a democratically elected government) : “…(CANADA) is cutting aid and relations with the Palestinian Authority, Ottawa announced shortly after the Hamas government formally took power Wednesday. The decision makes (CANADA) the first country besides Israel to cut off aid (… Western donor countries cut off hundreds of millions in direct aid to the Hamas government, leaving Hamas unable to pay the salaries of its 165,000 government employees since March. Although international relief agencies continued to distribute food and medical care, by summer Gaza faced a desperate economic and humanitarian crisis.)…”

Tom Wonacott :

“For the record“:

What Koffi Annan says is meaningless.

UN resolution 678 authorizes the US-led coalition to use force to remove Iraq from Kuwait.

UN resolution 687 sets the conditions of the cease fire. UN resolution 678 was never canceled and was always in affect in case Iran did not adhere to 687.

"...Chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, reported in 2003 that “…Another matter - and one of great significance - is that many proscribed weapons and items are not accounted for. To take an example, a document, which Iraq provided, suggested to us that some 1,000 tonnes of chemical agent were "unaccounted for". One must not jump to the conclusion that they exist. However, that possibility is also not excluded. If they exist, they should be presented for destruction. If they do not exist, credible evidence to that effect should be presented..."

UN resolution 1441 warns Iraq of "serious consequences".

Based on the above, a credible defense can be made for the legality of the invasion.


daniel :

I find it extremely interesting that when I ask what exactly it would take for the United States to be politically united for a war these days everyone asks why it is I would want war...I simply point out that if Iraq is considered an immoral war and worth losing regardless of what this means to the nation, what exactly is a moral war--what exactly is there worth fighting for? I am not asking whether or not Iraq is immoral. I am asking what then is a moral war? Or is it the nation will be as divided as today regardless of whether a war is moral or not? Did it really make a difference whether or not Iraq was immoral? Would we not be in the same position as today politically? Is it not true that even if we had not invaded Iraq a great part of the nation would have been opposed to war? I guess what it comes to is the question of whether the U.S. can fight any war at all. But the way opponents of the war in Iraq frame it, Iraq is immoral and that is all (in other words, they suggest there is a circumstance in which they would fight a war--and I once again ask: what are these circumstances which would unite us as a nation in war?). Terrorists brought down the twin towers and today we stand condemning Iraq. Let us say Iraq is totally immoral. But what about the twin towers? What war would we be willing to fight? If no war at all, why speak of foreign policy at all, worrying about China or anybody else? Or are we to depend on diplomacy? But what is that? What exactly is moral and what not? How exactly is the U.S. to act? Clarity please. Robert Rose, you want me to be fearless and serene? Perhaps we should just have a nuclear holocaust and end things now...Is that serene enough for you Robert? I have no problem with it. Just as long as everyone else joins in. The problem with you Robert and Salamon and Bob is that you seem to want the U.S. to go down alone...But never fear, China will do as it will--in fact all the nations will pretty much do as they will. Nobody can do much about anything anymore. We have no choice but to be serene and fearless. Nobody can change anything about man.

daniel :

To Robert Rose, Salamon and Bob. If I understand you correctly what you are suggesting is that the U.S. become something of a nation in as near perfect emulation of Ghandi or Christ as possible--something of a life of non-action. An interesting proposition. But how is this different from the suicide of the nation? In other words, say the U.S. becomes something of a composite of your views. Would the nation continue to exist? Or does that make a difference? It seems at least from Robert Rose's views it makes no difference (and out of compassion I fail to point out that the zen Robert Rose spouts and seems to associate with strictly Christ-like morals was also the philosophy of samurais...). Perhaps the three of you can suggest some political science books--or some reading in general. I like to read and I would like a clearer understanding of your views. So far I find it difficult to disassociate your views from psychological warfare pure and simple. But perhaps you three are nothing but moralists (and how is that different from psychological warfare?). In essence, if I and my nation were to become as you suggest, would that compromise the ability to ask questions? Or is it useless to expect from you a simple answer to this question? I am condemned to being a questioning and answering being, and may this be the fate of my nation.

For the record :

Iraq war illegal say legal experts and Kofi Annan

In a recent BBC interview UN Secretary General Kofi Annan … (declared) that their invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is illegal because it breached the United Nations Charter.

Among the world's foremost experts in the field of international law, the overwhelming jurisprudential consensus is that the Anglo-American invasion, conquest, and occupation of Iraq constitute three phases of one illegal war of aggression.

These experts are none other that the world's foremost international law experts who make up the prestigious International Commission of International Law Jurists who prepared a statement called The Legality Of The Iraq War…

This document was drafted and signed by the world's foremost international law experts to provide ultimate proof of their authoritative opinion concerning the legal status of the war against Iraq.

Furthermore, this large body of eminent international law experts explicitly stated that they'd drafted their legal document in order to advise Messrs. Bush and Blair prior to the invasion:

(1) that it would be blatantly illegal under international law for the Anglo-American belligerents to invade Iraq; and

(2) that their joint decision as Commanders-in-Chief to commence hostilities would constitute prosecutable war crimes.

