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Who is over simplifying things? Is equating one base to NATO not oversimplified?
My point is not to compare PLAN with AFRICOM. I am just not convinced it helps an African audience. It may help a Chinese apologist in saying “look, we are better than the US” but at the end of the day, they are both invested in extractive infrastructure. One base, 100 bases, that is comparison. I am not interested. I gave that example not to compare but to remind the OP that China does indeed operate a military in Africa, because it was my understanding that the OP thought they do not.
I don’t disagree that our rhetoric could be more refined and oriented toward these places than specifically China, but your lack of interest in the qualitative differences between the two present militaries is disturbing.
It is actually not lack of interest in “qualitative differences” but rather “so what?”
Upon reflection on these things, you realize it makes no sense to celebrate such comparisons and would rather focus on how you yourself as a continent can engage all countries in dignity and progress for your people.
It doesn’t matter that one country kills leaders and people of another place, but a second country does not do this? It makes no sense to celebrate this?
That is not the main point, if you have been getting my point.
There are literal studies out there showing that Chinese investment in Africa has had a significant and persistent positive impact on development of these countries https://www.eurasiareview.com/01022021-chinese-investment-in-africa-has-had-significant-and-persistently-positive-long-term-effects-despite-controversy/
It’s pretty telling that people in the west can’t even conceive of a mutually beneficial relationship between countries that’s not rooted in exploitation.
To add to this, I have also read about instances where Chinese affiliated projects in the Caribbean were stopped because people spoke up about environmental problems it would cause and danger it would pose to endangered species .
The PRC and local government (I believe it was Jamaica iirc) responded by replanning the project around these critics. This is not how the west has typically approached these things. Usually they just fund the mob, kill journalists, or strong-arm local politicians.
My point is that Chinese companies have been more adaptable and more interested in feedback than the alternatives. Neglecting this is also to be fixated on China and the problems it causes instead of the bigger picture, or even the specific place development projects are happening.
Let us see if we can agree on something: Chinese involvement in Africa has had positive effects, just as it has had negative ones too. European, American, Japanese etc.
Whether one has been 10X or 50X of the other is not in my interest. African progress should not be anchored on the *better extractor. *
The logic expressed by Rodney in the 70s is close to what I also feel about china in Africa today even though the degrees might be different. I hope you get my refusal to see generalist comparisons as helpful to an African audience, and why it might be helpful to Europeans and Chinese, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Europe_Underdeveloped_Africa
There will always be negative and positive aspects of trade between countries. The main difference between the west and China is that the west has a long documented history of using coercion in Africa while China does not. Countries in Africa are free to make a choice whether they want to trade with China or not, and whether that benefits their countries. On the other hand, the west actively subjugates countries in Africa and extracts their resources at gunpoint. That’s the key difference here.
I do not think this discussion is adding value at this point. I wish I had more time to engage in a productive way.