4.08.2012

China's Foray into the Caribbean

N/N (Narrator's Note) - First off, thanks to all our loyal readers, old and new.

Secondly, big ups to our Narrators (old and new, past and current) for contributing to a Blasian space unlike any other.

These past few weeks, we've had our fun, but let's get back to the classroom, shall we?

By way of former Narrator Bcbgrl33 comes the following article from MSNBC.

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"US alert as China's cash buys inroads in Caribbean"

A brand new $35 million stadium opened here in the Bahamas a few weeks ago, a gift from the Chinese government.

The tiny island nation of Dominica has received a grammar school, a renovated hospital and a sports stadium, also courtesy of the Chinese. Antigua and Barbuda got a power plant and a cricket stadium, and a new school is on its way. The prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago can thank Chinese contractors for the craftsmanship in her official residence.

China’s economic might has rolled up to America’s doorstep in the Caribbean, with a flurry of loans from state banks, investments by companies and outright gifts from the government in the form of new stadiums, roads, official buildings, ports and resorts in a region where the United States has long been a prime benefactor.

The Chinese have flexed their economic prowess in nearly every corner of the world. But planting a flag so close to the United States has generated intense vetting — and some raised eyebrows — among diplomats, economists and investors.

“When you’ve got a new player in the hemisphere all of a sudden, it’s obviously something talked about at the highest level of governments,” said Kevin P. Gallagher, a Boston University professor who is an author of a recent report on Chinese financing, “The New Banks in Town.”

Most analysts do not see a security threat, noting that the Chinese are not building bases or forging any military ties that could invoke fears of another Cuban missile crisis. But they do see an emerging superpower securing economic inroads and political support from a bloc of developing countries with anemic budgets that once counted almost exclusively on the United States, Canada and Europe.

China announced late last year that it would lend $6.3 billion to Caribbean governments, adding considerably to the hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, grants and other forms of economic assistance it has already channeled there in the past decade.

Unlike in Africa, South America and other parts of the world where China’s forays are largely driven by a search for commodities, its presence in the Caribbean derives mainly from long-term economic ventures, like tourism and loans, and potential new allies that are inexpensive to win over, analysts say.

'Strategic move'

American diplomatic cables released through WikiLeaks and published in the British newspaper The Guardian quoted diplomats as being increasingly worried about the Chinese presence here “less than 190 miles from the United States” and speculating on its purpose. One theory, according to a 2003 cable, suggested that China was lining up allies as “a strategic move” for the eventual end of the Castro era in Cuba, with which it has strong relations.

But the public line today is to be untroubled.

“I am not particularly worried, but it is something the U.S. should continue to monitor,” said Dennis C. Shea, the chairman of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a bipartisan Congressional panel. But, he added, “With China you have to be wary of possible policy goals behind the effort.”

This archipelago, less than a one-hour flight from Florida, has gotten particular attention from the Chinese. Aside from the new stadium, with its “China Aid” plaque affixed prominently at the entrance, Chinese workers here in the Bahamas are busy helping build the $3.5 billion Baha Mar, one of the region’s largest megaresorts.

Beyond that, a Chinese state bank agreed in recent weeks to put up $41 million for a new port and bridge, and a new, large Chinese Embassy is being built downtown.

The new stadium here, Bahamian officials said, was in part a reward for breaking ties with Taiwan in 1997 and establishing and keeping relations with China.

It is one of several sporting arenas that China has sprinkled in Caribbean and Central American nations as gratitude for their recognition of “one China” — in other words, for their refusal to recognize Taiwan, which Chinese officials consider part of their country.

“They offered a substantial gift and we opted for a national stadium,” said Charles Maynard, the Bahamian sports minister, adding that his government could never have afforded to build it on its own.

Tug of war

In this enduring tug of war with Taiwan, others have switched, too, with a little financial encouragement. Grenada ended relations with Taiwan in 2004, and it is now in talks with China about getting a new national track and field stadium. The parting has not been entirely amicable; Taiwan and Grenada are now locked in a financial dispute over loans that Grenada received to finance the construction of its airport.