These experts deem both preventive wars and preemptive strikes to be euphemistic subcategories of outlawed wars of aggression.

They draw three conclusions. It is the overwhelming consensus of the world's foremost international law experts that:

(1) UN Secretary General Annan's opinion is correct;

(2) the opinion of the "Coalition of the Willing's" leaders is false;

(3) therefore, Americans must break free of the neocons' self-delusional mentality by learning to differentiate between fact and fabrication…

Messrs Bush and Cheney…

(1) both men were advised beforehand that their decision to commence the invasion of Iraq would be blatantly illegal under
international law;

(2) they invaded nonetheless, and now they are cynically attempting to mislead the public again by falsely arguing that "The Iraq War was legal!";

(3) their argument is legally-meritless nonsense; and

(4) they have repeatedly demonstrated their disdain for universal human rights and democratic governance under the rule of law.

(The Guardian September 22, 2004)

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

"...Whereas the USA/UK invaded Iraq contrary to UN authority, therefore all who conspired to allow this event to occur: US Congress members voting for war, UK Parliament members voting for war are WAR CRIMINALS. The USA/UK citizens re-elected numerous members who are guilty or war crimes, thus these two countries collectively lost all moral stature with respect to any human right issue. As an aside the tragedy of IRaq far surpasses all events in Sudan, so after the USA/UK solve the problem of Iraq, then they can talk about other issues FOR:..."

This is all a bunch of BS, Salamon. Since you are obsessed over the US invasion of Iraq (and US policy, in general) and cannot discuss any other issue in the Washington PostGlobal without references to Iraq, then lets discuss the Iraq invasion.

1. Invasion of Iraq was legal under UN resolutions, 1441, 678 and 687.

2. Inspectors were not allowed into Iraq for nearly four years, from December, 1998 until September 2002.

3. Iraq could not account for stockpiles of banned weapons, which was required under the peace treaty signed by Saddam after the Kuwait invasion (UN resolution 687).

4. Numerous UN resolutions passed to encourage Saddam to conform to the terms of UN resolution 687. Iraq was bombed by the US in 1998 because of those violations.

Saddam's record as President of Iraq:

1. Illegal invasion of two countries.

2. Responsibility of the deaths, by war, murder and torture of 1-2 million (MILLION) people.

3. Illegal use of WMDs to kill (gassed) thousands of Kurds.

4. Systematic use of oppression, torture and murder of Iraqi Shiites.

Saddam had every opportunity to cooperate with the UN, but played a cat and mouse game with the inspectors. Saddam was a brutal dictator and the world is better off that he is gone. Al-Bashir of the Sudan is even worse.

Rhino, Camel and Bond :

Rhino, camel and James Bond are fine, but Africans are still dying like flies, in this safer world.

Kaafi :

Improved security in and around The Continent’s national parks has helped boost Tourism demand for the West. So do new attractions such as the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where visitors can now see six of rare animals

The latest James Bond film also has a starting scene placed in Mbale, Eastern Uganda (on the slopes of Mt. Elgon). This, too, has brought more focus on Uganda’s tourism attractions.

Therefore The West and Africa are always Camel and Milk relationship

Managing Editor And Publisher
Geeska Afrika Magazine (1985-2007)
www.geeskaafrika.com

anonymous :

Anyone who genuinely has Africa's and Africans' best interests at heart will acknowledge that this surge in Chinese FDI, no matter how imperfect, IS A POSITIVE STEP FORWARD overall, especially given the failure of the Western neo-liberal IMF/W. Bank policies that have been forced on the African countries for the past two decades, and the west's abandonment of Africa, plus all the stereotypes about it being a 'dark and hopeless continent'...

Also, a brief question for those of you criticizing China: What is the alternative? That Africa should continue listening to the west and allow them to subdue Africans into a state of perpetual dependency, subservience and pauperization? Think again!

BobL-VA :

Daniel,

Actually, the last war we fought was the second world war. We haven't declared war on anyone since them as fas as I know. Now we're having a war on terrorism. Very similar to Caligula declaring war on Neptune.

We've become a very strange nation. We don't declare war on Iraq, but we fight a war in Iraq. Iraq isn't experiencing civil war. It's only secretarian violence. Civilians don't get killed. Now we have collateral damage. Friendly fire only kills and injures our own troops. Hostile fire kills enemy troops. (I'm sure the recipients of friendly fire feel better about the fact they shot themselves)

No one will argue effectively the United States hasn't done marvelous things around the world in the last 75 years. They have. WWII and Lend/Lease come to mind. Advances in medical research, charitable work, etc. etc. However, no thinking person can deny the facts the United States has also done some really stupid vile things as well. Just because you drive your car obeying the speed limit 90% of the time is not a defense for a deserved speeding ticket. When we're wrong we need to say so. We need to take responsiblility and try to right our wrongs. We don't need to invent new slogans to make a feeble attempt at covering up our errors.

