Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
  • Did you know

    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Chinese Hackers Targeted a Dozen Oil Companies in U.S. Kazakhstan, Taiwan, and Greece: McAfee

Posted by Author on February 10, 2011

By Sara Yin, PC Magazine, Feb. 10, 2010-

Highly skilled hackers in China have been stealing information from Western oil and gas companies since at least November 2009, according to a white paper from McAfee.

The cybercriminals compromised servers in the United States and Netherlands to infiltrate oil, gas, and petrochemical companies in the United States, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, and Greece. Roughly a dozen companies were penetrated, with five firms confirming the attacks, the report said.

McAfee has nicknamed the coordinated attacks “Night Dragon” for its Chinese origins. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Business, China, Company, Energy, Hacker, hacking, Internet, News, Oil, People, Technology, World | Comments Off on Chinese Hackers Targeted a Dozen Oil Companies in U.S. Kazakhstan, Taiwan, and Greece: McAfee

China’s Massive Dam Proposed in Tibet Yarlung Tsangpo River Could Spark Water Supply Conflict in Downstream Nations

Posted by Author on May 25, 2010

Jonathan Watts, Asia environment correspondent,, 24 May 2010 –

Chinese hydropower lobbyists are calling for construction of the world’s biggest hydro-electric project on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river as part of a huge expansion of renewable power in the Himalayas.

Zhang Boting, the deputy general secretary of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering, told the Guardian that a massive dam on the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo – the Tibetan name for the river – would benefit the world, despite the likely concerns of downstream nations, India and Bangladesh, which access water and power from the river.

Zhang said research had been carried out on the project, but no plan has been drawn up. But documents on the website of a government agency suggest a 38 gigawatt hydropower plant is under consideration that would be more than half as big again as the Three Gorges dam, with a capacity nearly half as large as the UK’s national grid.

“This dam could save 200m tonnes of carbon each year. We should not waste the opportunity of the biggest carbon emission reduction project. For the sake of the entire world, all the water resources than can be developed should be developed.” That CO2 saving would be over a third of the UK’s entire emissions.

The mega-facility is among more than 28 dams on the river that are either planned, completed or under discussion by China, according to Tashi Tsering, a Tibetan scholar of environmental policy at the University of British Columbia……. (more details from The Guardian)

Posted in Asia, China, dam, Energy, Environment, Life, News, River, Technology, World | Comments Off on China’s Massive Dam Proposed in Tibet Yarlung Tsangpo River Could Spark Water Supply Conflict in Downstream Nations

10 China Myths for the New Decade- Myth #1: growth

Posted by Author on January 30, 2010

Derek Scissors, Ph.D., Research Fellow in Asia Economic Policy in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, via, January 28, 2010 –

<< Previous

Myth #1: China is now the leading engine for global growth.

Truth: China detracts from the rest of the world’s growth in gross domestic product (GDP).

The standard procedure employed by those convinced of Chinese economic leadershipis to take every country’s GDP growth, add it all up, and check which economy contributed most to the global pile.[1] But that is not the way GDP works.

If a country successfully dictates trade terms and extracts a great deal of wealth from its partners, its GDP would grow very quickly while that of its partners would shrink or grow much more slowly. It would then seem this country is leading global growth higher while it is actually enriching itself at the rest of the world’s expense.

Behind this confusion is that GDP includes trade. A trade surplus adds to GDP and a trade deficit takes away from it. China runs the largest trade surplus in the world, which means the rest of the world runs a large trade deficit with the PRC.

From this perspective, China is not adding anything to global GDP growth. Using trade, China adds the most to its own GDP and takes away the most from the rest of the globe’s.

The distinction is between performance and welfare. China is outperforming the world but it is not contributing to global GDP. Just the opposite: Some of its gains are mirrored in offsetting GDP losses in the rest of the world.

China has contributed a great deal to the world economy. Competition is the life-blood of long-term growth, and competition from Chinese goods has arguably been the largest contributor to competition in the global economy over the past decade. In terms of policy, Chinese production kept consumer prices down worldwide, helping to keep inflation low despite high levels of government stimulus around the world.

The financial crisis has changed this. Previously, Chinese supply was helping to meet strong global demand. Now, Chinese supply is threatening to overwhelm weak global demand. Rather than leading, China is using the world to boost itself higher.