Determined not to be sidelined, Taiwan is seeking to solidify its existing relationships with countries like Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia — which in 2007 broke relations with China in favor of Taiwan — with a bevy of projects, many of them agricultural, including an agreement signed with Belize in recent weeks to develop the fish farming industry there.

Still, Taiwanese diplomats in the region conceded that they could never keep up with China’s largess but continued to make strategic investments in the Caribbean.

There are some commodities in the region that China wants. In August, a Chinese company, Complant, bought the last three government sugar estates in Jamaica and leased cane fields, for a total investment of $166 million. Last year, Jamaica for the first time shipped its famed Blue Mountain Coffee to China.

The Jamaican government has also received several hundred million dollars in loans from China, including $400 million announced in 2010 over five years to rebuild roads and other infrastructure.

“In order to be prosperous you need to build roads first,” said Adam Wu, an executive with China Business Network, a consulting group for Chinese businesses that has been making the case for China in several Caribbean countries.

Several analysts in the Caribbean say they believe that China eventually will emerge as a political force in the region, with so many countries indebted to it, at a time when the United States is perceived as preoccupied with the Middle East and paying little attention to the region.

“They are buying loyalty and taking up the vacuum left by the United States, Canada and other countries, particularly in infrastructure improvements,” said Sir Ronald Sanders, a former diplomat from Antigua and Barbuda.

“If China continues to invest the way it is doing in the Caribbean, the U.S. is almost making itself irrelevant to the region,” he added. “You don’t leave your flank exposed.”

In some places, Chinese contractors or workers have stayed on, beginning to build communities and businesses. So many have opened in Roseau, Dominica, that local merchants have complained about being squeezed out.

Trinidad and Tobago has had waves of Chinese immigration over the past century, but locals are now seeing more Chinese restaurants and shops, as well as other signs of a new immigrant generation.

“I am second-generation Trinidadian-Chinese, and like most of us of this era, we have integrated very well in society, having friends, girlfriends, spouses and kids with people of other ethnicities,” said Robert Johnson-Attin, 36, a mechanical engineer now with his own successful business. “It’ll only be a matter of time before it happens with the Chinese coming in now.”

'It's only the start'

Here in the Bahamas, Tan Jian, the economic counselor at the Chinese Embassy, said he that believed “it’s only the start” of the Chinese presence across the Caribbean, casting it as one developing country using its growing economic power to help other developing ones.

The Bahamian government, he said, “cannot afford to build huge projects by itself.”

While the Chinese built the stadium, the Bahamas is responsible for utility hookups and the roads and landscaping outside it.

The $35 million gift “is costing us $50 million,” said Mr. Maynard, the sports minister. “But at the end of the day it will pay for itself” by putting the Bahamas in position to host major sporting events and reap the tourism revenue that comes with that.

For Baha Mar, the Chinese Export-Import Bank is financing $2.6 billion, nearly three-quarters of the cost, and China’s state construction company is a partner.

The Bahamas agreed to allow up to 8,000 foreign workers, most of them Chinese, to work on the project in stages, but it also required employment for 4,000 Bahamians, dampening concerns that Chinese workers were taking jobs. American companies will also take part in building and running it.

Mr. Jian played down any economic competition with the United States, whose tourists, he asserted, stood to benefit from China’s presence in the Caribbean. The Chinese workers here live in barracks behind the project fences, largely shielded from public view.

“We hardly know they are here,” said James Duffy, watching a track practice next to the stadium one recent afternoon, adding with a chuckle: “Except for the big things they build.”

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Thoughts?

48 comments:

  1. This is interesting... They live in barracks? This all feels strange to me. I can't quite put my finger on it. I have to let this marinate.

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    1. You noticed that too? What was that all about? What's he trying to say? And wtf was up with this:

      “We hardly know they are here,” said James Duffy, watching a track practice next to the stadium one recent afternoon, adding with a chuckle: “Except for the big things they build.”

