Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chinese Neo-Imperialism in Africa

After King Leopold's Belgium exploitation of the Congo. The Chinese are rapidly replacing the Europeans overexploitation of African land, labor, and natural resources.

The Financial Times writes: The Beijing Consensus: How China’s Authoritarian Model will Dominate the Twenty-First Century, by Stefan Halper, Basic Books £16.99, 312 pages

On his first visit to China late last year, Barack Obama stuck closely to the script mapped out by his predecessors George W Bush and Bill Clinton. He asserted that America welcomed China’s growing wealth and power. Relations between the US and China were not, he insisted, a “zero-sum game”. America was comfortable with a rising China.

Stefan Halper, a senior research fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge and a former official in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations, is having none of it. He believes that the coming decades will see an increasingly overt competition between the two nations. China, he asserts, “poses the most serious challenge to the United States since the half-century cold war struggle with the Soviets”. What is more, Halper is not particularly optimistic about America’s chances in this new struggle. His book is subtitled “How China’s Authoritarian Model will Dominate the Twenty-First Century”.

Halper says he has been on a voyage of intellectual discovery. His initial intention was to “produce a book on the rise of the new consumer class [in China] and how the process was eating away at the power of the ruling party”. The notion that capitalism will eventually bring democracy to China has been a crucial part of the west’s approach to the country, ever since the opening of the Chinese economy in 1978. The collapse of communism in eastern Europe in 1989 strengthened the mainstream American belief in the onward march of economic and political liberalism, otherwise known as the “end of history”. (source: The UK Financial Times)

Watch the youtube video below as Serge Michel and Michel Beuret, tell the dramatic -- and largely unknown-- story of the rise of China's economic empire in Africa and how it stands to transform geopolitics.

Over the course of nearly two years, Michel and Beuret traveled thousands of miles between China and Africa to report the story of this collaboration. Supplemented by the work of award-winning photojournalist Paolo Woods, China Safari establishes why the world is coming to realize Africa's potential and what role China is playing in the transformation.

Authors@Google: Serge Michel & Paolo Woods

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