It need not be so. The PRC could encourage the development of its domestic economy for the sake of its own people. This would increase demand for goods produced in the rest of the world. Then, and only then, China might be an engine for the global economy.(to be cont’d)

Original from The Heritage Foundation

Posted in China, Economy, Energy, GDP, Investment, News, Opinion, Trade, World | Comments Off on 10 China Myths for the New Decade- Myth #1: growth

How China has created a new slave empire in Africa (3)

Posted by Author on October 15, 2008

By PETER HITCHENS, Daily Mail, UK, 28th September 2008- (Cont’d)

Recently, a government minister, Alice Simago, was shown weeping on TV after she saw at first hand the working conditions at a Chinese-owned coal mine in the Southern Province.

When I contacted her, she declined to speak to me about this – possibly because criticism of the Chinese is not welcome among most of the Zambian elite.

Denis Lukwesa, deputy general secretary of the Zambian Mineworkers’ Union, also backed up Sata’s view, saying: ‘They just don’t understand about safety. They are more interested in profit.’

As for their general treatment of African workers, Lukwesa says he knows of cases where Chinese supervisors have kicked Zambians. He summed up their attitude like this: ‘They are harsh to Zambians, and they don’t get on well with them.’

Sata warns against the enormous loans and offers of help with transport, schools and health care with which Peking now sweetens its attempts to buy up Africa’s mineral reserves.

‘China’s deal with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is, in my opinion, corruption,’ he says, comparing this with Western loans which require strong measures against corruption.

Everyone in Africa knows China’s Congo deal – worth almost £5billion in loans, roads, railways, hospitals and schools – was offered after Western experts demanded tougher anti-corruption measures in return for more aid.

Sata knows the Chinese are unpopular in his country. Zambians use a mocking word – ‘choncholi’ – to describe the way the Chinese speak. Zambian businessmen gossip about the way the Chinese live in separate compounds, where – they claim – dogs are kept for food.

There are persistent rumours, which cropped up in almost every conversation I had in Zambia, that many of the imported Chinese workforce are convicted criminals whom China wants to offload in Africa. I was unable to confirm this but, given China’s enormous gulag and the harshness of life for many migrant workers, it is certainly not impossible.

Sata warns that ‘sticks and stones’ may one day fly if China does not treat Zambians better. He now promises a completely new approach: ‘I used to sweep up at your Victoria Station, and I never got any complaints about my work. I want to sweep my country even cleaner than I swept your stations.’

Some Africa experts tend to portray Sata as a troublemaker. His detractors whisper that he is a mouthpiece for Taiwan, which used to be recognised by many African states but which faces almost total isolation thanks to Peking’s new Africa policy.

But his claims were confirmed by a senior worker in Chambishi, scene of the 2005 explosion. This man, whom I will call Thomas, is serious, experienced and responsible. His verdict on the Chinese is devastating.

He recalls the aftermath of the blast, when he had the ghastly task of collecting together what remained of the men who died: ‘Zambia, a country of 11million people, went into official mourning for this disaster.

‘A Chinese supervisor said to me in broken English, “In China, 5,000 people die, and there is nothing. In Zambia, 50 people die and everyone is weeping.” To them, 50 people are nothing.’

This sort of thing creates resentment. Earlier this year African workers at the new Chinese smelter at Chambishi rioted over low wages and what they thought were unsafe working conditions.

When Chinese President Hu Jintao came to Zambia in 2006, he had to cancel a visit to the Copper Belt for fear of hostile demonstrations. Thomas says: ‘The people who advised Hu Jintao not to come were right.’

He suspects Chinese arrogance and brutality towards Africans is not racial bigotry, but a fear of being seen to be weak. ‘They are trying to prove they are not inferior to the West. They are trying too hard.

‘If they ask you to do something and you don’t do it, they think you’re not doing it because they aren’t white. People put up with the kicks and blows because they need work to survive.’

Many in Africa also accuse the Chinese of unconcealed corruption. This is specially obvious in the ‘Democratic Republic of the Congo’, currently listed as the most corrupt nation on Earth.

A North-American businessman who runs a copper smelting business in Katanga Province told me how his firm tried to obey safety laws.

They are constantly targeted by official safety inspectors because they refuse to bribe them. Meanwhile, Chinese enterprises nearby get away with huge breaches of the law – because they paid bribes.

‘We never pay,’ he said, ‘because once you pay you become their bitch; you will pay for ever and ever.’

Another businessman shrugged over the way he is forced to wait weeks to get his products out of the country, while the Chinese have no such problems.