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    2. The barracks part is peculiar. They can't live in a normal residence? But I guess the Chinese Exclusion Act that the U.S. had way back may be the reason why they are being cautious. Probably don't want people thinking they are overrunning the place but since they are helping by investing into those different countries I wouldn't see why their known presence would cause caution. It all does seem strange.

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    3. What I don't get is the implication that's somehow "good" they're shielded from the public view. Why shouldn't people know they're there?

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    4. That's because nothing is free. The Chinese have an agenda and frankly I don't like it.

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    5. Speaking as a Bahamian, even before the Building Projects started, there was uproar because of the large volume of people that was being suggested to do most of the work. I think the Bahamar job was initially supposed to import 12,000 migrant workers, but public opinion caused the government to heavily negotiate to reduce the number. Our country is so small, (300-350 thousand total population) so people are wary of any large number of immigrants, even though there were promises made that every one of them would return upon completion of their jobs. I'm not the best person to go into detail as I'd hate to leave you guys without facts to back it up, but illegal immigration is a fairly major political issue, and something as seemingly benign as this can result in a huge landslide loss for the governing party, as our elections are to be held this year.
      It's also contentious because of the large number of unemployed in our country, so there are many that are miffed to see jobs going to non-Bahamians, especially when it comes to those that are more educated in specialized fields.
      I do find it weird that their housing doesn't seem to be that well taken care of. I live in the neighborhood of the National Stadium (probably one of the unsavoriest on the island) and I would've thought the Government would've recommend they be housed elsewhere, but you would frequently see the workers going about their daily lives. If you don't live in the neighborhoods near the construction sites, it would be unlikely that you would see any of the workers.
      The article didn't mention a third ongoing project, the reconstruction of the airport road which has another group of migrant workers involved with that.

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  2. I don't trust China. I think they are targeting these black countries for a reason. They need to be very careful about the "gifts" they take from them. They may not be able to pay it back. And you know what will happen next.

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    1. Of course they(China) have an agenda. And so does the Caribbean and Africa. But I think you underestimate the people of these countries. I'm sure those same thoughts crossed their minds as well. They are not just passively standing by and letting China do whatever they want. They are active participants in these ventures and set regulations that China has uphold.

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    2. Of course they(China) have an agenda. And so does the Caribbean and Africa. But I think you underestimate the people of these countries. I'm sure those same thoughts crossed their minds as well. They are not just passively standing by and letting China do whatever they want. They are active participants in these ventures and set regulations that China has uphold.

      Pretty much. Folks tend to forget that after slavery and colonialism, Africans worldwide are pretty much on high alert and set pretty firm guidelines with countries like China. African politicians are quoted as constantly reminding the Chinese that they are there to build and invest, not colonize. The West's constant scrutiny and criticism also puts pressure on China.

      So anyone who thinks that our peoples are just rolling over and getting invaded all over again is being naive. For heavens' sake, Gabon deports white people simply for making racist remarks.

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  3. anonymous J

    China is playing the game in the some of the same ways that other super powers have played the game. It does seem that China is doing more in terms of building, improving infra structure. In the past it was loans from western nations, and western interest went along with it. So now it is China, and you can bet their interest is part of the plan.

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  4. It is of no consequence that the men live in barracks . Barracks are meant to be temporary living quarters until the project has been completed (think a rustic version of a dorm). In fact, the guest workers who come from Jamaica, Puerto Rico & other Caribbean countries to help on the fruit and tobacco farms in Connecticut every summer live in barracks.

    What is strange, though, is James Duffy's comment that "We hardly know they're here," as if these men should be hidden for some reason.

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    1. What is strange, though, is James Duffy's comment that "We hardly know they're here," as if these men should be hidden for some reason.

      Which is exactly what raised my eyebrow.

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    2. What is strange, though, is James Duffy's comment that "We hardly know they're here," as if these men should be hidden for some reason.

