How Africa is Becoming China’s China


This video was made possible by Brilliant. Start learning with Brilliant for 20% off
by being one of the first 200 to sign up at http://brilliant.org/wendover. Political alliances manifest themselves here—on
the voting floor of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New York. In this room countries impose legislation
that carries weight worldwide and so what happens in this room is the physical materialization
of the world’s politics. 47 years ago, exactly that happened when one
of the General Assembly’s most consequential votes occurred. China, you see, essentially has two governments. There’s the Republic of China which used
to control the mainland and Taiwan but today only administers Taiwan and there’s the
People’s Republic of China which controls the mainland. Both claim to be the rightful governments
of all of the Chinese territory—both Taiwan and the mainland—and so back in 1971 the
United Nations had to decide which government would represent China. Essent ially, the question was which government
was the rightful leader of the territory as there could only be one in the United Nations. The US was the main superpower opposing the
People’s Republic representing China as it had a strong political and military alliance
with the Republic of China government and so the vote was essentially the US’ sphere
of influence versus the world. Among the 35 countries that voted against
the People’s Republic were much of Africa—the Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Liberia,
Niger, South Africa, and plenty of others that sided with the US. Despite the US’s efforts, the resolution
ended up passing and the representative government for China in the UN was switched to the People’s
Republic of China but what’s interesting about this is not the result, it’s who voted
against the People’s Republic. Since that 1971 vote, you see, something has
changed. In 2007, the UN general assembly met once
again to vote on whether to adopt a resolution condemning the human rights situation in North
Korea. As one of North Korea’s strongest allies,
this vote was China and its sphere of influence versus the world. In this vote, though, only Burundi, Equatorial
Guinea, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, and Tanzania
voted against China. All the 43 other African countries either
abstained or voted no along with China because in the forty years between those votes, political
ties changed. Africa no longer bows to the US. Much of the continent is now economically
and politically aligned with the world’s fastest emerging superpower—China. The simple answer for why this is is because
China has pumped huge amounts of money into the continent of Africa. They’re buying allies. For example, China built a $3.2 billion railway
in Kenya trekking the 300 miles from Nairobi, the capitol, to Mombassa, the second largest
city and primary port, in 4 hours and 30 minutes. That’s faster than what the fastest train
in the US, the Acela Express, takes to travel the equivalent distance from Philadelphia
to Boston. China also built a $526 million dam in Guinea
which helped push the country from having constant power shortages to making more energy
than it needs and selling the extra capacity to its neighbors. China also built a $475 million light rail
system in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, designed
as a way to combat the capital’s crippling traffic. These are only a sampling. There are literally hundreds of others of
Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa each year. All across the continent, China is playing
a part in projects both big and small that are transforming African economies. It’s important to note that these projects
are not, though, free. Each of these three were financed by loans
granted by China’s state-owned and controlled Export-Import bank and these loans do, of
course, need to be paid back by the countries granted them. Large African infrastructure projects, though,
would be viewed as risky by any traditional bank and would therefore struggle to get financed
but China’s export-import bank doesn’t care. Assuming cooperation between the Chinese and
African countries’ governments, this bank will give low-interest or no-interest loans
to African countries so they can build these trains or dams or other projects. These loans are therefore considered a form
of foreign aid since China doesn’t expect to get all their money back, at least adjusted
for inflation, since they’re not charging much interest and there’s a high risk of
default. Of course China isn’t just financing these
projects out of kindness. For each of them there’s a political goal
behind it. You see, the country of China is running out
of growth potential. Its era of double digit year over year GDP
growth is over as it makes the shift from industrializing to industrialized. Africa, meanwhile, is one of the least developed
areas of the world and a lack of development actually makes fast growth easy. The first step of economic development for
many countries is natural resource exploitation. Nearly every country has some level of natural
resources that they can use to kickstart growth but first they need to have enough money to
build the infrastructure and take the steps needed to gather these natural resources. As everyone knows, it takes money to make
money and China has money. By investing in African mining and farming,
China can profit off of Africa’s growth and fuel the business back in China that require
minerals and food, but in addition to it serving as a source of natural resources, Africa has
another resource—labor. It might seem strange that China, the country
that the world uses for low-cost manufacturing, is looking for a labor source elsewhere but
that is exactly what it’s doing. China is a victim of its own success. The economic development that its manufacturing
industry brought pushed a large segment of its population into the middle class which
raised labor costs country-wide. It’s not bad news, China as a country has
shifted from having a low-skilled to a medium-skilled workforce as their education level has improved,