‘I’m not sure the Chinese even know there are customs regulations,’ he said. ‘They don’t fill in the forms, they just pay. I try to be philosophical about it, but it is not easy.’

Unlike orderly Zambia, Congo is a place of chaos, obvious privation, tyranny dressed up as democracy for public-relations purposes, and fear.

This is Katanga, the mineral-rich slice of land fought over furiously in the early Sixties in post-colonial Africa’s first civil war. Brooding over its capital, Lubumbashi, is a 400ft black hill: the accumulated slag and waste of 80 years of copper mining and smelting.

Now, thanks to a crazy rise in the price of copper and cobalt, the looming, sinister mound is being quarried – by Western business, by the Chinese and by bands of Congolese who grub and scramble around it searching for scraps of copper or traces of cobalt, smashing lumps of slag with great hammers as they hunt for any way of paying for that night’s supper.

As dusk falls and the shadows lengthen, the scene looks like the blasted land of Mordor in Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings: a pre-medieval prospect of hopeless, condemned toil in pits surrounded by stony desolation.

Behind them tower the leaning ruins of colossal abandoned factories: monuments to the wars and chaos that have repeatedly passed this way.

There is something strange and unsettling about industrial scenes in Africa, pithead winding gear and gaunt chimneys rising out of tawny grasslands dotted with anthills and banana palms. It looks as if someone has made a grave mistake.

And there is a lesson for colonial pride and ambition in the streets of Lubumbashi – 80 years ago an orderly Art Deco city full of French influence and supervised by crisply starched gendarmes, now a genial but volatile chaos of scruffy, bribe-hunting traffic cops where it is not wise to venture out at night.

The once-graceful Belgian buildings, gradually crumbling under thick layers of paint, long ago lost their original purpose.

Outsiders come and go in Africa, some greedy, some idealistic, some halfway between. Time after time, they fail or are defeated, leaving behind scars, slag-heaps, ruins and graveyards, disillusion and disappointment.

We have come a long way from Cecil Rhodes to Bob Geldof, but we still have not brought much happiness with us, and even Nelson Mandela’s vaunted ‘Rainbow Nation’ in South Africa is careering rapidly towards banana republic status.

Now a new great power, China, is scrambling for wealth, power and influence in this sad continent, without a single illusion or pretence.

Perhaps, after two centuries of humbug, this method will work where all other interventions have failed.

But after seeing the bitter, violent desperation unleashed in the mines of Likasi, I find it hard to believe any good will come of it. (END)

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3

– from Daily Mail, UK

Posted in Africa, Business, China, corruption, Economy, Energy, Health, Human Rights, Investment, Law, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on How China has created a new slave empire in Africa (3)

China east city residents mobilize against chemical project

Posted by Author on October 13, 2008

By Chris Buckley, Reuters, Mon Oct 13, 2008-

BEIJING (Reuters) – Residents of a pollution-plagued Chinese city are mobilizing against a proposed chemical plant they fear will menace their health, with some urging marches against the scheme they say puts growth before the environment.

The plant proposed for Taizhou on the coast of east China’s Zhejiang province would make paraxylene (PX), a petrochemical used in polyester. Last year, protests against a PX plant planned for another coastal city, Xiamen, led to officials shelving it.

Now Taizhou residents, dismayed at the prospect of another chemical plant in an area already crowded with them, are threatening to re-enact those protests — and again bring into focus China’s struggle to balance growth with growing public anger over pollution and environmental threats.

“Resolutely oppose the PX project. As Taizhou residents, everyone must take some action,” said one message on a local website ( that has served as a platform for the opposition. “We want clear water and green hills, not toxic cash.”

China’s leaders have vowed to create a more “harmonious society” with cleaner air and water, even at the cost of slower economic growth. But this dispute threatens to become another battle pitting citizens against local officials whose priority often remains attracting fresh investment and revenue.

A website devoted to opposing the project ( urges residents to “surround Taizhou.”

“Let the people speak out. Give them full rights to know and express themselves,” said the latest posting, dated Sunday. “Environmental problems are the world’s problems, and every individual’s.”

Internet messages also urge residents to send around text messages organizing mass “strolls” against the project.


Coastal Taizhou is a hub of chemical production and the big plant would be a feather in the cap for local officials.

“This is a rare historic opportunity, and a big project to enrich the people of Taizhou,” stated an official news report in April ( that announced the plan.

“We must seize the initiative and go all out to win it.”