      He means that aren't causing problems not that they should be hidden. The Chinese are not there or in Africa out of the goodness of their heart btw. They are no different than America/Europe. But I suppose they are the lesser of the two evils.

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    3. "What is strange, though, is James Duffy's comment that "We hardly know they're here," as if these men should be hidden for some reason."

      Exactly. I'm sorry, but that's a strange thing to say about a group of people.It just feels "off" to me. My spidey-senses are tingling...

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    4. I took it to mean that the Chinese workers tended to keep to themselves. That's been my observation out here, too. Especially for the newly-arrived ones, it's rare to see them interacting with locals unless it's related to their jobs. Same with the building project I mentioned in my comment below - if our guide didn't say that the workers were Chinese, I wouldn't have known. They were hardly ever spotted outside of the site's zinc walls. O_O

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    5. I guess it depends on how long they've been there. I guess it takes time for people to get settled perhaps that's why their in the barracks. Sometimes people do keep to themselves, especially if they are living someplace new and haven't had time to adjust.

      Here is some of a documentary called "Island Livity: The Chinese Experience in Jamaica" It was directed by Cheickna Fofana->

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmm1U-EbEkg

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  5. My dad went to Haiti recently and found A LOT of chinese there. Many opened restaurants. Have any of you seen the movie Shaolin? It reminds me of this. If you have netflix check it out its on there. But anyways I don't think they should be hidden away like that. They aren't in Hait, so I don't see a reason for them to be in the other areas. They helpped build a new statium in Haiti in 3 MONTHS!!!! It looks nice, we got a new hospital, university, and airport too! :o! so Idk if I should be complaining.

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  6. China is worse than Europe when it comes to this.
    Ask the Africans that live there. I have nothing against Chinese and I'm open to their culture and people. But they're worse when it comes to solidarity regarding business. Highlight the word ''business'', I'm commenting purely and exclusively on the business relations with Chinese and nothing else. After 2 years in the Carribeans the carribeans will notice it. The Chinese for instance dont hire blacks in their business and have been known to sabotage local businesses. Alot of the things they have built have collapsed aswell. NO to China. The Carribeans should INVEST in their own people so their OWN people can build the buildings.

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    1. When I said ''Ask the Africans that live there'' I ment the Africans in Africa regarding the Chinese presence there. Business wise (not personal) the Africa and Carribean relations with China is set for failure. Ask African locals. Not commenting on Asians or Chinese personally, but business wise if the Chinese government couldnt give a hoot about their own people within their own borders, what makes you think they're hoping for a ''positive and healthy'' relationship with Africa? LOL. Chinese do this for China only. I'd rather have Europeans there. If Africans leader used the aid properly it would have been effective, so the lack of effectiveness of the European aid is African leaders fault (this is coming from a Nigerian!)

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    2. Name, please. Otherwise I will have to delete.

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    3. I totally agree black people never invest in themselves and protect what is ours! We rely to much on orther people who don't have our intrest in mind. And the reason they stay in the barracks is because they they don't want to mix wirh the locals. Don't ger it twisted.

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  7. I didnt notice I wasnt using a screenname.
    Blogspot is different from other blog services, because there's no fill out form for to insert your name when you click on the comment section ^^. So I didnt take notice that I had to click on ''comment as'' for the fill in form to pop up.

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  8. Naija girl ... POST TIPApril 9, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    The hidden secret of Blasians in Kattanga, Congo :
    http://youtu.be/_Vgn0rY4w0I

    Information :
    In the 1970s, several Japanese men (possibly more than a thousand) lived in the region of Katanga in DRC working at the mines.
    These men were…well, just men. So, far away from home, a lot of those single men found themselves beautiful partners among the congolese women and mixed couples were formed. Obviously, women got pregnant and biracial babies were soon born.
    However, even though they gave birth to healthy babies, most of the women saw their semi-japanese offspring ending up mysteriously dead. The women, and others, believe that Japanese doctors, with the consent of the miners, were responsible for killing these babies because the constitution of their country was against any blood mix. Not only they did not want to return to Japan with them but they did not want to leave any trail either.
    Some of those Blasian children survived only cause given birth in the “bush” hidden from any japanese doctors by grandparents fearing for their lives.
    These surviving children, now grown up have formed a organisation and are seeking closure. Apparently there are 50 children who survived but there are no details on the number of children that died.

