China gifts new home to African Union - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#13886274
Do we really think that China would do anything more than develop the infrastructure needed to exploit African resources?

Overall, I don't mind China becoming the world police. They would probably do a better job of cracking down on shit around the world than any western nation.
#13886316
Maas wrote:I seriously doubt China wants all kinds things to occure that potentially could damage their farmland in Africa. And so loss of fertility, loss of soil etc... I don't see that happening. Than again, depletion of things and wildlife... yeah. They will pay a high price. They always to pay a high price for human activities. It won't be any different than in Europe and US. So us saying that may not happen and so convicting Africans to hardly any development, is just hyporcrytical.


The question is not what China wants to occur; the question is what always occurs with large scale industrial farming: it destroys soil! That is the same in the US with the dust bowl. China has lost vast tracks of farmland to desertification because of intensive cultivation. That is the reason why they have to buy up land in Africa and elsewhere. There is no reason to assume that the big Chinese corporations managing the land in foreign countries will be any more conscientious about handling African soils than they handled their own. Today, almost all commercial farmers keep on destroying their soil, not because they want to, but because the market (the consumer) doesn’t leave them any other choice. Already a quarter of all land is so degraded that it is at great risk. See:

http://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=136287

The risk is even higher in tropical and arid regions of Africa which have a lot of marginal land with very poor soils. In other words, the problem is not limited to the Chinese, but it is particularly severe when big corporations operate large agricultural projects in underdeveloped countries, which have corruption where others use a regulatory framework.

What is at issue here is not “no-development” but “sustainable development”. The switch to sustainable farming, not just in Africa, is important if we want to avoid large scale starvation in the future. Western agricultural corporations pushing GMO seeds and poison on the Africans together with the USDA are just as bad as the Chinese. I don’t see what it is that is supposed to be “hypocritical” about this.
#13886321
Rancid wrote:Do we really think that China would do anything more than develop the infrastructure needed to exploit African resources?


The key word here is “exploitation”. We “exploit” a mine until all resources are gone. In the same way, industrial farming “exploits” a soil until the fertility is exhausted. In the last 5 decades, modern farming has exhausted most of the soil fertility accumulated by traditional farmers in over 5,000 years. What do Africans eat, when there are no more fertile soils?

Rancid wrote:Overall, I don't mind China becoming the world police.


Ah, you obviously weren’t at Tiananmen Square when the Chinese government butchered its own people with tanks. That is not the kind of police I would look forward to.
#13886326
No, when I visited Tiananmen square, there was no such violence. Just people trying to sell Chinese flags to tourists.

Seriously though, I guess my reason for saying that is really that I just don't want the US to play world police anymore. We blow away far too much money on maintaining a system of global crony capitalism which the Communist Chinese probably wouldn't mind doing instead. We're just too broke.

The Communist Chinese are the world's best capitalists.

I think it would help us too if the Chinese got mired in stupid foreign wars and interventions to serve their perceived national interests and agendas. In the longer term, it would probably drain them and weaken them financially like it has the US. :muha1:

Or just make us all their bitch.
Last edited by Rancid on 01 Feb 2012 17:36, edited 5 times in total.
#13886331
That is not the kind of police I would look forward to.


So, you prefer a prolonged bombing campaign than tanks, interesting.

Ah, you obviously weren’t at Tiananmen Square


Were you??
#13886406
fuser wrote:So, you prefer a prolonged bombing campaign than tanks, interesting.


Please do refresh my memory, when did the US air force bomb Washington the last time?

Were you??


Not quite, but not all that far away. Anyways, I do remember it very vividly.

The fact remains that even Assad of Syria appears like a choir boy by comparison.
#13886415
Rancid wrote:Seriously though, I guess my reason for saying that is really that I just don't want the US to play world police anymore. We blow away far too much money on maintaining a system of global crony capitalism which the Communist Chinese probably wouldn't mind doing instead. We're just too broke.

The Communist Chinese are the world's best capitalists.


