China – Was Museveni With Beggars Or Serious Africans? – The Monitor

From Uganda’s The Monitor, an African view of the recent China-Africa summit held in Beijing:

While the Sino-Africa relationship is supposed to be more “brotherly” and equal than with what the continent has had with the West for the last 120 years, the body language in Beijing suggests that we are continuing the relationship of inferior partner. The idea of one president, gathering 50 others in a room as if they were school children and he the headmaster, can be galling to no end.

But nothing smacked more of the old order than the announcement of the usual groceries – aid for Africa. The Chinese probably figured out that despite all the high sounding talk from African leaders like President Yoweri Museveni about “trade not aid”, you still need to put some easy money on the table (aid), that usually disappears in corrupt pockets.

The result is that as the Beijing summit ended, one couldn’t help think that the leaders had again done the thing we have become notorious for – held out the begging bowl. If we were serious about hard work, other African countries would have held a similar meeting with South Africa, or Egypt. When South Africa became free, the same hopes that the continent is now pinning on China were placed on it. [Full text]

– To learn more about China-Africa relations, read this Wikipedia entry.

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