Dr. Xie Tian, professor at University of South Carolina Aiken, USA, analized this year’s Chinese-African Cooperation Forum held in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, a country in West Africa, in an article published in Chinese-language media Da Ji Yuan.
Compared to previous times, the scale of this forum was smaller. Many African state leaders did not attend but sent their senior officials instead. They considered it as a meeting of a ceremonial and diplomatic protocol.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sent two ministers from Foreign Affairs and Commerce. Xi Jinping participated via video conference call. The Chinese state-run media outlets reported that the meeting was an economic dialogue between China and Africa to seek new opportunities.
More and more African countries are beginning to realize the true face of the CCP’s “One Belt and One Road” Initiative. They saw that behind the financial aid was absolute control and political repression. The CCP was intruding on the sovereignty of the host countries through economic power and turning them into colonies. African governments have begun to draw clear lines with the authoritarian regime.
The governments of Congo and Uganda openly criticized China, saying that the CCP’s “One Belt and One Road” initiative in Africa has pushed their countries into debt crises. The Republic of Congo would take back the mining rights granted to the Chinese regime to stop resource exploitation. The regime is currently working hard on cobalt mining in the Republic of Congo, while many Chinese commitments have not been fulfilled in Congo, such as building 31 hospitals and two universities. Uganda’s inability to repay China’s massive loan means that the control of the country’s sole international airport could soon belong to Beijing.
The CCP has a headache at how the Kenyan government pays its debt. The regime has a dream of annexing Mombasa port, so they offered Kenya a loan to build a railway. Earlier this year, the Kenyan government refused to acknowledge the use of the port as collateral to borrow money from China. The Kenyan government said that even if there was a shortage of debt payments, the port of Mombasa would not fall into the CCP’s hands.
Import and export trade between China and African countries has increased tenfold within 12 years, from $20 billion in 2002 to more than $200 billion in 2014.
From 2002 to 2014, China’s imports of natural resources from Africa and exporting goods to Africa were increasing. From 2014 onwards, China’s exports to Africa still increased sharply, but imports from Africa to China decreased rapidly.
The CCP exported a large number of industrial products to African countries in exchange for energy and minerals. They were not helping African countries develop high-value-added industrial production but they wanted to continue to exploit it. The dictatorial regime only gave them the tools but did not show how to use them.
The CCP’s “One Belt and One Road” initiative has caused displeasure among Africans and the whole world
African countries have awakened and realized the truth. Meanwhile, Europe and America have seized this opportunity to approach Africa. The “Build Back Better for the World” (B3W) program initiated by the Biden administration would be ready next year.
The program was aimed to invest in 5 to10 large-scale infrastructure projects worldwide to counterbalance China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. The difference between the U.S. plan and the CCP one is that in addition to helping Africa build infrastructure, the U.S. is also committed to increasing local industrial upgrades. Such a program seems promising to politicians in African countries.
With regard to a few governments that are close to the Chinese regime in Africa, although they have accepted bribes to build relations with the regime, they also have the tricks of the rogue government.
They knew that the CCP lacked international support and needed small partners to support it in international forums. They also knew that the CCP was full of tricks, but they could use the regime to speculate and profit from the big thugs. Currently, China is short of foreign exchange, so it did not meet their requirements.
However, many African governments have shown corruption and authoritarianism, but they were not as controlling and greedy as the CCP.
People believed that there would be many more difficulties awaiting the authoritarian government in 2022. Conflicts have been constantly happening with neighbors like Japan, Korea, and India. The U.S.-China war has reached its climax. Lately, the regime has started to lose Europe and now could not even keep Africa.