But residents and workers in Taizhou have long complained about water, air and fields putrid with pollution……. (more details from Reuters)

Posted in China, City resident, East China, Economy, Energy, Environment, News, People, Politics, pollution, Social, World, Zhejiang | Comments Off on China east city residents mobilize against chemical project

`China Covered Up Nuke Plant Fire Last Month`, a radiation leak was suspected

Posted by Author on September 19, 2008, South Korea, SEPTEMBER 19, 2008-

A big fire broke out last month in China`s biggest nuclear power plant in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, and though a radiation leak was suspected, Chinese media did not report the accident, the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao said yesterday.

The daily said the fire occurred Aug. 26 after a transformer at the Tianwan nuclear plant exploded.

Fourteen fire engines and 66 firefighters were dispatched to the scene, but it took more than five hours to put out the blaze.

Firefighters poured fire suppression foam on the transformer, risking radiation leakage, Ming Pao said, adding, “They had difficulty extinguishing the fire since they had to disassemble the upper part of the transformer.”

Staff at the plant denied the possibility of radiation leakage, however, saying, “As soon as the transformer caught fire, it stopped operating automatically. No problem has so far been reported.”

Hwang Yong-seok, a nuclear engineering professor at Seoul National University, said, “A generator that produces electricity and a transformer used to transmit electricity are placed apart. So there can be no radiation leakage.”

The Tianwan nuclear plant is the largest cooperative project between China and Russia. Plant No. 1 and No.2 were each completed in May and Aug. last year , both of which have a capacity to generate 1.06 gigawatts of electricity.

China, whose nuclear plants can generate up to 9.07 gigawatts of nuclear power, or 1.92 percent of its energy supply, plans to increase the capacity to 58 gigawatts by 2020.

– Original:, South Korea

Posted in China, Energy, News, Nuclear, Politics, Technology, World | 1 Comment »

US hits at Chinese oil deal with Iran

Posted by Author on December 20, 2007

By Daniel Dombey in Washington, The Financial Times, December 20 2007-

The US has complained to Beijing about a new deal between Sinopec, the Chinese state-owned energy company, and Iran, in a sign of the rift between the world’s big powers about Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The contract to develop Iran’s Yadavaran oil and gas field, signed in Tehran on December 9, follows a 2004 memorandum of understanding and has been valued by Gholam Hossein Nozari, Iran’s oil minister, at $2bn.

“We were very concerned to see the announcement and we have followed up and communicated that concern to the Chinese government  . . . at multiple levels,” said a senior US official, who added the US was still waiting for “further details” from China about the transaction.

“We don’t think it makes sense for any country to be expanding its investment in the energy field in Iran,” he said. Investments in Iran’s energy sector are likely to escape United Nations sanctions in the near future, but they are hugely important for Iran’s economy as a whole – and are therefore the subject of a concerted US lobbying campaign……. (more details from The Financial Times)

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Economy, Energy, News, Oil, World | 2 Comments »

China Invests In Africa Irresponsibly, says Geldof

Posted by Author on October 4, 2007

Reuters, Tue 2 Oct 2007-

HELSINKI (Reuters) – China is behaving irresponsibly in its trade relations with Africa and should better adhere to international standards, rights activist and Irish rocker Bob Geldof said on Tuesday.

The anti-poverty campaigner told a corporate aid event in Finland China’s philosophy was mercantilist — based entirely on money without regard for political stability or the welfare of African people.

“They are everywhere, they invest huge amounts of money — it’s very positive for some of the countries, but negative for others,” he said.

“There is a danger because that’s naive and it’s disingenuous. They’re now a major power and they must behave to international standards.”

China is Africa’s third-largest trading partner, exporting $16.4 billion (8 billion pounds) worth of goods and services in the first six months of 2007, up 49 percent from a year earlier, China’s Commerce Ministry said in August.

China’s direct outbound investment in Africa reached $480 million in the same period.

Geldof said China was exacerbating some of the continent’s most difficult problems, including Darfur and Zimbabwe.

“The Chinese want the oil, they don’t want anything interfering with the Khartoum government, so they give free guns to the Sudanese army,” he said, adding 6 percent of Chinese oil was coming from Sudan, which makes up 60 percent of the country’s production.

Geldof said money and resources were also the driving force behind China’s support of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, criticised by analysts for driving a once thriving economy into the ground and frightening off foreign investment.

Deepali Khanna, East and Southern Africa regional director of grassroots organisation Plan International, said China could help stabilise the situation in Africa if it wanted to, especially in Sudan.

