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Jul 22, 2017

One of the most durable narratives about the Chinese in Africa is that the PRC is now just the newest foreign country to colonize the continent. While the Europeans may have used brute force, according to this widely-held perception, the Chinese instead using money to buy Africa’s land, corrupt its leaders and export its raw materials. Sure the methods may be different but the outcome is effectively the same: Africa is again being victimized by yet another imperial power.

Kenya-native and the founder of the Beijing-based sustainable development consultancy Development Reimagined argues that not only is it factually incorrect to label China as some kind of neo-colonial power in Africa, it’s also disrespectful to her ancestors and the tens millions of other Africans who suffered under the brutality of actual colonial rule. “To call China a colonial power is to diminish the true horrors that were faced by the colonized communities, including by my own relatives, who were detained by the British colonial authorities,” she wrote in a provocative article for Project Syndicate entitled “The People’s Republic of Africa?
 
Hannah joins Eric to discuss why she thinks the perception of China as a new colonial power in Africa is so durable. 
 
Join the discussion. Do you agree with Hannah that China may be a lot of things in Africa but it is not a colonizer? Or do you see history repeating itself where Africa is once again the victim of an aggressive foreign power seeking domination? Let us know what you think.