In a prolix and partly puzzling piece published in the online edition of the Daily Mail, the conservative British tabloid, the author argues that China’s increasing engagement in Africa is evidence for a grand plan of colonizing and ultimately resettling millions of Chinese citizens to the continent.
On June 5, 1873, in a letter to The Times, Sir Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin and a distinguished African explorer in his own right, outlined a daring (if by today’s standards utterly offensive) new method to ‘tame’ and colonise what was then known as the Dark Continent.
‘My proposal is to make the encouragement of Chinese settlements of Africa a part of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race,’ wrote Galton.
‘I should expect that the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages, might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order-loving Chinese, living either as a semidetached dependency of China, or else in perfect freedom under their own law.’
In the greatest movement of people the world has ever seen, China is [now] secretly working to turn the entire continent into a new colony.
Reminiscent of the West’s imperial push in the 18th and 19th centuries – but on a much more dramatic, determined scale – China’s rulers believe Africa can become a ‘satellite’ state, solving its own problems of over-population and shortage of natural resources at a stroke.
With little fanfare, a staggering 750,000 Chinese have settled in Africa over the past decade. More are on the way.
The strategy has been carefully devised by officials in Beijing, where one expert has estimated that China will eventually need to send 300 million people to Africa to solve the problems of over-population and pollution.
The people of this bewitching, beautiful continent, where humankind first emerged from the Great Rift Valley, desperately need progress. The Chinese are not here for that.