Our consistent use of military force in order to impose our will on other societies and cultures is an error the US makes on a regular basis and it needs to stop except in circumstances where an actual act of war has been committed against this country. Korea, Vietnam and Iraq are conflicts that should have never been fought. There was no justification for any of these conflicts. Korea and Vietnam over stopping Communism and Iraq for an attempt at bringing peace(?) to the ME. All that happened in the first two conflicts was millions of people died. At the rate we're going another million will be added in Iraq and for what? To save us from what?

A lot of us are consumed by Iraq. We're consumed because of how stupid, immoral and inhumane our going there was, is and will continue to be.

How's China's relationship with Sudan any different then ours has been with numerous dictatorships around the globe? The only difference it's the Chinese and not us in this case. There is also one other difference when talking about the Chinese. We're not about to tell them we'll bomb them back into the stone age or threaten them with military action. We don't have the military or the manpower to pull anything like this off and they know it. Hence, in the case of the Chinese we'd better start making diplomacy a real priority because we don't have a choice.

Robert Rose :

Tom, I take no values for granted, quite the contrary, yet I do feel like BobL-VA says he does (please refer to his last paragraph), and do resent hypocrisy. Ultimately, I believe it will be for Africans, and for Africans alone, to judge and decide whether « China… (will have been) « investing at the expense of the African people », as you claim they are. Africans do not need us for that, they can « be their own light », as the Buddha said.

On the West providing « an unending amount of assistance to the developing world through charity and development (business) », as you write, I could mention, for instance, 1. Hancock Graham’s book «The Nababs of Poverty» showing how «disinterested» we all are, helping Africans…, 2. the work doctors Krisana Kraisintu (Thailand) and Beat Richner (Switzerland) are currently accomplishing, in Africa, attempting to have produced, manufactured and distributed, there, cheap generic drugs against HIV and paludism, and available to all, while undoing the lethal business of the pharmaceutical industry, in Africa -- lady Professor Kraisintu admits candidly : « The multinationals want me dead. I have repeatedly received death threats. ». You can Google search all their names. But that is not the most important yet.

For brevity’s sake (others may want to take part in this discussion…), let me just add those few lines from Margaret Atwood’s « Letter to America », published in 2003 by the International Herald Tribune :

« Dear America: This is a difficult letter to write, because I'm no longer sure who you are… Let's talk, then, not about what you're doing to other people, but about what you're doing to yourselves…

If you proceed much further down the slippery slope, people around the world will stop admiring the good things about you. They'll decide that your city upon the hill is a slum and your democracy is a sham, and therefore you have no business trying to impose your sullied vision on them. They'll think you've abandoned the rule of law. They'll think you've fouled your own nest.

The British used to have a myth about King Arthur. He wasn't dead, but sleeping in a cave, it was said; in the country's hour of greatest peril, he would return. You, too, have great spirits of the past you may call upon: men and women of courage, of conscience, of prescience. Summon them now, to stand with you, to inspire you, to defend the best in you. You need them. »

Hence my daily prayer : « God save our souls ! »

Peter Burke :

Reading many of the comments here answered my key question: what are the terms of this aid? It's obvious that it's more of the same aid/trade that have complemented the misgovernance of too many African countries. What's the Chinese equivalent of the Trojan Horse?

Robert Rose :

Daniel, while seeming to deplore, in your words, that « so many (readers) are obsessed about the war in Iraq you ask : « If the U.S. cannot fight a war anymore, what point in talking about WHAT TO DO ABOUT CHINA? Or are we supposed to depend on other methods to STOP CHINA? » (my emphasis).

Nobody but you, Daniel, seems to be obsessed by « what to do with China ». Nobody but you seems to be obsessed with what you consider the need for the US to be able to « unite… to fight a war… to STOP CHINA ». Salamon’s comment remains therefore the most pertinent : « Daniel : … why do you or the USA want to wage war… ? ».

Can you not, do you not conceive of any other types of relationship between individuals, groups and nations than war ? What is supposed to be China’s reaction to an attitude such as yours ? By «China», I mean here both Chinese authorities and the Chinese people.

I can very well understand that there be countries that feel threatened by a country like the US, which has bases and nuclear arsenals in every part of the world, the number of which is expanding every day like cancer. I can well understand that there be countries that feel threatened when foreign diplomats tell them that « unless you do as we tell you, we’ll bomb you into the stone age ». I can well understand that there be countries that feel threatened by a country that has, for decades now, subverted democratically elected governments, put in place the worst dictators and supported them to the limit in every part of the world, with millions upon millions of civilian victims, dead, maimed, deported, refugees in their own countries and in foreign lands. (Read Chomsky and draw a detailled list, for every continent). That I can understand.