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  9. As a Jamaican, I've been seeing a lot of Chinese investment in the island since my first stint at college (2001). During my orientation, our guide pointed to a semi-finished building that was being constructed using Chinese labour. Said workers were on the job around the clock, day and night (I'm sure they had shifts), and construction was finished within no time. O_O

    Right now, the Chinese Exim Bank is also funding a shoreline restoration project, and an extensive road rehabilitation deal. In both, there have been strikes by Jamaican workers against the alleged treatment by the Chinese managers as well as issues with pay (trust me, do not mess with a Jamaican and their due wages), but Government officials have been swift to work things out - a lot faster than with their own civil servants, but I digress. I suspect that their quick tending to the workers' anger has more to do with staying in China's good graces than anything else, but I'm a cynic by nature.

    So, regarding China's growing relations with the Caribbean and Jamaica in particular, I'm neutral. I'm not doom-and-gloom, and I'm not whipping out the confetti; I'm more 'watch and see'. Cuz I know China isn't doing all this out of kindness, much as the U.S./Canadian supports came with strings attached. I'm just wondering what Jamaica's share of the bargain is/will be regarding China.

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  10. I talked to my dad some more. He says America isn't really doing anything down there so he isn't surprised another country is taking over. I sort of agree with what has been said. I know it's sort of different in Haiti because the locals see Chinese all the time. Many even immigrated to Haiti. I remember taking my cousin to a Chinese restaurant when she came to America for the first time to visit, I asked her if it was her first time seeing a Chinese person and she was like NO I SEE THEM ALL THE TIME BACK HOME! I was like Oh dang, well excuse me! Haitians don't play, in my opinion, we worse than the Chinese when it comes to businesses! We swindle and run YOU out of business rofl, so I don't think Haiti is taking much crap from China. Shoot we were the first country to become independent! So far I have been watching Haitian news with Haiti direct box and we are okay for now. Now Cuba is out to help us build something new xD. China is old news now. I'm just going to wait and see. China gotta be careful with Haiti.. We don't play... I still love my Chinese folk :). Much love <3!

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  11. By the way, for all the folks who think it's cool to come onto a Blasian site and utter borderline anti-Asian sentiments...watch that.

    The point of a discussion to DISCUSS, not simply say, "I don't like/trust x,y, or z" and then not share educational links and the like.

    Back your statements up. We are not white people. We're not here to simply utter intuitive opinions and then just leave it at that. We're back in the classroom now.

    Many folks want to paint the Chinese as neocolonialists. Fine - support that accusation with more than opinion and gut feelings, because it's a very serious one to make.

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    1. There shouldn't be I don't like/trust x,y or z. It should be based off of stuff you actually know and support. I don't talk about things I don't know. I know China and Haiti aren't having any problems. I know they are with locals and not hidden and I know many immigrated. So far they are alright in our books. There's no race riots or anything. We cool. Like I said we don't play I remember after the earthquake we got expired food supplies we didn't eat it because we'd rather starve then die from dysentery. When it comes to business we sometimes swindle I know because my dad used to be a international merchant and he saw what other companies did. So far from what I see on Haiti direct all we did was exchange money. We pay them back money when we get better. I don't know how other islands do it but sweet mickey is knows what he is doing. PS: China helped fund the university along with cuba and other countries. So its not only china doing this.

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    2. @ Kesia

      Exactly. When white Westerners flinch at Sino-African relations, it's easy to understand; they're losing out.

      But people - Black Americans in particular - are flinching without really being sure why they're flinching. It's like they're saying Black people worldwide are too dumb to handle business with outsiders.

