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How Africa is Becoming China’s China

How Africa is Becoming China’s China


This video was made possible by Brilliant. Start learning with Brilliant for 20% off
by being one of the first 200 to sign up at http://brilliant.org/wendover. Political alliances manifest themselves here—on
the voting floor of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New York. In this room countries impose legislation
that carries weight worldwide and so what happens in this room is the physical materialization
of the world’s politics. 47 years ago, exactly that happened when one
of the General Assembly’s most consequential votes occurred. China, you see, essentially has two governments. There’s the Republic of China which used
to control the mainland and Taiwan but today only administers Taiwan and there’s the
People’s Republic of China which controls the mainland. Both claim to be the rightful governments
of all of the Chinese territory—both Taiwan and the mainland—and so back in 1971 the
United Nations had to decide which government would represent China. Essent ially, the question was which government
was the rightful leader of the territory as there could only be one in the United Nations. The US was the main superpower opposing the
People’s Republic representing China as it had a strong political and military alliance
with the Republic of China government and so the vote was essentially the US’ sphere
of influence versus the world. Among the 35 countries that voted against
the People’s Republic were much of Africa—the Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Liberia,
Niger, South Africa, and plenty of others that sided with the US. Despite the US’s efforts, the resolution
ended up passing and the representative government for China in the UN was switched to the People’s
Republic of China but what’s interesting about this is not the result, it’s who voted
against the People’s Republic. Since that 1971 vote, you see, something has
changed. In 2007, the UN general assembly met once
again to vote on whether to adopt a resolution condemning the human rights situation in North
Korea. As one of North Korea’s strongest allies,
this vote was China and its sphere of influence versus the world. In this vote, though, only Burundi, Equatorial
Guinea, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, and Tanzania
voted against China. All the 43 other African countries either
abstained or voted no along with China because in the forty years between those votes, political
ties changed. Africa no longer bows to the US. Much of the continent is now economically
and politically aligned with the world’s fastest emerging superpower—China. The simple answer for why this is is because
China has pumped huge amounts of money into the continent of Africa. They’re buying allies. For example, China built a $3.2 billion railway
in Kenya trekking the 300 miles from Nairobi, the capitol, to Mombassa, the second largest
city and primary port, in 4 hours and 30 minutes. That’s faster than what the fastest train
in the US, the Acela Express, takes to travel the equivalent distance from Philadelphia
to Boston. China also built a $526 million dam in Guinea
which helped push the country from having constant power shortages to making more energy
than it needs and selling the extra capacity to its neighbors. China also built a $475 million light rail
system in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, designed
as a way to combat the capital’s crippling traffic. These are only a sampling. There are literally hundreds of others of
Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa each year. All across the continent, China is playing
a part in projects both big and small that are transforming African economies. It’s important to note that these projects
are not, though, free. Each of these three were financed by loans
granted by China’s state-owned and controlled Export-Import bank and these loans do, of
course, need to be paid back by the countries granted them. Large African infrastructure projects, though,
would be viewed as risky by any traditional bank and would therefore struggle to get financed
but China’s export-import bank doesn’t care. Assuming cooperation between the Chinese and
African countries’ governments, this bank will give low-interest or no-interest loans
to African countries so they can build these trains or dams or other projects. These loans are therefore considered a form
of foreign aid since China doesn’t expect to get all their money back, at least adjusted
for inflation, since they’re not charging much interest and there’s a high risk of
default. Of course China isn’t just financing these
projects out of kindness. For each of them there’s a political goal
behind it. You see, the country of China is running out
of growth potential. Its era of double digit year over year GDP
growth is over as it makes the shift from industrializing to industrialized. Africa, meanwhile, is one of the least developed
areas of the world and a lack of development actually makes fast growth easy. The first step of economic development for
many countries is natural resource exploitation. Nearly every country has some level of natural
resources that they can use to kickstart growth but first they need to have enough money to
build the infrastructure and take the steps needed to gather these natural resources. As everyone knows, it takes money to make
money and China has money. By investing in African mining and farming,
China can profit off of Africa’s growth and fuel the business back in China that require
minerals and food, but in addition to it serving as a source of natural resources, Africa has
another resource—labor. It might seem strange that China, the country
that the world uses for low-cost manufacturing, is looking for a labor source elsewhere but
that is exactly what it’s doing. China is a victim of its own success. The economic development that its manufacturing