What I cannot understand is that citizens of the most powerful country in the world constantly live in fear, feel threatened, whatever happens and wherever they be. That they feel the compulsion to constantly « do something about the next guy », the urge « to fight him », « to stop him ». Zen Master D. T. Suzuki, used to say : « At war with the gods, at war with Nature, at war with others, at war with oneself… strange religion ». I myself would paraphrase : « … strange humanism ».

I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, Daniel, I only wonder : What in the world could possibly, one day, turn Americans like you into fearless, serene, peaceful, compassionate beings who live and let live ?

BobL-VA :

Tom,

I think it's fairly obvious I concur with Mr. Rose, "but it was immoral to invade Iraq, it is still immoral to have invaded Iraq and it will forever be immoral to have invaded Iraq."

The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq came about as a result of reactionary forces in this country in response to 9/11. GW and Cheney wanted to get rid of a thorn in their side (Saddam) and make an attempt at stablizing Iraq through regime change and establishing Democracy in Iraq. Only one problem: they didn't have a reason. They manufactured one. Whether it was just outright lying or some serious twisting of intelligence it has turned out to be false. These facts are no longer even in dispute. Then to try an end run around the fallacy of WMD's as justification we started to hear Saddam was a bad man anyway and it didn't matter if there were WMD's because he deserved to go down. anyway.

This puts me in a position where I personally condemn what is happening in the Sudan and China's participation, but as an American citizen I'm not really in a position to be throwing stones. We (America) can't expect to run around the world and engage in immoral wars with soverign states and at the same time condemn other countries for their immoral acts. It would reek of hypocracy.

Anonymous :

TOM:
Whereas the USA/UK invaded Iraq contrary to UN authority, therefore all who conspired to allow this event to occur: US Congress members voting for war, UK Parliament members voting for war are WAR CRIMINALS. The USA/UK citizens re-elected numerous members who are guilty or war crimes, thus these two countries collectively lost all moral stature with respect to any human right issue. As an aside the tragedy of IRaq far surpasses all events in Sudan, so after the USA/UK solve the problem of Iraq, then they can talk about other issues FOR:

According to the Final Judgment at Nuremberg, a ruling that has provided all succeeding generations with the classic pronouncement on the illegality of aggressive war: "War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." See Final Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major War Criminals (September 30, 1946), specifically "The Common Plan or Conspiracy and Aggressive War," from which this passage derives.

YOU WILL NOTE that the judgement was by USA Jurists among others.

Tom Wonacott :

Benjamin

"...China probably believes that strongarming Sudan now would only hurt China's ability to continue with its expansion of economic ties with Sudan..."

I certainly agree with most of what you are saying, for example, the US does not push to hard (if at all) for democratizing Saudi Arabia because of the economic ties we have with the Saudis, but there is a point when you cannot look the other way because of economic reasons. The Sudan is that place, in my opinion.

Supplying military equipment, and propping up Bashir cannot, in any way, be good for the people of the Sudan. Lets not forget that Bashir led a civil war against the South (Sudan) responsible for two million MORE deaths.

From Wikepedia:

"...In 1989 a coup d'état brought control of Khartoum to the hands of Omar al-Bashir and the National Islamic Front headed by Dr. Hassan al-Turabi. Both groups are Sunni fundamentalists drawing most of their ideology from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Together they formed the Popular Defense Forces (al Difaa al Shaabi) and began to invade the tribal south and eliminate the Christian minority.[citation needed]

The attempted genocide went on for more than twenty years, including the use of Sukhoi sorties, Tupolev bombers and napalm to devastating effect on villages and tribal rebels alike..."

Anonymous :

At least Chinese arrived in Africa without troops. They consulted the African people. If someone still consider it's colonization, then it's a better one, isn't it? It's not conquer and commmand, it's not slave and master, it's just..Let's do business, shall we?

daniel :

To all readers: do I need to be clearer (since so many are obsessed about the war in Iraq)? What would and what would not unite the U.S. for a war? We hear that the war in Iraq is immoral--and I am not questioning that--but what then is a moral war? What would unite the nation in war and make the liberals and the rich sons of Republicans volunteer to fight? Again, every situation must be put in a total light...If the U.S. cannot fight a war anymore, what point in talking about what to do about China? Or are we supposed to depend on other methods to stop China? But if other methods, will we not once again get into whether they are moral or not? And is it not likely going from the current political climate that virtually all actions will be considered immoral on our part? So what will be moral with regard to China? What actions on our part? And will these no doubt constricted because moral actions make any difference at all? And why is it me posing these questions? Are they not obvious? That should clarify matters a bit....

daniel :

To all readers: the simple point I was trying to make is our nation seems incapable of basic reflection so it is useless to expect ourselves to prevent China of anything. By basic reflection I mean simply if we find ourselves in the situation of fighting an immoral war as so many say about Iraq--and therefore guaranteed to lose it because no one wants to fight--then quite logically we should hear arguments about what would unite us for a fight. But there are no such arguments...Another example: We have a discussion about climate change and all hinges on whether the science is true or not--this determines how we should act. But no one asks why it is we should get in the situation in the first place and why it should depend on carbon emissions to be able to act...It makes little difference if global warming is occuring or not--we should be able to counter it regardless. The same with war: that we are fighting an immoral war should not compromise our capacity to fight a war. But can we fight a war? Can we stop global warming even if it is occuring? Every question should automatically lead to a posing of its opposite in other words...That the U.S. cannot do that is a very disturbing sign--and we all are indicted in this regard.