      My sister came back from Cameroon last year amazed by the growth and progress. She described the Chinese presence there as quite positive because they blend in. They're learning our dialects, marrying our women, and living pretty much like Africans: eating the same food, and working in the same jobs in the same places. What they build is built to last, unlike what the French & British built. And keep in mind, Africa is home to 1 billion Africans. There's only about a million Chinese nationals actually in Africa, because contrary to popular (Western), African gov'ts are keeping stricter tabs this time around.

      We don't want to be colonized again. And China has to branch out in order to survive; it has a major shortage of women and a vast population to support.

      Quid...pro...quo.

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  12. I just think black people all over the world, especially in the United States, just need to get it together. No offense to anyone else. We need to stand strong as a nation because, WE rely to heavily on other people to do the things for us that we should be doing for ourselves. And being dependent on other people for your life's bread is never a good position to be in. We are made vulnerable because we can never stand on our own.

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    1. Who is "we"? Black people aren't a nation; we're found in many nations, and in the case of Africa, we're nations made up of nations.

      For example, if I were from a country like Ghana, I would be extremely offended by what you said. Ghana is politically stable, economically well run, and has been giving away free land to Black Americans in reparations for slavery. Thousands of Black Americans have moved to Ghana, opening businesses and building homes. That's a country with its game together.

      Botswana is another. They didn't discover their diamond mines until after the colonialists left.

      South Africa is another. It hosted the World Cup in 2010, reaping great revenue from that event.

      Nigeria is another. It has one of the fastest growing economies on earth, if not currently the fastest.

      Gabon is another. I mentioned how Gabon deports white people for racism - that's not the move of some weakling country, especially currently rich in oil.

      Kenya is another. My roommate is Kenyan; her mother is a self-made millionaire with only a 7th grade education. She grew up dirt poor and yet still built an empire. The woman doesn't even know where the plates are in her house or how much a quart of milk costs or how to drive - she has people for all that.

      Black people in America aren't as weak as folks like to think. We make up 13% of the population but will have a buying power of over a trillion by next year. The most educated group of people in America are Black Africans immigrants. And we already know how well Black women are doing in school and in the workplace.

      The problem is not when other people underestimate us - that's fine. Underestimation works to our advantage - when other people do it. The problem is when we underestimate ourselves and don't realize our own power.

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    2. "The woman doesn't even know where the plates are in her house or how much a quart of milk costs or how to drive - she has people for all that."

      Those are not things to be proud of.

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    3. Not saying they are, just saying that level can be reached.

      By the by, this woman conducts a lot of business in China.

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  13. Thank you for this information. I didn't know about all these things going on in Africa! You never hear anything but dispair coming out of Africa. I am going to researh more about this. Thanks again!

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  14. I'm not an authority on this subject so I can't offer much to the discussion. I just want to add that my Liberian co-worker is happy with the Chinese presence in his country. And that most of his countrymen are as well. I think most understand that China puts China's interests first but can't deny the devastation that Europe/America has caused Africa, along with a corrupt African leaders. From my understanding from my co-working aid for Africa is not what they needed but rather fair trade. Which is China is willing to do with Africa is play fair. I really don't know. I can just only go by what my coworker told me. He is African so he would know and he is in politics in Liberia. Of course America is going to make China out to be the enemy of Africa because China is forcing them out the game. The way my coworker puts it: China> America/Europe.

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    1. From my understanding from my co-working aid for Africa is not what they needed but rather fair trade. Which is China is willing to do with Africa is play fair.

      Your coworker nailed it.

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  15. This is an important topic. I don't understand why blacks are not discussing this. China is the leader of the world now and the US is slowing falling down the ranks. This effects black Americans a great deal. I've already decided earlier this year I am learning Mandarin. I think black Americans should position ourselves to work with China and invest in Africa. Why not? I know Africans are very capable people and they've always been hard-workers, especially given that they've had people conspiring against them . The western media just always showed the the destitute part of Africa and never the upwardly mobile Africa and Africans. I think black people should be talking about this. What do y'all think?

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    1. I think you took the words right out of my mouth.