industry brought pushed a large segment of its population into the middle class which
raised labor costs country-wide. It’s not bad news, China as a country has
shifted from having a low-skilled to a medium-skilled workforce as their education level has improved,
but for the lowest cost, lowest skilled manufacturing work, the country of China is no longer competitive. Therefore, Chinese manufacturing firms are
setting up their own operations in Africa—one of the cheapest and lowest skilled labor markets
in the world. Today, China is now the largest trading partner
with Africa as a whole. Despite China being a vastly larger country
than the US in population, the US and China both trade a similar value of goods worldwide
each year. In this case, though, whereas $48 billion
worth off goods were exchanged between the US and Africa in 2016, China traded $128 billion
worth of goods—nearly three times as much. Now, the whole idea of setting up a structure
of power over other less developed states in order to gather resources and use their
labor force might sound familiar because that’s largely what colonialism was. The motives behind European powers expanding
their territory to less developed nations in the 15th through 20th centuries were remarkably
similar to the motivations behind China’s growing economic influence in the developing
world today. Despite what some may say, there is empirical
evidence that China has been using these infrastructure investments to affect worldwide politics. It’s been found that if an African country
recognizes Taiwan as a country they receive, on average, 2.7 fewer Chinese infrastructure
projects within their borders each year. Conversely, if an African country votes overwhelmingly
along with China in the United Nations General Assembly, they receive 1.8 more infrastructure
projects per year. Considering that the General Assembly is an
equal representative body where each country gets one vote no matter if they have a million
residents or a billion, China’s getting a lot of influence for, in the grand scheme
of things, not a lot of money. China touts the fact that their foreign investment
and aid is “no strings attached.” Unlike other institutions that give low or
no-interest loans to developing countries like the International Monetary Fund or World
Bank, China give loans with no requirements on factors like respect of human rights or
democratic elections. Of course, this data linking infrastructure
investment with political leanings shows that there are indeed hidden strings that require
benefit for China rather than benefit for the receiving country. Western powers are understandably concerned
about this shift in power dynamics towards a country with vastly different ideals. In 2017, China entered a select club as it
opened a military base in Djibouti. While four other countries have bases in Djibouti—France,
Italy, Japan, and the US—this base was unique as it was China’s first base abroad and
those by themselves, military bases abroad, are unique. Only 15 of the world’s most developed and
militarily powerful countries worldwide have them and now China is one of them. Although, western powers might be worried
for the wrong reasons. The government of China is clearly putting
a lot of focus and money into Africa but not as much as you’d think based off the result
they’re getting—vast amounts of influence over a whole continent. There are two key numbers to look at. In 2015, China loaned just $12 billion to
African countries. In the same year, the country invested a mere
$3 billion in the continent. That’s just not much but the reason China
is gaining this enormous influence over the continent is because the Chinese government
no longer has to force this phenomenon. Private Chinese industry is taking hold of
Africa. Of the estimated 10,000 Chinese businesses
in Africa, 90% of them are privately owned rather than one of the numerous Chinese state-run
companies. The Chinese companies in Africa are actually
making money—some substantially so. The Chinese government certainly has provided
a considerable push to the industrialization of Africa but now that that’s done, economic
forces are moving the initiative further forward. Chinese small business is gripping the continent. Much of the western world is ignoring the
prospects of the continent—ignoring that business in Africa can now be as profitable
as business in China was when its period of tremendous growth began. Right now, Africa is establishing itself as
the source of labor and resources for China and so, until the west pays attention, Africa
will continue inching forward on its path towards becoming China’s China. One of the techniques used to predict the
GDP or GDP growth of a country, which is of course used to decide which country to invest
in, is machine learning. For example, here’s what a machine learning
model predicted a country’s GDP would be over three months and here’s what it actually
was. It forecasted the country’s GDP far better
than humans did. The science behind predictions like this is
complex but fascinating. If you want to learn how it works, though,
the best place to do so is brilliant.org. Their machine learning course makes this advanced
concept simple because their simple explanations, illuminating graphics, and thought-provoking
questions break a concept down into small packages and then builds it back up to the
final result. They truly are experts in successfully teaching
complex topics. They also have plenty of other fascinating
courses on topics like computational biology, number theory, artificial neural networks,
and more. You can start learning for free at brilliant.org/Wendover
but then, if you want to access the full range of classes with their premium subscription,
the first 200 to use that link will also get 20% off their annual premium subscription. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you again
in three weeks for another Wendover Productions video.