“China could be playing a much more pivotal role — China wants whatever is convenient for them and lets the rest of the world keep fighting over Darfur,” she said.

“But the investment that’s coming from China — they could pull that out; they could be getting the equilibrium right, but they are not. They’re making the government much more arrogant in wanting to do things they have been doing so far.”

Geldof and Khanna spoke at a seminar challenging the corporate sector to get more involved in the continent.

The musician said Europe needed to give more in order for African countries to come closer to achieving the United Nations’ objectives to halve poverty and achieve universal education by 2015 under its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He said meeting those goals was impossible under the present conditions.

“Uganda will probably make the child mortality figures, some African countries will make the education figures, but if you look at immunization for all, if you look at the AIDS figures … Africa will miss all the Millennium Development Goals,” he said.

– Original report from Reuters: Geldof says China invests in Africa irresponsibly

Posted in Africa, Business, China, Darfur, Economy, Energy, Human Rights, Investment, News, Oil, Politics, Social, Trade, World | Comments Off on China Invests In Africa Irresponsibly, says Geldof

China Dilemma Over Burma Protests

Posted by Author on September 26, 2007

By Michael Bristow, BBC News, Beijing, 25 September 2007-

China, which has become one of Burma’s main supporters over recent years, has remained largely silent about the current protests.

Beijing is traditionally reluctant to speak publicly about the internal affairs of other countries.

But, despite this, there are signs that Chinese politicians are anxious to help stabilise the political situation in Burma.

They perhaps do not want to tarnish China’s image ahead of next year’s Beijing Olympics by appearing to support any military crackdown in Burma.

Officially, China is playing down its ability to influence events in Burma.

“China always adopts a policy of non-interference,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu at a regular press briefing.

“As Myanmar’s (Burma’s) neighbour, China hopes to see stability and economic development in Myanmar,” she added.

“The stability of Myanmar serves the interest of Myanmar itself and the interests of the international community.”

But China’s ties with the military junta ruling Burma go deep, and include expanding trade links, the sale of military hardware and diplomatic support.

Energy corridor

“In the last decade or two, with the improving economic situation in China and the increasing isolation of Burma, China has become increasingly important to the regime,” said a spokesman for the Asian Human Rights Commission, based in Hong Kong.

The relationship between Burma and China is mainly based on trade. Burma, which has very little industry itself, imports manufactured goods from China.

“If you walk around the streets in Burma, particularly in the north, the overwhelming majority of manufactured goods are Chinese made,” said the commission spokesman, who regularly visits Burma.

That trade is reflected in official Chinese figures, which show that exports from China to Burma were up by 50% in the first seven months of this year. They were worth $964m (£479m).

Burma mainly exports raw materials, such as timber and gems, to China.

According to research published a few days ago by EarthRights International, 26 Chinese multinational firms were involved in 62 major projects in Burma over the last decade.

These include the construction of oil and gas pipelines stretching 2,380km (1,479 miles) from Burma’s Arakan coast to China’s Yunnan Province.

The rights group, based in the United States and South East Asia, says this is to help China import oil and gas from the Middle East, Africa and South America.

Official Chinese figures say total imports from Burma amounted to just $146m in the first seven months of this year.

But others doubt the accuracy of these figures. Rights group Global Witness estimated timber exports to China alone were worth $350m in 2005 – most of it illegally exported.

China also sells Burma military hardware, according to the Asian Human Rights Commission.

And Beijing used its veto in the United Nations’ Security Council in January to block criticism of Burma’s military junta……. (more details from BBC News: Chinese dilemma over Burma protests)

Posted in Asia, Buddhism, Business, China, Economy, Energy, Human Rights, Incident, News, People, Politics, Protest, Religion, Religious, Social, World | 1 Comment »

Why China Is Trying To Colonize Africa

Posted by Author on August 31, 2007

By David Blair, Telegraph, UK, 31/08/2007-

No one alive at the close of the 19th century could have missed the “scramble for Africa”. A motley collection of robber barons, imperialist ideologues, explorers, rogues and adventurers – the likes of Cecil Rhodes and the appalling Leopold II, King of the Belgians – carved up the continent in the name of five European powers.

Today, few appear to have noticed that a second “scramble for Africa” is under way. This time, only one giant country is involved, but its ambitions are every bit as momentous as those of Rhodes and company. With every day that passes, China’s economic tentacles extend deeper into Africa. While Europe sought direct political control, China is acquiring a vast and informal economic empire.