Benjamin Tsai :

This seems like the situation where Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" on page 194 described how Western democratic nations did not put too much pressure on human rights issues on Asia due to those countries' businesses putting pressure on their Western governments not to go into the human rights issues too much. This was because those businesses had strong dealings with those Asian countries (China is one of the countries), and the Western governments were convinced that economic relations with those Asian countries would have been disrupted. At that time, those Western businesses were trying to expand further into those Asian countries.
I bring this up because it seems as if this could apply to China in a way. The Western governments want China to use its economic leverage in Sudan to convince the government to do something significant to deal with the genocide issues in Darfur. However, China has asked Darfur to do something about the genocide issues, but has not made it mandatory to do so. I believe China is in the same situation as those Western nations in the past, where the Western government was convinced by the Western businesses to not meddle too much in China's domestic affairs so that economic integration could expand. China probably believes that strongarming Sudan now would only hurt China's ability to continue with its expansion of economic ties with Sudan.
It seems that China has caught up to the Western nations' dilemma of trying to do what they feel is right morally yet wanting to keep economic terms with less developed country strong so then both parties would do well economically. In the end, the human rights pressure was diluted to the point where economic ties win out over moral issues.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon (assuming that is you)

The whole world (with the exception of China and Russia) is calling for interference in the Sudan including the ultra left wing New York Times. You seem to care about the Sunnis and Shia dieing in Iraq, but could care less, obviously, about the innocents murdered in Darfur.

Turn the situation around, Salamon, and tell me you would support the US doing exactly the same thing as China, that is, exploiting the Sudanese for oil, supplying military equipment, and turning a blind eye to genocide. You would have another anti American fit...

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

"...Considering we (The United States) are a country that invaded and now occupies a soverign state (Iraq), which committed no act of war against us, and hundreds of thousands of people are now dead because of the invasion and occupation we have no right to judge China's international moral obligations..."

This is your most common statement. Because we invaded Iraq, we can't judge anyone, and I fully believe that is totally wrong. We do have a right to judge China. They are a classic, oppressive dictatorship that is undermining the (UN) effort in the Sudan to stop the killing. Can you not see that?

If we are immoral in your eyes, how does that justify China participating in genocide? Forget the US (for once) and just judge the situation. According to Amnesty International, China is providing military equipment to the killers in Sudan. The investments just prop up another dictatorship responsible for killing thousands of innocent people.

Tom Wonacott :

Robert Rose

"...You are right, China will do as it pleases. And why not? The West has very little credibility, anymore, to tell China what it should and should not do in the world..."

I, quite frankly, do not understand that statement, Robert. The west not only leads the world economically, but provides an unending amount of assistance to the developing world through charity and development (business).


In addition the west is a showcase for the rest of the world for democratic values such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, tolerance and all other values that you, apparently, take for granted while living in one of the great countries in the world that many, if not most people in most parts of the world, would give anything for the opportunity.

"...China is taking its place not only in Africa but in that whole world we all have to share. In so doing, it is contributing to the development of all continents. Be patient, this is just a modest beginning. The world has everything to learn from the Chinese. Their philosophy and outlook on life and on the world are very different from ours and mostly unknown to us..."

We do have a lot to learn from China, but, China is not investing in Africa to teach the Africans Chinese philosophy, but is investing at the expense of the African people, to gratify their newly found capitalistic hunger. In addition, China expects the US and NATO to solve the problems in the Sudan without participating in the process. Two hundred thousand dead people in Darfur, and the killing continues.

Robert Rose :

Sorry Daniel, but it was immoral to invade Iraq, it is still immoral to have invaded Iraq and it will forever be immoral to have invaded Iraq. That ongoing excursion was and remains based exclusively on lies and deception. The whole community of nations knows that much. No amount of waffling will ever change anything to that.

You are right, China will do as it pleases. And why not? The West has very little credibility, anymore, to tell China what it should and should not do in the world. Even the question above, as to whether China is colonizing Africa, is nothing but a psychological projection, on China, of the West's colonial past. China is taking its place not only in Africa but in that whole world we all have to share. In so doing, it is contributing to the development of all continents. Be patient, this is just a modest beginning. The world has everything to learn from the Chinese. Their philosophy and outlook on life and on the world are very different from ours and mostly unknown to us. We ain't seen anything yet, Daniel! You'll see, we'll revisit, time and again, in the next few years, and in utter amazement.