Reader Comments

  1. Dump Chinese Communist Party
    Dump Xi
    Dump Putin
    Dump Russian criminals

    Freedom and democracy keeps winning everywhere

  2. China is a Trojan Horse, the new massa in Africa and they are nothing but a yellow white man, new slave master general. We need the United States of Africa and get all foreign super power out and get the puppet African leaders out so we can grow, this is the problem!

  3. If the Western countries don"t industrialize Africa , China will! They create jobs for Chinese Construction workers and engineers and jobs for Africans. And they create future markets for Chinese Goods.

  4. OR: How Africa just can't seem to stop enslaving itself. You don't need chains when you can convince a population to do it to themselves with debt or politics.

  5. Coming soon the New Chinaland. Exiting soon Africans Entering soon huge chinese population. #RecolonizationofAfrica

  6. in fact, China aided Africa since 1950's while it's still one of the poorest countries in the world at that time, what did America and Europe do at the same time if they are so care about the Africa?

  7. Its good that chinas helping africa but if they use the extra votes to undermine human rights then its still bad in the long run

  8. How about let say:How Middle East become America?How Japan and South Korea become America?Africa was very poor,back in the day Western didn't help them be come better and still poor. Chinese been Africa to buy they're resource and help them to build a country at the same time. China bring money and help in to Africa,who bring a WAR to someone country that everyone knew about that.

  9. Helping poor and backward countries is the humanitarian advocated by the americans. We are not asking them to oppose the United States, but the United States, the largest economy in the world, can also help you build a railway if you need us. If so, why not give it to them for free

  10. IMF and WB loans come with MANY DESTRUCTIVE strings attached. Such as " you WILL sell your assets to Wall St for pennies on the dollar" and "you WILL cut spending on health and education". IMF was/is known as the "Infant Mortality Fund" in Africa. Criminal scum.

  11. Can you talk about Africa's religious influence on China? How Africans are converting Chinese migrants who are bringing a more traditional Christianity back to China
    Reference to this article: https://unherd.com/2019/02/how-africa-is-converting-china/

  12. well the united states still gives africa a bunch of money
    more than china
    no not trade we literally just give them a bunch of money
    trade too though

  13. Who in their right mind would consider Taiwan to be the real China. Lol maybe they were a long time ago but they were toppled by another government. They lost. Deal with it. Taiwan is a rogue rebell nation, no longer the government.

  14. 感觉全世界都在担心中国的人权问题,担心中国的独裁问题,担心中国的宗教问题,你们到底是有多闲?现在又担心中国殖民非洲,简直是吃多了没事干,去关心一下叙利亚那些无家可归的难民吧!

  15. But the wasted west neither gives loans nor helps building nations but you import wars, diseases, false flags, sanctions, interventions and instability to Africa.

  16. U.S reporter talks cock again. China help africa by building roads and railway, U.S help africa by digging its precious metals and rare earths and transport to U.S.

  17. That is bad China is bad countries you are pride and bullying and other bad that China as so bad guy what the fuck of that China is claimed becoming countries Africa. Hong Kong. Taiwan and so many bad is west Philippines sea China you are jerk to other people I am from russia

  18. You the West must be ashamed to complain about China Africa relationship. You colonized the continent for its raw materials and cheap labour. You live luxury lives on the blood of Africa. France for example rips its former African colonies apart every year of its resources while Africans continue to suffer. Shut up and do the humane thing. China is better than you hypocrites.

  19. This is pure economic situation. Example, Ethiopia had the longest relation with USA, had big army population. However, Ethiopia was abandoned in the 1970s , Kissinger  was responsible, he's not forgiven in our eyes. He stated that the USA does not need Ethiopia with improved capacity from space to monitor USSR at that time. Ethiopia was in the hands of brutal army leader after disposing the Emperor. Second, USA supported the  white minority government in South Africa. Third, African countries are realizing that USA does not want economic improvement. Africa does not need used clothes, new religions. The USA missed their chances in a positive way, Africa is now awake. They want meaning full  economic cooperation not modern slavery.

  20. AMWRICA PROPAGANDA AND THEIR OBSESSION WITH POWER.THEY WANT TO RULE THE WORLD AND CHINE IS THEIR RIVAL. Americans want to invest in Africa only when it's suits them,to dictate what policy you put and your constitution but the Chinese invest to make moment and strengthen their economy .America will soon pay for all her sins and atrocities and pain it has inflicted on the world

  21. Western politicians and Western media with hypocrisy and double standards, constantly brainwashing cute and kind Westerners

  22. That's a democracy for you. Elections and short terms Don't allow leaders to make strong impactful decisions. The clock is always ticking on them.

