02 March 2008

china's influence in africa

the romance of china and africa is suddenly the talk of all media. every site i read, has some story regarding china's increasing influence in the continent. this is possibly because i have been reading far more on africa than i usually would due to my international news class, as well as the fact that the beijing olympics has everyone ready to blackmail china for everything, the most obvious being steven spielberg's recent resignation. i was quite amused by that whole episode, as well as the various blog posts it generated. my favorite by far was this one by zhongnanhai.

today, i came across a bbc story on how china is responsible for africa's eroding press freedom, according to a report by reporters without borders. the story was not able to prove the claim in anyway; i don't know if the actual report does any better. you can read some african reactions to this here, all of which, needless to say, were quite scathing of the claim.

i haven't researched chinese reactions yet, but i wouldn't be surprised if they were just as harsh. i make no denial of china's atrocious human rights record, but i have to say that it is arrogance of the highest order, to claim that china is somehow responsible for all of africa's ills. especially when you fail to take into account all the players involved.

No comments: