PETER HITCHENS: How China has created a new slave empire in Africa
Out of desperation, much of the continent is selling itself into a new era of corruption and virtual slavery as China seeks to buy up all the metals, minerals and oil she can lay her hands on: copper for electric and telephone cables, cobalt for mobile phones and jet engines – the basic raw materials of modern life.
(…) It is my view – and not just because I was so nearly killed – that China’s cynical new version of imperialism in Africa is a wicked enterprise.
China offers both rulers and the ruled in Africa the simple, squalid advantages of shameless exploitation.
For the governments, there are gargantuan loans, promises of new roads, railways, hospitals and schools – in return for giving Peking a free and tax-free run at Africa’s rich resources of oil, minerals and metals.
For the people, there are these wretched leavings, which, miserable as they are, must be better than the near-starvation they otherwise face.
I recommend to see the photos inside…
You can also read Will killing of oil workers harden China’s Darfur policy? about the consequences for Darfur of the recent murder of several oil Chinese workers. The Sudanese Government has blamed a rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which in turn has denied any implication in the murder and has accused the Government of trying to distract the international community from its own crimes in Darfur.
Meanwhile China and Russia have signed a pipeline deal: from Siberia to China:
‘The pipeline agreed on,’ the report goes on to say, ‘would have a capacity of 15 million tons of oil per year and would be a branch of the main East Siberia-Pacific Ocean trunk pipeline, which is still under construction.’
Hmm, interesting development.