The Continent that Matters
An interesting story in the NY Times Sunday about Chinese relations with African nations. As China continues it’s meteoric rise to superpower status, they are taking a different approach than othes have. They are no asserting themselves through war or the threat of war; they are taking a more subtle, intellectual approach. The article talks about “diplomacy courses” that are open to 3rd world officials. The curriculum is distinctly Chinese and overtly anti-American. However, that is not what we will analyze here.
Why do they care about what African leaders think? No else seems to, especially not the Americans or Europeans. The article says that China can better communicate because a quarter-century ago, they we’re also a third world nation. What I like is the fact they are choosing to ally with these countries in the first place. The rules of power demand the creation of strategic alliances in the interests of all parties involved African nations make up a good chunk of the UN. As such, having those voters as friends is good for China. There are benefits politically and economically.
I see this as the first time in a long time that a country has realized the power of the entire continent of Africa. Sure, it may be for selfish reasons, but the act in and of itself is an admission of the benefits of treating these nations as respected equals. If it works like China wants, maybe the Europeans and is in the Western hemisphere will follow suit.
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