The China’s impact on Africa
China’s impact on Africa
Six Centuries ago…Six centuries ago from 1405 to 1433, a mighty armada of Chinese ships crossed the China Sea, thensuccessfully ventured west to Ceylon, Arabia, and finally reached the horn of Africa: Somalia
. The fleetcommanded by the eunuch admiral Zheng He, consisted of giant nine-masted junks, escorted by dozensof supply ships, water tankers, transports for cavalry horses, and patrol boats. The armada's crewtotaled more than 27,000 sailors and soldiers. The largest of the junks were said to be over 400 feet longand 150 feet wide. Had the Chinese emperors continued their huge investments in the treasure fleets,there is little reason why they, rather than the French, British, and other European countries, should nothave colonized Africa. Yet less than a century later, all overseas trade was banned, and it became acapital offense to set sail from China in a multi-masted ship.
Yet 600 hundred years later some in the west are considering that the renewed interest by Chinatowards Africa and the very large influence and links it commands with the continent pave the way for anew form of colonization of Africa. Some
even go as far as remembering the utterly offensivecomments, by today’s standards, written by Sir Francis Galton, distinguished explorer and cousin of Charles Darwin, on June 5 1873 “My proposal is to make the encouragement of Chinese settlements of Africa a part of our national policy… I should expect that the African seaboard … might in a few years betenanted by industrious, order-loving Chinese, living either as a semidetached dependency of China, orelse in perfect freedom under their own law”. Numerous publication point out to the 750,000 Chineseliving and working in Africa, in countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, Sudan, Algeria, Congo,Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, Gabon, Guinea, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Egypt and Chad
.Now as a French born which grandparents were working the land of North Africa during the Frenchcolonization era, I am very sensitive to the world “colonization” and I am also acutely aware that thecolonizer rarely actually believe they are the colonizer on the contrary (just like my grandparents andeven parents had trouble to admit it), usually the colonizer like France or my grandparents alwaysbelieve they are actually helping the colonized to develop and are merely enlightening the colonized forhis own good. So I will, in this report analyze the ways in which the interest of China towards Africa arematerializing thru a multiple prong approach: extraction, construction, telecommunications and
When China Ruled the Seas.
By Louise Levathes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994
Daily Mail How China's taking over Africa, and why the West should be VERY worried
“China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing’s Expansion in Africa” , Serge Michel and Michel Beuret