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You don’t have to assume altruism here. The big difference between the west and China is that the west has lots of military presence in Africa while China does not. When countries refuse to work with the west on western terms then the west will either do a regime change, destabilize the country, or outright invade it as happened with Libya. The relationship between the west and the countries it subjugates is inherently coercive.
On the other hand, China does not have a history of using violence against countries that don’t trade with China and it does not have the military presence to threaten the kind of violence the west has been using when it doesn’t get its way.
Heard of PLAN’s base in Djibouti? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_People’s_Liberation_Army_Support_Base_in_Djibouti
I refuse simplified dichotomies. They are not helpful to me. May be to you.
Are you aware that base is literally just down the road from one of the biggest US bases in Africa that dwarfs it?
My understanding is Somalia invited them in because they didn’t want to just be a US puppet and inviting China in as a balance of power force is their best option, their least bad option. That’s basically what’s happening in all of Africa, you understand?
I don’t know, like sure I agree Somalia should be allowed to boot them out of Somalia chooses to do that but an actually rather small base to support specifically anti-piracy operations in Somalia seems like a pretty small bean to me.
In the purely abstract yeah sure I agree the best world is one without these bases but it doesn’t seem a tenable stance to pretend it’s imperializing Somalia when it is just down the road from a US base that is about 10-20x the size.
When China starts invading nations to force a permanent military occupation or refusing to leave when asked, then you have a point. But you don’t have that which makes pointing at this base hyperbolic and pale whataboutism to justify a massive western military presence that is often, even usually, not invited but imposed.
You do not understand my point. I am not against China nor am I pro-United States. I am for Africa to make their own practical choices for their own dignified progress. Part of that may be kicking all these bases out. It could also be working with some and not others. No simple straight jacket answer.
This is why it is sickening to see someone come and say NATO looked down up you, but China not so much, er go, China is your better option. Like, that is simplistic dichotomy which I have been repeating all morning. Whether China has a smaller base than US, so what, to a Somali? Is it enough to know China will kill you less faster than the US? why can’t Somali focus on building their security infrastructure? But that is not a perspective you have tried to integrate in your work because you are obsessed with China replacing America, and that tired dichotomy.
You didn’t respond to what I wrote.
China is not imposing a military base, it was invited in to be a balance against US domination.
It’s not ideal but it’s not imperialism, it’s a move by the Somali government to counter the massive western presence.
Is this computing?
I’m sure Somali would prefer to have no military bases but since that option isn’t available to them, bases are imposed by the west, they’d prefer to also have China there and not just America.
This is playing out across Africa in terms of investment.
If you’re not factoring in balance of power geopolitics to understand why China is being welcomed then you’re just making anti-China noises.
Africa is inviting China in as a counter to centuries of western militaristic dominance. This is easy to understand.
I’m sure Africa would prefer to not have either but they certainly prefer to not only have the west. Since the west is by far the overwhelming military presence that refuses to leave, it’s only due to this that Africa wants to invite China in as a balance.
It’s their least bad option available to them and that is due to centuries of and continuing western military domination.
Who is over simplifying things? Is equating one base to NATO not oversimplified?
My point is not to compare PLAN with AFRICOM. I am just not convinced it helps an African audience. It may help a Chinese apologist in saying “look, we are better than the US” but at the end of the day, they are both invested in extractive infrastructure. One base, 100 bases, that is comparison. I am not interested. I gave that example not to compare but to remind the OP that China does indeed operate a military in Africa, because it was my understanding that the OP thought they do not.
I don’t disagree that our rhetoric could be more refined and oriented toward these places than specifically China, but your lack of interest in the qualitative differences between the two present militaries is disturbing.
It is actually not lack of interest in “qualitative differences” but rather “so what?”
Upon reflection on these things, you realize it makes no sense to celebrate such comparisons and would rather focus on how you yourself as a continent can engage all countries in dignity and progress for your people.
It doesn’t matter that one country kills leaders and people of another place, but a second country does not do this? It makes no sense to celebrate this?
That is not the main point, if you have been getting my point.
There are literal studies out there showing that Chinese investment in Africa has had a significant and persistent positive impact on development of these countries https://www.eurasiareview.com/01022021-chinese-investment-in-africa-has-had-significant-and-persistently-positive-long-term-effects-despite-controversy/
It’s pretty telling that people in the west can’t even conceive of a mutually beneficial relationship between countries that’s not rooted in exploitation.
To add to this, I have also read about instances where Chinese affiliated projects in the Caribbean were stopped because people spoke up about environmental problems it would cause and danger it would pose to endangered species .
The PRC and local government (I believe it was Jamaica iirc) responded by replanning the project around these critics. This is not how the west has typically approached these things. Usually they just fund the mob, kill journalists, or strong-arm local politicians.
My point is that Chinese companies have been more adaptable and more interested in feedback than the alternatives. Neglecting this is also to be fixated on China and the problems it causes instead of the bigger picture, or even the specific place development projects are happening.
Let us see if we can agree on something: Chinese involvement in Africa has had positive effects, just as it has had negative ones too. European, American, Japanese etc.
Whether one has been 10X or 50X of the other is not in my interest. African progress should not be anchored on the *better extractor. *
The logic expressed by Rodney in the 70s is close to what I also feel about china in Africa today even though the degrees might be different. I hope you get my refusal to see generalist comparisons as helpful to an African audience, and why it might be helpful to Europeans and Chinese, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Europe_Underdeveloped_Africa
There will always be negative and positive aspects of trade between countries. The main difference between the west and China is that the west has a long documented history of using coercion in Africa while China does not. Countries in Africa are free to make a choice whether they want to trade with China or not, and whether that benefits their countries. On the other hand, the west actively subjugates countries in Africa and extracts their resources at gunpoint. That’s the key difference here.
I do not think this discussion is adding value at this point. I wish I had more time to engage in a productive way.
Yeah I have, you seriously arguing this even begins to compare with AFRICOM?