|AFRICA -RICH IN PEOPLE, RESOURCES, LAND|
In "modern"times , we could say that Africa has been "raped"three times: by Slavery, by colonial mining and trade, and by chequebook!
Here we had a private enterprise Rape. It was a market price rape. It had several elements : African Traitors to their own people, sometimes Chiefly, who sold their people cruelly and cheaply to the Traders, whose vile , inhuman ships reeking of death and human waste bore the hapless slaves in the most appalling conditions across the oceans for sale , in the Americas mostly for plantation work, or in some cases for domestic service. There was nothing new in this, in some cases. Chiefs in the same areas had been selling people into Mohammedan slavery since around A.D. 700 . The slave traders route from West Africa overland to North Africa was well-defined and well known.
Colonial Trade and Mining
In this phase we had European Kingdoms taking Colonial possessions by force , or sometimes by "offers of protection" and then acquiring cheap raw materials which were exported and sold at a handsome profit. In most cases , the Colonial Power then added insult to injury by exporting back to the Colony goods manufactured from those raw materials at a further handsome profit. The very ships and railway lines and trains and uniforms that served the Colonial Power in the Colony generated jobs and wealth back in the Mother/Father Land.Not to mention the guns , ammunition, cannons etc that kept the whole structure peaceful and secure.
To-day the new Phase is more pacific, one might even say, more Pacific. For the new colonialism is purely financial - at this stage , in any case.
China is VERY active in Africa. Her activity is multi-faceted it is true, and generally "soft". Chinese engineers and contractors are very successful in obtaining contracts for the construction of major civil works in the new African republics, often providing cheap , long term finance to sweeten their tenders. Occasionally a brightly shining Chinese warship will make a friendly visit of goodwill.
The Chinese are well- informed on the corruption necessary to succeed , since at home China is riddled with corruption as the Communist Party and the Red Army arrange affairs to profit themselves rather than the Chinese people or state.
Meanwhile, the real business is going on behind closed doors. Just as she is attempting to do in Australia, China is buying up Mining properties and agricultural land in Africa by State- owned Corporations Chinese officials have boasted to an Australian Senator, that they are paying more in "facilitation fees"( bribes) in Africa , than they pay for the assets acquired! Once again Africa is being sold out by leading figures for disgraceful greed. This money paid in bribes, properly belongs to the African people themselves. But because it is stolen by their corrupt leaders the people will go without clean water, reliable electricity, industry and proper education and health care.
What is China's game? Strategic planning to acquire assets against a very volatile future with projected massive increases in population requiring vast increases in food and minerals. The food situation in China is said to be set to deteriorate rapidly over the coming years as burgeoning development takes up more and more agricultural land whilst population demands more and more food. Solution : acquire overseas assets as favourably as possible.
The object appears to acquire them not only at a good price, but under the most favourable conditions, if possible free of tax and other administrative controls. In this way, what was formerly done by guns and invasion, is being achieved by the chequebook and official corruption. The project is also advanced by offering apparently "soft" loans in Chinese currency which, in the fine print, require repayment in United States Dollars. Bearing in mind that China has a currency exchange rate fixed by Government regulation there is only one beneficiary of this rigged game.
It is the new Imperialism.The financial equivalent of war.
In Africa the corruption of most Governments facilitates the process immensely. In Australia, the process had been gathering pace until a clumsy effort to takeover a Western Australian property by a Chinese State Corporation scared the horses, and a Parliamentary Inquiry was set up. It has found gaping holes in our Tax and Tax avoidance regime, which seem likely to be closed. And more recently a major Chinese "investment" has been refused .
In the meantime the people of Africa are being raped again, their own villains go unpunished, and the new soft, but ruthless Imperialism is setting itself up for the long haul. But at home in China, the corrupt operations of State -owned corporations, which for long have pretended to defy economic rationality, have piled up mountains of debt and bad debts for the Chinese Banks. There are indications that, at a late stage - it seems it may be TOO LATE - the Banks are facing the problems and may need to cut lending and write-off massive bad debts. Cutting lending will lead to declining economic activity and employment and civil unrest. We can only watch and wonder.China's corruption, seekng to profit from Africa's corruption may yet bring them both down.