“China has a shortage of land, Africa a shortage of food. So one entrepreneur had the bright idea of persuading Chinese farmers to emigrate.” Clifford Coonan reports for the Independent, from Hebei province:
Liu Jianjun is wearing a brightly coloured African tunic, the tall hat of a tribal leader, a string of red beads round his neck and carrying a stick with a secret knife in the handle. Beside him sits a portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong. It is a slightly incongruous scene but one that mirrors the ever-closer relationship between Asia’s economic giant China and the world’s poorest continent.
“The African people yell, ‘Mao Zedong is all right’ and they are very warm-hearted when I’m there,” says one of China’s most prominent private sector ambassadors. “The minute Chinese people get off the plane, the Africans are friendly. Chinese do not bring rifles and weapons; they bring seeds and technology.”