I do understand your sentiment. However, the US isn’t policing the World for humanitarian reasons. There are very tangible economic reasons at play. Obviously, there always comes a point when the cost of maintaining an empire outweighs the benefit. But so far the US has always managed to pass the costs to its dependencies. Look at all the European soldiers in Afghanistan; they should not be there, that is a purely American war. Even the US debt crisis has now been passed onto Europe. And with the help of the British public relations machine you even managed to convince the World that the Greeks or the Germans are to blame. That is an amazing PR coup.

Anyways, coming back to the Chinese, they are great merchants but lousy soldiers. They are about to corner the World’s markets, but they will have a hell of a time to defend their possessions (or even their own workers) in Africa by military means.
#13886418
Please do refresh my memory, when did the US air force bomb Washington the last time?


Does world means Washington to you?? You were talking about 'being world police', right. :eh:
Last edited by fuser on 01 Feb 2012 20:48, edited 1 time in total.
#13886431
Zenno wrote:The question is not what China wants to occur; the question is what always occurs with large scale industrial farming: it destroys soil! That is the same in the US with the dust bowl. China has lost vast tracks of farmland to desertification because of intensive cultivation. That is the reason why they have to buy up land in Africa and elsewhere. There is no reason to assume that the big Chinese corporations managing the land in foreign countries will be any more conscientious about handling African soils than they handled their own. Today, almost all commercial farmers keep on destroying their soil, not because they want to, but because the market (the consumer) doesn’t leave them any other choice. Already a quarter of all land is so degraded that it is at great risk.

I think it's up to what the Chinese want / demand. I don't see them investing in Africa as some 5 to 10 year plan and than legt it out with the big profits. They want a steady flow of food for decades to come. They have a fast knowledge of farming on the same land for centuries and what problems it can have. So I disagree that you think the Chinese are giving this card blanche to Africans to farm on land owned by Chinese and potentially make a disaster of it. Afterall, they didn't even let Africans build that African Union building. They don't trust that Africans can do it right.
#13886452
Maas wrote:I fail to see the rational part of being annoyed at China for doing this just because its China.

  • I would've liked other countries to exploit Africa before China could do it.
  • I'm Anglo-Japanese, did you even need to ask further questions on why?

Its not like I don't wear my biases on my sleeve, so stop feigning ignorance. You start out trolling, why not just admit to trolling rather than making me waste keystrokes telling you what the rest of PoFo can so obviously see that no one even bothers asking.

Obviously "this so annoying", meant that I was annoyed that China got the limelight. There is nothing in this topic that would suggest it was anything other than that. You'd have to be autistic or trolling not to have understood my meaning.

The fact that you went around both my posts and selected those three words to bitch about, indicates to me that you are trolling.

__________________

But here's a funny thing, since you seem to think this is all humanitarian. We could have racist East Asian nations exploit Africa for national food security, and then we could have liberals like yourself present that to the west as being a completely selfless and kindhearted plan. So maybe for the first time ever, Maas, we are on the same team - just yours is the delusional part of that team.
Last edited by Rei Murasame on 01 Feb 2012 21:08, edited 1 time in total.
#13886456
Igor Antunov wrote:Those yummy african resources.

And potential future markets and targets of investment and outsourcing.

Igor Antunov wrote:This is the perfect place for China to run Africa from.

Some parts of it perhaps, I doubt the Maghreb and West Africa will be parts of China's sphere of influence. However, it really seems like a good idea that China wants to institutionalize her influence through the African Union, which is actually something like Africa's own UN. Was it China's agent when it supported Gaddafi to stay in power?
#13892176
Rancid wrote:Do we really think that China would do anything more than develop the infrastructure needed to exploit African resources?

Overall, I don't mind China becoming the world police. They would probably do a better job of cracking down on shit around the world than any western nation.

I disagree, I don't think that is China's intrest. China will use its power (political, military, trade, whatever), not to crack down, but to just open channels or keep channels open. Keep trade open and clear. The internal disputes of nations are their problems - China prides itself on not meddling in the affairs of other nations (expecting those nations to stay out of Chinese affairs). I don't see China having any desire to become the world police in the way that America attempted (and is often hated for).

