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Who is visiting Africa?

Chinese President Hu Jintao is on a 10-day-visit to Africa now. Many state-owned news media such as Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily, headline his visit on their websites’ front page almost everyday. His tour has also attracted attention from Chinese netizens.

The Chinese government regards Hu’s visit as a great diplomatic victory. Many Chinese echo with exultance.

A popular post applaudeded Hu’s effort in Sudan’s Darfur crisis, China vs. the US in Africa: Bush failed, Hu Jintao succeeded!!!

在俺们胡哥的亲切的微笑中,达尔富尔问题就这样解冻了!在俺们胡哥的亲切的微笑中,联合国的维和部队就快要进住了!

布什做不到的,胡哥在微笑中做到了!!!

中非友谊是真正的友谊!!!!!!!!!

支持胡哥!

Our brother Hu thawed the Darfur crisis with his cordial smile! The United Nations peacekeeping force is going to station (in Darfur) with his cordial smile!

Bush failed, brother Hu succeeded with smile!!!

Sino-Africa friendship is a true friendship!!!!!!

Support brother Hu!!!!

At the same time, many blogs and BBSes cross-posted analysis from all over.

China’s role in Africa from Singapore’s Zaobao is one of the popular articles,

中国在非洲所要扮演的角色,依然是第三世界利益的维护者,但不再是国际秩序的挑战者。在非洲大陆继续站稳脚跟,同时又要避免与西方国家发生对抗,这应该是当前中国对非洲外交的思考方向。

China’s role in Africa remains a vindicator of the interests of the third world, but no longer a challenger to the international order. China should continue to stand firm on the African continent, while trying to avoid confrontation with the West. This should be the direction of China's diplomacy in Africa.

Many bloggers seem to not understand China’s Africa strategy, especially Hu’s promised economic aid to Africa. They think China is a poor, developing country. It should take care of its own business before it goes out to help others.

This blogger, benfei, strongly questions China’s policy in helping Africa,

质问:中国只是个发展中国家,又不是发达国家,不是钱多的没地方花,自己国内的问题都没解决好,在国际上装什么大尾巴狼啊?每年GDP的增长都高居世界榜首,可国内民众受惠在何处了?那些无聊的数字又代表了什么意义?民众的住房、医疗、教育问题都急需政府的大投入,自己都入不敷出,还谈什么媚外啊?民众的贫富差距早在 05年左右就超出了国际警戒线,可谁来过问,谁来关心?由此产生的一系列社会问题已严重加剧了不稳定因素。这一切老百姓都看的那么清楚,我们的政府难道就熟视无睹?看看希望工程里那些可怜的孩子,再看看那些丑态百出的贪官们,民众的心在泣血,国家的责任何在?

Question: China is a developing country, not developed. We don’t have extra money to splurge. We have not yet solved our domestic problems, why should we keep up appearances in front of the world? China tops GDP growth in the world every year, but do Chinese in China benefit from that? What’s the significance of those senseless figures? Public housing, medical and education problems need the government’s heavy investment urgently. While we cannot make both ends meet, why should we fawn on foreigners? The gap between rich and poor people in our country has gone across the danger line, but who is asking, who cares about that? A series of social problems arising from that has seriously aggravated the instability. We, the people, can see it clearly, why does our government turn a blind eye? Look at those poor kids in the Hope Project; look at those grafters acting like fools. The people’s hearts are bleeding, what is the responsibility of the country?

This blogger, RuYi, is suspicious of the policy, but he is not so emotional and even makes his own suggestions on helping Africa.

不是说非洲不应该帮助,

我觉得我们在帮助别人的时候,

首先要看看我们自己的承诺和自己的经济实力是不是能成正比.

要知道我们还是发展中国家,

我们的经济基础依然薄弱.

按发达国家的人均水平,我们目前依然贫困.

我们帮助非洲国家 ,我没有意见.

但是需要看到的是中国目前的一系列问题.

我们的有很多贫困学生无法得到资助,而上不了学.

却要资助非洲国家2000名学生,甚至更多的学生在中国上学.

Not saying that we should not help Africa,

I think before we help others,

we should see whether our commitments are proportional to our economic strength.

We should know that our country is a developing country,

our economic foundation remains weak.

Compared with those developed countries on per capita level, we are still poor.

I am not against helping African countries,

But we must see China currently has a series of problems.
We have many poor students. They get no funding to go to school.

Yet, we need to fund 2000 and more African students to study in China.

He continues to offer his 7 advices on helping Africa:

1. Seek voluntary university students to go and help Africa;
2. More help in building Africa's police system, stabilize the societies;
3. Set up Chinese areas in Africa;
4. Encourage Chinese businesspersons to develop in Africa;
5. Transfer some agricultural technologies to Africa;
6. Advise Chinese in Africa to get the local citizenship;
7. Completely open bilateral trade.

Although Chinese opinions on China’s Africa strategy are not so unified, people are getting more and more interested in Africa.

Voc.com.cn has recently started a special session, Read Elites’ Works, Taste African Coffee, for propagating African culture. Moreover, they have invited the Ethiopian Ambassador, Haile Kiros Gessesse and Kenya's Ambassador, Ruth Sereti Solitei, to start blogs on their site.

This girl, A Hedgehog in the Forest, talked about her African dream when she saw the news of Hu Jintao visiting Africa. In her post, Blessing Africa, she wrote:

最近一个时期,中国和非洲许多国家都会是“蜜月期”,因为一个大国的元首到非洲出访,会给非洲国家和人民无限的荣耀和实惠。所以,在我心底埋藏的愿望就有可能实现了——今生就想去非洲。

Recently, China and many countries in Africa are in the “honeymoon period”. A big country’s president’s visit to Africa can bring African countries substantial benefit and boundless glory. So, my dream buried in my heart may come true – to go to Africa in my life.

4 comments

  • China is not helping anyone but themselves. Very few people realize how important exports are crucial for China’s economy. Almost 80% of China’s GDP comes from exports. For this reason, the Chinese government is doing everything that they can to protect their fragile economy by securing the important resources required to sustain its manufacturing industries. OF course, it remains to be seen if China can remain competitive in the global market place as its PPP rises. If this happens they will be victims of their own success.

  • China in Africa: the perceptions…

    Jen Brea’s terrific posts on Africa Beat provides a great insight into the “China in Africa” question. Following up on the theme of the week, China in Africa, here are some valuable and topical posts from Jen. Jen links to……

  • Amin

    China is right in collaborating with Africa. They should sponsor more and more students from Africa and treat them well by providing high class accommodation as the west got good remarks from foreigners who stayed there and who were treated well. China should continue on the same spirit. Befriend everyone for it to be the next supperpower!

  • Amin

    China should continue collaborating with world.

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