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Old 04-24-2010, 08:43 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Default China's future history in Africa

I ran across an article in The Atlantic about the development stuff China is doing in Africa both now and back in the 20th century. With a lot of ambiguity about if it will be done right this time, or if it is just European exploitation all over again in a tonal language this time.

The Next Empire

All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built,ports deepened, commercial contracts signed—all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities seems insatiable. Do China’s grand designs promise the transformation,at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation? The author travels deep into the heart of Africa, searching for answers.

Of course, geek that I am, my first thoughts were to cross check how this fits or doesn't fit with the back-story of Transhuman Space.

Might be a source for ideas for old gratitude or grievances.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: China's future history in Africa

I read the same article. I'd bet the Chinese will make huge misteps for cultural reasons. Mainly, the Europeans, even at their most brutal and racist, had cultural beliefs about the value of understanding other cultures. The Chinese are fairly consistant about not seeing other cultures as either fully real or very important.

So I'll bet on the Chinese leaving a very bad taste in Africa's collective mouth. Less because of what they'll do, than how they do it.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: China's future history in Africa

The Chinese don't have to show much cultural sensitivity to look good next to Western structural adjustment policies. That's not to say future Africans won't look back at both the West and the Chinese with hatred and contempt, but I don't see much evidence that an understanding of the value of other cultures has noticeably influenced recent policy wrt Africa, and I don't think the Africans do either. If the Chinese have a part in Africa becoming anything other than an island of abject misery in a sea of transhuman glory, the locals might be able to overlook a lot of Chinese insensitivity.
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africa, china, trains

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