  23. That's a democracy for you. Elections and short terms Don't allow leaders to make strong impactful decisions. The clock is always ticking on them.

  24. Western countries have colonized Africa for years while Africa is still poor.So what are they doing in Africa?Bring them human rigjt?Freedom? Hemmm, interesting!

  25. with a Ai and automation quickly on the horizon and the population of these two countries it's going to be interesting to watch their economies over the next 10 years

  26. Wrong analysis and interpretation of China's relations with Africa. The west is simply jealous, exactly like the author of this video.

  27. Just like two friends, I help you, rent money to you , no fight or destroy you ,and you help me counter the son of Western bitch . isn't it wrong?

  28. China is doing what Democrats do in the u.s., they steal your soul and own you. Weak leaders in Africa. You think you have problems now. The people are sold AGAIN!!!!!

  29. Actually, western world do not understand China at all. In their eyes, only money and benefit. In Chinese philosophy, people can work together and help each other, Win-Win not Win-Lose. We must can find a way to benefit both. Western world only know rob or steal something, in their philosophy, only Win-Lose.

  30. You forget to say that despite the fact the govt of PRC effectively was governing mainland China when UN voted the resolution the US bought the African countries to vote against PRC and so far they are poor countries. Why? Because the kind of money and aid USA give them is not to develop… Is to maintain poverty and dependence.

  31. Are Chinese buying allies? What the US was doing when the U.N. voted the resolution on who would recognised as Chinese govt?

  32. Even USA don't choose allies by respecting human rights… Look at ties with Saudi Arabia and Israel!! Shame!!

  33. But China does not colonize them, does not sell black slaves, and does not plunder their resources. All China has done is just business.

  34. Yes, it is good that How Africa is Becoming China's China. They are chinese's friends , and the chinese keep on helping them. OK?

  35. Our corrupt politicians are so greedy that most of the money they get loaned is stolen . These sick politicians know that once they are done using they're power stealing, they will go to foreign countries like America and start loves there while they're people suffer

  36. This is for the ignorant fea hhh that commented. For your info China is not helping Africa it is exploiting African resources to the core and now African people. You ask yourself if so far any African people benefited from the money or infrastructure that China is building . You people don’t even know who owns them. African politicians sold their sole and it’s people to Chinese exploiters to enrich themselves and leaving the population out. When a country forces its population to learn the occupiers, neo-colonizers language it is without a doubt time for a big concern.
    If Africans do not open their eyes within less then 10 more years the Chinese in Africa will overcome the African population, you then wait and see the repression that you Africans will be subject to.

  37. You have to throw bombs and impose sanctions to truly help. That's how Americans help. If you do it differently, there must be a political reason behind it. In fact, the US never went to places like Africa because there is not much to rob. They go to the mid east where the oils are.

  38. Thank god it’s no longer Europe’s or America’s Africa like the good ole days. Otherwise there will be slavery and death and destruction and theft.

  39. Perfect, only western counties can invest in Africa while China's investing in Africa has to be evil. I am amazed by your perfectly washed brains since childhood. Look back in the history, who took african people as slaves? Until right now, you are still playing double standard game. Shame on people like you all.

  40. To All My Fellow Brothers And Sisters It’s Not About Help Or A Handout Or Destroying An Image. More Like Self-recognition, Independence Within Yourself And Your People. There’s So Many Charities, Donations That Supposedly Goes To The Homeland. But In Actuality We Know The Truth. No Matter What You Think Things Are Deeper Then The Eye Can See. I Hope One Day Africa Stands Strong Without Having To Have Aid From Another Country.

  41. 中國這樣做確實在幫助其他國家,既然你說是出於某種野心,為什麼美國不去幫助呢?那樣不是對美國有利嗎?好好的幫助硬說成是野心?這樣真的好嗎?

  42. Africa has been exploited and raped by European colonialists for centuries. Africa has been kept poor. Africa is used by the west as some sort of poverty porn poster child so western countries can pretend to care about "poor Africa" but keeping it poor. At least China goes around the world building things people need instead of destroying countries. Africa is gaining prosperity from China at least.

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