Salamon :

DANIEL:

The question arises why do you or the USA want to wage war, when war is the embodient of Shiva [The Destroyer], destroys infrasturture and the soul of the killer soldiers. Do you belive that the gain in USA GDP due to manufacturing armaments, bombs, rockets and ammunition really betters the lot of the USA citizens [aside from the few who do the manufacturing and own the companies thereto] at a time when natural resources are getting scarcer and or more expensive. Would not that amount spent be better utilized in increasing public transport to reduce your oil dependency? on medical insurance for the uninsured in the USA? Training better teachers for your failing school system? Working on finding more reliable water source for the Arizona N. Mexico and LA -- as all the reservoirs are going down in Western States.

The other point with respect to wanting war, you never know the unintended consequences. You and the rest of the USA seem to have forgotten the problems of Korean war [you drew in China], Vietnam, you could not win, even though you destroyed large percentage of the country [napalm and agent orange were your choice of weapons beside endless regular bombing] Iraq 3 years + after MISSION ACCOMLISHED. Do you and your compatriots enjoy the assymetrical warfare... remember if can come closer to you!

From the news from N Korea, it appears that your foreign policy took a reversal to Clinton years, as Bush and co had to capitulate, for the genie once out of the bottle can never be put back. you, looking for other genies to hound the USA?

daniel :

China can and will do as it wishes. The U.S. this late in the day still has not embarked on a discussion of whether it can fight a war or even defend itself at home (if it comes to that) anymore. In other words, we hear endlessly about the Iraq war being immoral, etc.--a thousand reasons for not fighting there (and of course everyone says they are being strategic, that it was impossible from the beginning)--but we hear absolutely no definition of the conditions in which the U.S. would actually be united in a fight. I would like to hear the conditions in which the liberals would be united with the Republicans for a war--and the Republicans actually with some heart themselves and willing to send their rich sons. So far I believe the U.S. can no longer fight a war--for whatever reason. I think China or anybody else can do pretty much as he pleases. The way this question is posed is as if the U.S. has a choice in the matter or something. I see no choice in the matter. China will do as it wishes. I really have no hopes in the U.S. anymore. I base this on my inability to have any conversations worth speaking of with my fellow Americans. I just finished trying to get some views across on the post's On Faith site when the question was on prayer, and it was impossible to converse--people literally could not grasp what I was trying to say. I fully expect people to be similarly obtuse when I simply ask what would be the right conditions for the political parties in the nation to put their differences aside and wage war. I fully expect people to not even contemplate those right conditions and to simply go on and on about how immoral it was to invade Iraq. People just do not think of anything in this country anymore. I find myself a profoundly isolated and unhappy man in my own nation.--Every effort at an intellectual life a complete waste. China quite simply will do as it will.

Madula Umlamgata :

So! The Africans would rather have yellow masters than white masters. Whites were removed from power in Africa to reduce the black population through starvation. The white farmers created a black population explosion with the excess food supply they grew.

The bankers,not wanting "inferior" genes introduced into the world population in such mass quantities, used the media to convince the black natives that the white farmers were "exploiting" their labor to become rich. The media eventually worked the blacks into a frenzy and the black natives murdered the white farmers and their entire families. Now, there is no food for them to eat and the blacks are starving after murdering their very saviors.

Won't you please send money to save these starving Africans? Thank you.

Max :

Why criticize China? It just wants Sudan's oil; and with over a billion citizens, it needs it to keep up with economic growth. China has nothing to do with the supposed "genocide" in that region; the Janjaweed is taking care of that.

Who says there's genocide anyway? Because you saw some images on the news of Darfurians being displaced from their homeland? Of course people will die--they were moved to another arid area with no food! How does this constitute genocide? China's not the only one after that oil...US, Canadian, Swedish, and Austrian companies were long in that area before China arrived(READ!)...China's just the one that is actually getting something done.

If China is indeed colonizing, it's a heck of a lot better than the way Europeans have been doing it during the past few hundred years!

BobL-VA :

Oh please, China colonizing Africa? The world could be so lucky. At least China might be able to improve living standards and industrialize the region. Nobody else seems the least bit interested in attempting it.

China needs the oil. Sudan is willing to sell it to them. From time to time the Sudanese government will ask China for a favor (money or arms) and China will comply because of their trading relationship.

Should China be trading with Sudan? That's a different issue. If someone assumes God, Democracy and Capitalism are the 3 forces that should run everyone's life then the answer is no. If someone doesn't subscribe to these tenets then the answer could be anything from no to yes. In China's case they reject God and Democracy and have a strange type of State controlled Capitalism going on. The Sudanese majority has rejected Democracy, believes in Allah, but does have a Capitalistic system riddled with corruption. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven to me.

Considering we (The United States) are a country that invaded and now occupies a soverign state (Iraq), which committed no act of war against us, and hundreds of thousands of people are now dead because of the invasion and occupation we have no right to judge China's international moral obligations. When, and if, we develop some international morality over human rights then we can condemn China for trading with a country that has shown little regard for it's citizens lives. Until such a time we'd look a lot better avoiding these discussions in order not to look like a bunch of hypocrites.