      Black Americans are not talking about it because they've been indoctrinated to see the rest of the world through a white lens. So if - make that when - China moves into the top economic slot and continues investing (peacefully) in many developing countries (especially Black & Brown ones), Black Americans see trouble instead of opportunity. They automatically believe that what's bad for whites is automatically bad for them.

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    2. I agree. It's time to get with the times and the western world is not going to be at the center of power for long.

      AC

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    3. Indeed. Learning Mandarin is an excellent idea right now, particularly for the business-minded.

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    4. Co-sign from what Kitty said on down...

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  16. Another important article:

    "What will the US do when it's number two?", by Black Agenda Report

    How will the United States react when China becomes the number one economy in the world? It’s a very serious question, because the U.S. is a very dangerous country, that still operates on the assumption that it has a Manifest Destiny to dominate the world. When the reigning superpower confronts its economic second fiddle status in 2016, it could throw quite a troublesome tantrum. In fact, the pace of Washington’s aggressions in the world seems to be mounting as it approaches inevitable eclipse by Beijing in economic output, as measured by the purchasing power parity standard.

    Business Week magazine pondered America’s decline relative to China back in October of last year, noting that China’s economy had been the world’s largest for hundreds of years, until it was overtaken by the U.S. in 1890. But, back then, despite China’s huge internal economic activity, the country was straitjacketed by Euro-American imperialism, unable to project power even within its own borders.

    Economist Dean Baker took a look at the U.S. as number two, last week, and reported that, by some measurements, China’s economy is already 20 percent larger than the U.S. However, Baker doesn’t anticipate any huge disruptions in the life of the planet due to America’s pending loss of the top economic slot. He is mistaken. Baker does point out that “the growing power of China has already increased the options available to many countries in the developing world.” And that brings us closer to the heart of the growing crisis for the United States. It is a crisis, not of an ordinary nation state that happens to be an economic giant, but of a global system: imperialism, dominated by finance capital that is in the grips of a convulsive and, I believe, terminal stage of decay.

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    1. You mean we ain't #2 already? Shit, I thought we been left the top spot. We owe China so much money that shit ain't even funny. And if we are #2, we ain't gonna stay there for long either.

      I heard on msnbc today that since 9/11, we've invested in terrorism while other countries have invested in infrastructure, and we've got a LOT of catching up to do.

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    2. Oh, yeah. Other countries are doing dumb stuff like building up their cities, promoting education and affordable health care, while America is doing absolutely brilliant stuff like flushing money down the toilet, clinging to the Second Amendment and "Stand Your Ground Laws", all the while repeatedly electing exceptional politicians like Marion Barry.

      Of course we're #2. However, because denial is the first stage of the process, it's okay to say we're at #1 as well (at least in that dept.).

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    3. Well, I predict this attitude is going to take some time, perhaps decades even. Remember the British still have the "sun never sets" attitude though their colonial spoils around the world are long gone.

      AC

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  17. I plan to attend college next year. But I can't decide upon a major. I know I want to work in Africa or Asia, especially Asia. And learning more about China's involvement in Africa from my co-worker, I am becoming interested in helping. I was think about an engineering major. There aren't many women, particularly black women in this field so it is very intimidating. Any suggestions?

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    1. I recommend talking to former Narrator Bcbgrl33 (engineering major who studied in S. Korea), our own Hateya, or former Narrator DN (latter two still living in Asia).

      Sorry for taking so long to suggest these folks.

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  18. im gravely upset. i dont know why but the second i read it, i thought war. usually, when i am unsure i feel nothing so i would skip this, but i feel greatly uneasy about this and pray for my people ( i am from the caribbean). as much as i am fasinated by asian men, something about this doesnt sound legit.

    sorry for posting months later. i am only just reading this. i hope i am wrong about this. i mean, why give all that money, right? they could do a lot more with that in china but why the catibbeans? maybe they want to explore the natural ressources. either way, be it war, be it the capitulation of our islands to them, i dont like it one bloody bit!

    ebony cudjoe

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