China and Africa

A paid article, full page, published in Estadão today as “ADVERTISING REPORT”, on relations between the PRC and Africa draws attention: primarily for being paid, which suggests that behind it is the hand of Chinese official bodies, and then because it deals with a theme that for most Brazilians is far from our reality…

What the story says? According to the(s) Author(it is), “despite the geographical distance, the Chinese and Africans enjoy a friendship that has been going through the provocations of time”(sic)… is that “In September, the red carpet will be rolled out to welcome the African leaders who will attend the Beijing Summit 2018 of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC)” (also sic). The terms of the text imply, for me, that this is a version, maybe in several languages, published in different countries, at the behest of Beijing. That is, propaganda about his relationship with the African continent in the context of the FOCAC meeting.

The article also states that “regardless of changes in the international order, China will continue to maintain the policy of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and will defend justice and shared interests to continually support Africa to achieve prosperity”, palavras de Xi Jinping. Further up, “China is Africa's largest trading partner since 2009. Guangzhou is the biggest proof of that. Many Africans call the city in southern China “House”…”. And the text continues to highlight the “wonders” of the relationship between the continent and the People's Republic.

Why a paid article on this topic in a Brazilian newspaper?There you have it…

I think we can see the reasons: the People's Republic of Xi Jinping has been playing a leading role on the international stage unthinkable for twenty years, when I served at our Embassy in Beijing. A “modesty” then was replaced by an assertiveness “to all”. This concerns not only its regional neighbors, but also to the West.

Given this “dating”, the West already rolls up its sleeves: the matter of “Financial Times” below reacts -“Xi Jinping’s pledge of $60bn in new loans to Africa has triggered a wave of grumbling in China, the latest sign of popular hostility to the president’s international ambitions and to the tightening of political controls at home”… and later: “…the president’s largesse prompted rare criticism among Chinese on social media over why their government was not spending the money on them, with one blogger suggesting that $60bn could fund China’s cash-strapped ministry of education for three years”…

It will be??? Does the “good guy” is already becoming “villain”? Does this degree of awareness in Chinese society already exist about the effects “nefarious” of Xi's international resourcefulness? Does the dough, notoriously satisfied with an affluence that never had, already reached such a degree of politicization?…..Or is it that the West is not feeling increasingly threatened by the role of the Chinese president on the international scene and seeks to engender post-truths and “fake news”?…

In the background, at the bottom, what is the synopsis of this operetta? It seems clear to me: Africa, with its abundant natural resources, immense cultivable territories, cheap labor and growing consumer market is already, since some time, one of the pillars of Chinese foreign policy. They are everywhere, over there. E, for Africans, the same mistrust does not exist with regard to the PRC and, mainly, the same grudges that endure towards the old colonizers: that is, There is not (still…) a relationship “love Hate” that contaminates the relationship. And there are, per hour, the $$$$$$$, mutually interesting (at least for African elites).

It is in this way that China gains international territories by leaps and bounds, bother (what is known about American policy towards Africa???…) and incorporates yet another factory to the “New Silk Road”.

I suggest to friends to read the article “Financial Times “:


China pledge of $60bn loans to Africa sparks anger at home

https://www.ft.com/content/fb7436d6-b006-11e8-8d14-6f049d06439c

+ posts

Doctor of Public International Law in Paris. He entered the diplomatic career in 1976, served in Brussels embassies, Buenos Aires, New Delhi, Washington, Beijing, Tokyo, Islamabade (where he was Ambassador of Brazil, in 2004). He also completed transitional missions in Vietnam and Taiwan. Lived 15 years in Asia, where he guided his career, considering that the continent would be the most important of the century 21 - forecast that, now, sees closer and closer to reality.