Benevolent Bootstrap or Imperial Boot to the Neck?
While Western governments may fret about China’s growing influence in the region [Africa], some Chinese analysts see a measure of irony in the country’s new role. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, China was more interested in world-wide revolution, third-world solidarity, and the backing of African liberation movements. Now, according to one scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China’s behavior has more in common with that of the colonizers. “Since we are mainly there to make money and get hold of their resources,” he says, “it’s hard to see the difference.”
Just as it was in the 1960s and 1970s, one of China’s most powerful instruments of influence in Africa continues ...