Thank you Bush/Cheney. I really love being on the wrong end of human rights discussions.

Anonymous :

Tom Wonacott, your comment summarizes all the bad the rest of the world thinks of the USA: "The Chinese policy of business without interference in the internal affairs of the country is a bad idea."

Actually, for your information, the 95% of the rest of the world population rather thinks:
"The American policy of business WITH interference in the internal affairs of the country is a bad idea." bad being a heavy understatement.

Let Chinese (and not China, for "China" as a such doesn't do business) invest in Africa. It's hard to see how it could be worse than what happened to Africans until now.

Try this one :

About Indian companies buying British counter-parts!

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=2&subID=1413

Yousuf Hashmi :

China playing all its card very carefully and wisely.

china find a gap to penetrate a virgin continent. While US and its Europian allies are occupied with middle east, and russia still settling its issues with its former brothers China is free to move in any dimension.

china very wisely exploring a market which is huge and still half un explored. I do not think that China is trying to colonize africa. in fact the term is obsolete and no more valid.

China is entering Africa with no competitor in site for a while and hence will be able to solidify its position .

Africa will be an asset for china if any time in future china demands itself to be upgraded to super power status

Tom Wonacott :

To PG

China's policy of investing in Africa without preconditions is strictly to advance Chinese interest. It is a bad policy that props up dictators like Omar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir at the expense of the Sudanese people.

The well advertised Chinese-African summit seemed like a brilliant idea, but the real message China has been sending to the African people can be summarized in the Sudan (below). If that isn't convincing enough, then China's support of North Korea which is one of the most oppressive regimes on earth, and is responsible for an estimated 4 million deaths from starvation, and politically related murder and torture, is a case, in point, of advancing Chinese interest despite the cost in human lives.

1. From Sabastion Mallaby, Washington Post:

"..."Sudan, by these standards, is an easy candidate for sanctions. But China's talk of "sovereignty" is code for the opposite policy. As well as paying for a presidential palace, Hu used his trip to cancel $80 million of Sudanese debt, to announce a plan to build a railway line and to visit an oil refinery that China partly owns, basking in the fact that 80 percent of Sudan's oil goes to his country..."

2. China has been accused by Amnesty International (2006) for the shipment of military equipment used in the abduction and killing of civilians in Darfur. Over 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur, primarily, by the government sponsored Janjaweed.

With the support of China, other (incompetent) dictators such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe could be kept in power for years to come. The Chinese policy of business without interference in the internal affairs of the country is a bad idea.

tony :

harm? to whom? every policy step causes harm, no matter the policy or the policy maker. The fantasy that there is a solution to any human social problem is puerile.

China Confidential blog, USA :

Chinese President Hu Jintao has promised to reduce China's $3 billion trade imbalance with Africa by increasing imports and promoting Chinese investment in African industry. He claims to be sincerely committed to Africa's long-term development, a true friend of the African people.

That's a lot of hooey--and Hu knows it.

China's Africa policy is a model of modern-day mercantilism with Chinese characteristics. Chinese investment and trade--and China's flag and arms--are all wrapped up in a single package. One does not follow the other.

Economic aid, including grants, loans and credits, and various forms of technical assistance, go hand in hand with commitments to develop oil fields, build refineries, roads, and railroads ... and, as shown by China's deepening involvement in genocidal Sudan, supply weapons regardless of a nation's human rights record or lack of transparency.

Prestige projects--a presidential palace here, a football stadium there--are also offered, along with no-strings arms deals, except for supporting China's position on Taiwan. Human rights and transparency are simply irrelevant.

State owned companies are key to China's Africa policy. In contrast with Western firms, Chinese companies answer to China's ruling Communist Party, not stockholders, even if some of the firms have sold minority stakes to investors in order to float and list shares in Hong Kong or New York.

Like Chinese capitalism--or Chinese socialism, for that matter--the state-owned behemoths that have gone public only resemble the real thing. Commissar-style spies and executives are assigned to every company to watch over senior management; and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, which holds controlling interests in roughly 200 large Chinese companies, monitors performance.

In other words, China's state-owned companies are tools of the state. As such, they do not invest overseas simply to make money; rather, they invest to augment the power of the state and support state policies. In Africa, this mainly means investing (a) to lock in longterm access to oil and minerals, and (b) to open up and expand markets for cheap Chinese goods.

-China Confidential
http://chinaconfidential.blogspot.com

MikeB :

China is doing in Africa what she has been doing in North America and Europe, China is establishing a source for raw materials and markets for her goods and services. The United States is in pretty terrible shape and it's likely to get a lot worse. It may fail entirely. Of the new jobs created last year in this country, three out of every ten were for a foreign worker; 9 out of 10 new hi-tech hires were for foreign engineers and scientists (53% were Indian, 32% Chinese). Of those 10 jobs, five were for sub-ten dollar an hour "service sector" jobs and those were the ones that went to U.S. nationals. With the trade imbalance and the falling dollar, it is just a matter of time before the price of oil is pegged to the Euro and the dollar and U.S. economy crash. China knows this even if our own government doesn't, so China is planning for the future. And, if you look at U.S. coporate moves lately, American (now - "global") corporations know this, too.

