icrossculture

China's "Angolan Model"

Eric Liang
Specially Invited Commentator

China's "Angolan Model"

Longing for a better life is a human dream, and Africans are no exception. The author believes that Africans also have an African dream, just like the Chinese have a Chinese dream.

China’s reform and opening up in the past 40 years has surpassed Japan to become the world’s second largest economy and is getting closer to the Chinese dream.

There are two success factors in China: one is to work hard to get rich; the other is to act in accordance with WTO rules; the third is to pay; the fourth is to be good with others. These are factors that are worth learning from African countries. China is more willing to share these successful experiences with Africa.

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African past

In the history of Africa, it was once colonized by Western powers, and African resources were plundered. The meaning of being plundered is that you don’t spend money and don’t pay. The West has colonized Africa for more than a century and has not brought wealth to Africa. Instead, Africa’s resources and agricultural products have been exported to Europe and the United States.

Being colonized by the West is the main reason why Africa’s development has lagged behind the world in the past.

It is precisely because of the long-term colonization of the Western powers that African countries have almost nothing, are very poor and backward, and the Western countries owe much to African people.

The difference between western colonialism and China's "Angolan model"

China's development has relied heavily on Africa's rich natural resources for many years and actively participates in the local exploitation of energy and other resources. In this work, China has come up with real money, which is a far cry from what the Western countries have done. The nature is completely different. The West currently has a view that China is practicing "colonialism," which is a bloody blow.

The Chinese believe in diligence and wealth, and have the values of “one point to gain a harvest”. Therefore, when China needs all kinds of energy for development, it does not take away the grass and trees in Africa. On the contrary, many infrastructures are provided free of charge. For example, as early as the 1950s, China invested in the construction of a Tanzanian road to Zambia. railway. The 1,860-kilometer-long Tanzania-Zambia Railway was built in 1975 and built in 1975, becoming the lifeline of Zambia's export traffic.

Excuse me, has the West taken a penny to build Africa? No. It is unreasonable to blame China for "new colonialism."

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In Africa, China has always adopted the “Angolan model”, providing funds for infrastructure construction in some resource-rich countries in exchange for local raw materials, which undoubtedly supports the development needs of African countries. This is a "win-win" model, which is completely different from the colonial relationship between the West and Africa in the past. Looking back at history, Western colonialism is exploited, deprived, and rewarded. How can China take out real money and silver in exchange for the necessary materials? Who is "colonialism" at a glance!

Does the West dare to compare this?

The West always regards China's "dragon" as the "dragon" of the West. This is a mistake. The dragon in the west represents the devil and the evil, but in the cultural legend of the East, the dragon represents justice and ability. As long as the Chinese culture has been studied, the dragon is the mascot of the Chinese. This reflects the difference between Eastern and Western cultures. From a historical point of view, the Western powers have done more like their own dragon, and they are playing against Africa.

No problems in the development of Africa

Some media with ulterior motives deliberately took debts to provoke China-Africa relations.

China's investment is carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations of the World Trade Organization. Money cannot be voluntarily run out for no reason. It must be carried out through an international procedure such as bank loans and corporate investment. In fact, companies in all countries are inseparable from bank financing, and these loans are indispensable for development.

The development of Africa is in great need of funds, and these funds cannot be given by Western countries, because Western countries themselves have also fallen into economic crisis. For example, countries such as Iceland and Greece have almost gone bankrupt. Countries such as Italy, Spain, and Portugal have been burdened with huge debts, and their debts are caused by insufficient productivity due to excessive consumption.

But Africa’s current debt is completely different from Western debt. Africa’s debt is a country and a region, and the funds needed for development are formed. Many of China's offers are low-interest and even interest-free loans. There is a saying in the West that there is no free lunch in the world. But in the history of Western countries, there have been many “free lunches” in Africa.

In the process of cooperation between China and Africa, some debts in Africa are also normal. Many Chinese enterprises, including many in the world, rely on bank loans to obtain capital turnover and enable enterprises to develop. The same is true of Africa. Because the money is not white, it is also earned by the Chinese themselves.

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Of course, in the process of building infrastructure, there may be environmental protection problems, such as paving the railway and building roads, which will definitely change the landscape. China has a successful experience, called Lutong Caitong, meaning that Africa wants to When it develops, transportation must be improved. This is a question of fish and bear paws. The author believes that it is most reasonable to take the greatest common denominator.

We have also seen that some Chinese private companies and Chinese citizens have some suspicions about their practices. The Chinese government has clearly understood that it has been continuously improving. There is an idiom in China called "good things and more grinding", which means that when doing one thing, there are often many differences, challenges and even setbacks, but this will not change the outcome and things will eventually succeed.

The author believes that communication is the most effective way to improve the relationship between African and Chinese companies. Because China does not have a gun and a warship to the African continent, like France, Spain, Portugal and other countries. History has proven that Western countries will not disdain to communicate with African people. If US President Trump repeatedly insults African people, it can be known that Western discrimination against Africa is deeply ingrained and cannot be changed.