This will be a good thing, and a bad thing. Trade will be open, but intervention, criticism, will be limited. Diplomacy will be akin to this building, grease to keep trade open and flowing, to give China a foot in the door.

As for internal problems of nations, well those are the problems of those nations. China's concern will be to buy your stuff, and sell you stuff.

So far China's concern is keeping trade flowing smoothly. The trade in raw materials to China, and products coming out of China.
#13892277
Tailz wrote:This will be a good thing, and a bad thing. Trade will be open, but intervention, criticism, will be limited.

Which leaves the potential to have a well-funded repressive dictatorship left to its own devices, which is a bad thing.
#13892278
Zagadka wrote:Which leaves the potential to have a well-funded repressive dictatorship left to its own devices, which is a bad thing.

I agree, but China is just not the kind of government that openly criticizes other Nation States. China's view: We mind our own business, you mind your own business. China will trade with a repressive government (hey it is your choice what kind of government you have), and they will happily trade with whoever replaces said repressive government.

When I wrote... ...will be a good thing... ...I was comparing to America and it's intervention, or attaching democratic reform to aid packages. This is part of the reason why African nations like China presently. They get money for their resources without strings attached. You give China coal, you get cash. You give America coal, you get American (or European) meddling (what about workers rights? You use child labor!?! etc) along with the cash. To many nations, that "cash for stuff, no strings attached" will be a good thing as far as their concerned.
#13892287
Rei Murasame wrote:I would've liked other countries to exploit Africa before China could do it.

The entire continent is hardly the interest of the UK ever since they lost their colonial posessions.
I'm Anglo-Japanese, did you even need to ask further questions on why?

It would only be obvious when you are fully Japanese. The UK as any western European country has no real resentment against China to even are happy to do business with them while we ignore Africa.

Bottem line is... we simply do not see business oppertunities in Africa.


But here's a funny thing, since you seem to think this is all humanitarian.

No, this is about China getting the front seat for business oppertunities.
Its a side effect, that I really like, that Afrian nations devellop with this... my humanitarian side.
And so would you. Because you don't want those people to seek economic prosperity in the UK.
It's your own character flaw that you can't step beyond pitty Japanese nationalistic sentiments.



Tailz wrote:I agree, but China is just not the kind of government that openly criticizes other Nation States. China's view: We mind our own business, you mind your own business. China will trade with a repressive government (hey it is your choice what kind of government you have), and they will happily trade with whoever replaces said repressive government.

That is true. Than again, ignoring those countries have not produced results as in countries behaving the way the West wants them to behave. It only has caused that those people to remain to live in poverty with no end in sight. People living in a hypothical country with authorian rule and no freedom but with a house and some school to go to and good meals on the table are still better off than people who without such luxeries but in a democratic non-corrupt society.
Last edited by Maas on 09 Feb 2012 09:26, edited 1 time in total.
#13892289
Tailz wrote:I agree, but China is just not the kind of government that openly criticizes other Nation States. China's view: We mind our own business, you mind your own business. China will trade with a repressive government (hey it is your choice what kind of government you have), and they will happily trade with whoever replaces said repressive government.

Well, given that they are a country frequently accused of sweatshops and bad working conditions, that is hardly surprising. Running a state as responsibly as China runs theirs isn't too much of a challenge; no expectations of democracy, centralized government that kicks people out of houses and completely skips any kind of worker safety and has ever-increasing levels of environmental decay... that may be a productive thing, but it may also be destructive in both the short and long term health of the country.
#13892298
Zagadka wrote:no expectations of democracy, centralized government that kicks people out of houses and completely skips any kind of worker safety and has ever-increasing levels of environmental decay... that may be a productive thing, but it may also be destructive in both the short and long term health of the country.

Our governments can kick people out of their houses with NIMBY-laws.
Don't kid yourself. When our government wants a highway... their will becomes law.

And work safety... hmm. More than a hundred people died making the hoover-dam.
Shure our working conditions are much better now. But that is a rather recent change.
I have no problems when other countries have norms that are just decades behind our own.
I actually find it odd to demand other nations to have our norms according to the latest fashion.
#13892314
Yea, because going back 100 years in technology and quality of life would be just super.