Reliable information on Beijing’s African adventure is hard to come by. But we do know that trade between China and the world’s poorest continent totalled about £30 billion last year – a sixfold increase since 2000.

China now buys about one third of its oil from Africa, mainly from Angola, where an £800 million deal to develop a new field was signed last May, and from Sudan, where Beijing built a 900-mile pipeline and invested at least £8 billion. China is spending another £1.2 billion on a new offshore oilfield in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Beijing has acquired mines in Zambia, textile factories in Lesotho, railways in Uganda, timber in the Central African Republic and retail developments in almost every capital.

The reasoning behind China’s new focus on Africa is simple. If its economic boom is to be sustained, Beijing must find more raw materials and new markets for manufactured goods. Chinese oil consumption is forecast to grow by at least 10 per cent every year for the foreseeable future. At this level of demand, its domestic reserves will vanish within 20 years.

Hence the quest for overseas oil. Yet Beijing’s options are limited. America and the Western powers have already snapped up the world’s largest oil reserves. Saudi Arabia and Iraq – with 45 per cent of the world’s oil between them – are in effect closed to China.

So the less developed tracts of Africa are an obvious target. Sudan’s six billion barrels of proven reserves – with more still to be discovered – have become of vital strategic significance to China.

These facts are of deep concern to many Africans. Their governments may welcome Chinese investment, but Africa’s independent voices do not share this enthusiasm. The consequences of China’s new role there have already been catastrophic.

Thanks to Beijing’s interest in Sudan’s oil, President Omar al-Bashir’s regime in Khartoum has received a windfall. Ten years ago, Sudan’s oil revenues were negligible; last year, Chinese investment ensured that they totalled at least £3 billion.

Without this ready cash, Mr Bashir could never have sustained the war in Darfur, where four years of fighting have claimed about 300,000 lives, either from violence, starvation or disease. The military machine that has laid waste to vast tracts of land, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, was, in effect, bankrolled by Beijing. Moreover, China has sold weapons directly to Sudan, notably Fantan ground attack aircraft.

Elsewhere, China provides a convenient alternative for African leaders spurned by the West for their human rights abuses. Devoid of aid and foreign investment, President Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe would be entirely isolated but for China’s backing. Beijing has given Mugabe civilian and military aircraft, and its experts helped design a new mansion for the old dictator, in the style of a Chinese pagoda.

Yesterday, the Chinese government assured Lord Malloch-Brown, the Foreign Office minister responsible for Africa and Asia, that any future aid for Zimbabwe would be purely humanitarian. Whether China will keep this promise is another matter: Mugabe’s Zanu-PF has received Chinese money for at least 30 years; Zanu-PF’s national headquarters in Harare – found, aptly enough, on Rotten Row – was built by China.

The harsh truth is that Beijing has become the ally of choice for Africa’s worst rulers. While China likes to portray itself as a benign force in Africa, free of the historical baggage carried by the former colonial powers, Beijing’s conduct is already resented.

During last year’s presidential election in Zambia, the leading opposition candidate, Michael Sata, campaigned on an explicitly anti-Chinese ticket. Beijing’s investment was, Mr Sata argued, almost entirely worthless for Zambia.

Yes, China had reopened some copper mines, but the workers were being exploited and all health and safety regulations ignored. An industrial accident at one Chinese-run mine claimed 46 lives in 2005. Later, workers rioted over low wages and poor conditions. Meanwhile, local companies were being driven out of business by cheap imports.

While Mr Sata lost the election overall, he won huge majorities in all the areas of Zambia affected by Chinese investment. His defeat prompted a day of anti-Chinese riots in the capital, Lusaka. Every Chinese-owned shop in the city was barricaded to avoid being looted. Meanwhile, shops owned by whites or Asians carried on trading without incident.

Even inside Mugabe’s crumbling domain, it has not gone unnoticed that all three MA-60 aircraft supplied by China to Air Zimbabwe have a terrifying history of engine fires and emergency landings.

While Americans and Europeans have only just encountered shoddy Chinese consumer goods, ordinary Zimbabweans talk of “zing zong” products – by which they mean exports from China which have a tendency to break in your hands.

Like all empires, China’s economic domain in Africa is stirring deep resentment. The wonder is that it has happened so quickly, and where the scramble will end.

Original report from Telegraph.Co.UK

Posted in Africa, Business, China, Commentary, Darfur, Economy, employment, Energy, Europe, Human Rights, News, Oil, Opinion, People, Politics, products, Social, USA, Worker, World | 2 Comments »

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