Harold Chattaway :

Todays leaders, and especially the Bush Administration have no sense of history about this region of the world. The following is a quote from the London Times:

"how much longer are valuable lives to be sacrificed in the vain endeavor to impose upon the Arab population an elaborate and expensive administration which they never asked for and do not want?"

This was in the London Times from 1920!. This was the sentiment of a growing number of British after uprisings in Iraq after WW1. They had just created and installed a new Iraqi Government after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It has always been astounding to witness how the lessons of history are completely lost on our leaders. That quote from 1920 is as accurate today as it was over 80 years ago.

H Jennings, DC :

Unfortunately for the continent of Africa, China's Africa foreign policy is a continuation of a history of economic exploitation and marginalization of issues of human rights. China's focus on Africa is obviously rooted in a real politik-based strategem calculated to expand China's global influence, enhance its economic clout and to counter US influence. As China's recent aid to Sudan suggests, Chinese relations with African countries are clearly not based upon or motivated by any moral or ethical considerations; rather, these relations sadly mirror the worst aspects of Western countries' (e.g. the U.S.) foreign policies relative to Africa. Sadly, and as historically has been the case, the losers are the average African men and women who struggle daily to realize fundamental rights to life, liberty and economic security (see Dafur).

Surely for most poor Africans, Chinese hegemonistic pretensions and behavior are no more attractive or desirable than those of the US, France, Britain or any other country. For them, the intelligentsia's debate over the desirability of a unipolar, bipolar or multipolar world is overshadowed by practical considerations of surviving the day, finding the next meal and eking out some measure of joy in otherwise bleak lives. It is an extreme pity for them that their humanity is accorded little or no weight, or relevance, in the political calculations of their own leaders and the leadership of the world's powers.

So, to me the utlimate question is whether China's involvement with Africa will advance the Continent's economic and human rights development? Taking China's Sudan foreign policy initiative as present and extrapolative evidence, the answer seems to be a resounding "No."

Gideon Kumwenda :

Africa has an abundance of natural resources we however,have a shortage of skilled lobour,capital,technology and fare markets.China brings into Africa what it needs.What do you Inteligent people think?China is doing business i just hope that African leaders/politicians are signing these deals with Africans future
at heart.

Anand :

Beijing has pressed history to promote its economic agenda, attempting to win African sympathy by emphasizing the common history of exploitation China and African nations have suffered at the hands of Western colonialists. This is a common theme in the pages of African newspapers, where commentators argue that Western investors exploit Africa, while Chinese companies tend to invest in businesses that are beneficial.

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=5106

Robert Rose :

As Paul Valery wrote, at the beginning of the XXth century: "The time of the finite world begins!"

It is arguable our motto should now be: "Time to share the world"... China and India are already lending a helping hand.

Sean in Greenwich :

Finally a glimmer of reality sneaks into Mr. Ignatius's thinking on Iraq. In truth, however, Mr. Ignatius is still basing his forecast on wishful thinking. It is not at all farfetched to assume that the American withdrawal from Iraq will more closely resemble Britain's horrific scamper from Afghanistan in 1842 than the minor harried finish to America's chapter in Vietnam. In other words, it is possible that we Americans will have to fight our way out of Baghdad through 300 miles of hostile territory as did the British as they desperately attempted to escape repeated attacks from Afghan fighters as they headed for the Kyber Pass. Baghdad is already mired in escalating and increasingly brutal battle, with scores dieing within earshot of the Green Zone. The road to the airport has always been extremely dangerous, forcing most dignitaries to helicopter to the Green Zone rather than travel by vehicle. Now that the Iraqi insurgents have figured out how to take down American helicopters, there is no safe means of travel from the center of Iraq to anywhere else.

When we finally announce our intention to withdraw, probably due to a broken military with supplies and munitions dwindling dangerously, all hell will break loose around us. And who will protect the hundred thousand contracters, the thousands of civilian bureaucrats and the hundred and fifty thousand troops as they head for the relative safety of Kuwait down a narrow highway?

It's not defeat that we should fear; it's abject humiliation as Americans flee for the border.

D. Hodara - Monte-Carlo :

Countries who violate human rights will find it difficult to criticize another country who ignores those rights. Darfur has been on ghe UN agenda for the last two years, but nothing has really changed. Politics and economic interests are more important than morality. In fact, many countries with democratic systems could also be criticized, and their need to work with the new wonder country 'CHINA', will, in my opinion, not react excessively. When Africa was decolonized, it was 're-colonized' in different ways. So we shall not see much change in today world.

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.