Don't kid yourself. When our government wants a highway... their will becomes law.

Are you nuts? The government around here goes nuts trying to build new things. It took them 5 years to close a street that intersected a major highway and caused constant traffic.
#13892346
It's nice to simplify things zag, but not really fair to reality. Nobody is kicked out of a house without getting monetary compensation and another house for free. And the sums aren't small, certainly more than they could ever sell their land for. The courthouses in the beijing hutongs are a fine example of relocation done right.

As for long term, look to india if you want to see where unregulated capitalism in a developing country leads. India is a dung hole.
#13892390
New Comrade Zenno wrote:There is no reason to assume that the big Chinese corporations managing the land in foreign countries will be any more conscientious about handling African soils than they handled their own.

This appears to be absolutely true:

William Mosely, in Al Jazeera, wrote:China's farming history misapplied in Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is being sold misguided agricultural policies based on hybrid seeds and chemical inputs.

As sub-Saharan Africa grapples with high food prices in some regions and famine in others, many experts argue that increasing food production through a programme of hybrid seeds and chemical inputs is the way to go. This approach, marketed as a "New Green Revolution" for Africa, is increasingly supported by a triumphant telling of China's history with this method in the 1970s and 1980s. This Chinese success story is not only distorted, but it is being misapplied in Africa.

China's Great Famine of 1958-61 reportedly killed 36 million people. This was a seminal moment for the country and, from that point forward, producing enough food would be a major priority. China would subsequently increase grain production dramatically between 1960 and 2000, with wheat output increasing eightfold, exiling the ghost of famine to the margins of that country's collective social imagination.

According to many Chinese and Western observers, these stunning productivity increases were due to two factors. First, the Chinese aggressively embraced a Green Revolution approach. They would both borrow hybrid seeds from the West and develop their own such technologies. Furthermore, they would massively increase nitrogen fertiliser production by importing manufacturing technology, eventually becoming the world's largest producer of these agricultural inputs. Second, the Chinese adopted a series of more market-oriented reforms from the late 1970s, allowing for the decentralisation and decollectivisation of agriculture, as well as a rise in producer prices.

Now experts from some the world's major development institutes and organisations are arguing that sub-Saharan Africa ought to follow the Chinese example in the realm of agricultural development. They not only suggest that this will increase food production, but that it will build a foundation for future industrial development.

The high cost of low price

While a renewed focus on African agriculture is welcome (as this is an area that has been ignored for more than 20 years), this particular telling of the Chinese success story is distorted, and the type of agricultural development being promoted is problematic.

While Chinese agricultural production did, indeed, increase dramatically from 1960 to 2000, it was done at great environmental and social cost. China now faces stagnating production and declining yields, which are most likely related to soil degradation - due to, among other factors, the overuse of nitrogen fertilisers. Untold is the fact that China had been seriously exploring a bio-intensive path to increasing agricultural production up until about 1972, when it began to gradually open up to the West. From that point forward, the Green Revolution approach would take precedence. Furthermore, while the agricultural reforms of the late 1970s and 1980s did allow some peasants to produce more crops, these reforms also led to dramatic increases in inequality in the Chinese countryside.

The current reality is that a rapidly urbanising China is experiencing major shifts in dietary patterns. With increasing prosperity comes increasing consumption of meat, and a greater need for grain to feed these animals. With stagnating grain production, China needs to find other sources of food around the world.

Green revolution in Africa?

By pushing for a "New Green Revolution" in Africa, both China and the West are clear winners. Many Chinese commentators view sub-Saharan Africa as under-populated and land-rich. As such, enhancing agricultural productivity on the continent means that it will have more food to export to China, which increasingly needs such imports. Furthermore, the US is home to some of the world's major seed companies and agrochemical firms. By encouraging an input-intensive approach to agriculture dependent upon imported technology, US firms are destined to profit.

Full story:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 49406.html

Thank God for Monsanto!

:)

And welcome to PoFo, New Comrade. You seem like a very sane and sensible person.

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