This is totally different from the Chinese people. Chinese people like to make friends, and there is a saying that "going out to rely on friends" means that where Chinese people go, they will make friends there. The author has not heard examples of Western countries making friends with African people.

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China-Africa relations are based on "South-South relations" over the past 60 years. The two places are both developing countries. They can be said to be "same in the same breath" on the international stage. Together with China's diplomatic principles of non-intervention in domestic affairs and mutual respect for sovereignty. After the post-war African countries began to break away from colonial rule, China was an attractive partner of Africa. With China's economic growth in the past three decades, China-Africa economic ties have deepened.

As for the labor problem of Western media rendering, China is also improving. Chinese companies are sometimes accused of hiring too many Chinese workers and too few local workers. This situation can't really sum up the whole picture. Many African countries have relevant laws and regulations. For example, Tanzania requires Chinese companies to employ 10 locals for every Chinese person they employ. In addition, many countries in Africa do not have enough technical skills of labor talents. Many technical positions cannot find suitable candidates among local people. Chinese companies do need to pay higher costs to hire workers from China. To change this situation, African countries must further work on education and technical training. China is training engineers for African countries. The purpose is this.

There are also medical staff in China; and the burden of debt reduction in African countries. These practices, the Western countries can not do, but do not want to do.

The editor-in-chief of Libya's "Spicy Newspaper" said that China is earning admiration. "You can see where China spends money, but you can't see where Americans spend their money."

The United States cannot trust

As the world leader, the United States is brave and arrogant, and its debts are high. The US Treasury bonds have exceeded 21 trillion US dollars. In addition, Trump has introduced measures such as tax cuts, increased military spending, infrastructure, and even Forming a "space force", there is a need for money everywhere, but where does the money come from? It is estimated that the US Treasury bond will soon reach a huge 30 trillion US dollars, not without aim. The United States has always been a blessing. Trump is even more convinced after he took office. Even traditional allies are constantly being criticized. It is hoped that this kind of incompetent and cheaper man will make more investment in the African region. The former CIA Secretary of State, Peng Peibo, delivered a press policy speech. He said that accepting the One Belt and One Road means sacrificing the sovereign independence of his country. This is completely discrediting China. In Africa, for example, no country at all loses sovereignty because of Chinese investment.

Many American media smeared China with ulterior motives and the psychology of sour grapes.

Africa’s progress today is the result of China-Africa cooperation.

The current standard of living in Africa and the country's construction have progressed compared with the past. It is not thanks to the Western countries, but is facilitated by China.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in 2017 that China has so far built more than 6,200 kilometers of railways and more than 5,000 kilometers of roads in Africa. Including the total investment of about 4 billion US dollars, connecting the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and the Djibouti capital of Djibouti, the "Aji Railway". The 752.7-kilometer-long railway also provides an export transport corridor for the landlocked country of Ethiopia, which exports its high-quality coffee through the Djibouti seaport to the world.

Obviously, China and Africa can only promote economic development in Africa if they only hold a group. In 2006, the China-Africa Cooperation Forum was launched in Beijing, attracting 42 African leaders to attend, and each time the China-Africa Forum was attended by nearly 50 African countries. At present, this is a successful "cluster."

From the perspective of long-term economic development, China and Africa have great complementarities: First, Africa's development requires a lot of financial support. At present, China has great advantages in this respect. Second, China's development requires resources, while African resources. Inexhaustible, and if not developed, Africa will never develop; third, China provides a resource market for Africa, and Africa also provides a commodity market for China.

China needs to rethink. While developing the international market and strengthening its influence, it also does not forget to take care of the overall development needs of local people. It needs to overcome the problems of its own personnel and integrate with international and local customs as soon as possible. Only in this way can we better communicate positively. Image. This is not only the key to China's exit from Africa. Under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, investment in countries along the route should also adopt a more sustainable and long-term mutually beneficial approach. China's soft power can be fully utilized and respected globally.

The geographer Sven Heding wrote in the book Silk Road: "If the Chinese government can revitalize the Silk Road and use modern means of transportation, it will certainly contribute to humanity." Now, the prophecy has come true. This kind of contribution is not only explicit, but the grand scene of "the messenger looks at the road and the business travels are endless". It is also hidden, showing the world a different road to the rise of the great powers. This rise, without the bloody colonial plunder, and the mutual benefit and win-win friendship; not to take the old road of "national power must be hegemony", but also skip the "Thucydides trap" that the emerging powers and the defending powers will meet with each other. . In a world where unilateralism and hegemonism are on the rise, understanding this point will greatly benefit the long-term development of China-Africa relations. China’s emphasis on Africa is also a rare historical opportunity for Africa to escape poverty.

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Whether it is the Belt and Road or the 2025 China manufacturing, the focus is not on Chinese companies pursuing higher profits overseas, but China's assistance to billions of people in developing countries to industrialize and transform their economic society. African people should understand this.

History has proven that Western powers will not only bring prosperity to Africa, but also undermine China’s assistance to Africa. Looking around the world, today only China has the sincerity (a half-century of traditional friendship) capable (with technology and funds) to help Africa develop and realize the African dream! Africa has no choice! History will prove this!