but for the lowest cost, lowest skilled manufacturing work, the country of China is no longer competitive. Therefore, Chinese manufacturing firms are
setting up their own operations in Africa—one of the cheapest and lowest skilled labor markets
in the world. Today, China is now the largest trading partner
with Africa as a whole. Despite China being a vastly larger country
than the US in population, the US and China both trade a similar value of goods worldwide
each year. In this case, though, whereas $48 billion
worth off goods were exchanged between the US and Africa in 2016, China traded $128 billion
worth of goods—nearly three times as much. Now, the whole idea of setting up a structure
of power over other less developed states in order to gather resources and use their
labor force might sound familiar because that’s largely what colonialism was. The motives behind European powers expanding
their territory to less developed nations in the 15th through 20th centuries were remarkably
similar to the motivations behind China’s growing economic influence in the developing
world today. Despite what some may say, there is empirical
evidence that China has been using these infrastructure investments to affect worldwide politics. It’s been found that if an African country
recognizes Taiwan as a country they receive, on average, 2.7 fewer Chinese infrastructure
projects within their borders each year. Conversely, if an African country votes overwhelmingly
along with China in the United Nations General Assembly, they receive 1.8 more infrastructure
projects per year. Considering that the General Assembly is an
equal representative body where each country gets one vote no matter if they have a million
residents or a billion, China’s getting a lot of influence for, in the grand scheme
of things, not a lot of money. China touts the fact that their foreign investment
and aid is “no strings attached.” Unlike other institutions that give low or
no-interest loans to developing countries like the International Monetary Fund or World
Bank, China give loans with no requirements on factors like respect of human rights or
democratic elections. Of course, this data linking infrastructure
investment with political leanings shows that there are indeed hidden strings that require
benefit for China rather than benefit for the receiving country. Western powers are understandably concerned
about this shift in power dynamics towards a country with vastly different ideals. In 2017, China entered a select club as it
opened a military base in Djibouti. While four other countries have bases in Djibouti—France,
Italy, Japan, and the US—this base was unique as it was China’s first base abroad and
those by themselves, military bases abroad, are unique. Only 15 of the world’s most developed and
militarily powerful countries worldwide have them and now China is one of them. Although, western powers might be worried
for the wrong reasons. The government of China is clearly putting
a lot of focus and money into Africa but not as much as you’d think based off the result
they’re getting—vast amounts of influence over a whole continent. There are two key numbers to look at. In 2015, China loaned just $12 billion to
African countries. In the same year, the country invested a mere
$3 billion in the continent. That’s just not much but the reason China
is gaining this enormous influence over the continent is because the Chinese government
no longer has to force this phenomenon. Private Chinese industry is taking hold of
Africa. Of the estimated 10,000 Chinese businesses
in Africa, 90% of them are privately owned rather than one of the numerous Chinese state-run
companies. The Chinese companies in Africa are actually
making money—some substantially so. The Chinese government certainly has provided
a considerable push to the industrialization of Africa but now that that’s done, economic
forces are moving the initiative further forward. Chinese small business is gripping the continent. Much of the western world is ignoring the
prospects of the continent—ignoring that business in Africa can now be as profitable
as business in China was when its period of tremendous growth began. Right now, Africa is establishing itself as
the source of labor and resources for China and so, until the west pays attention, Africa
will continue inching forward on its path towards becoming China’s China. One of the techniques used to predict the
GDP or GDP growth of a country, which is of course used to decide which country to invest
in, is machine learning. For example, here’s what a machine learning
model predicted a country’s GDP would be over three months and here’s what it actually
was. It forecasted the country’s GDP far better
than humans did. The science behind predictions like this is
complex but fascinating. If you want to learn how it works, though,
the best place to do so is brilliant.org. Their machine learning course makes this advanced
concept simple because their simple explanations, illuminating graphics, and thought-provoking
questions break a concept down into small packages and then builds it back up to the
final result. They truly are experts in successfully teaching
complex topics. They also have plenty of other fascinating
courses on topics like computational biology, number theory, artificial neural networks,
and more. You can start learning for free at brilliant.org/Wendover
but then, if you want to access the full range of classes with their premium subscription,
the first 200 to use that link will also get 20% off their annual premium subscription. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you again
in three weeks for another Wendover Productions video.

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100 thoughts on “How Africa is Becoming China’s China

  1. My favorite part is comparing Chinese economic relationships with Africa as "colonialism". Then why isn't any other economic relationship "colonialism"? Did America "colonialist" China by setting up factories there? Here's the big difference:
    1) colonialism by western powers was done by Military Power. You did what they wanted or they shot you in the face.
    2. Chinese and African relationships are Voluntary Economic relationships. They came to terms mutually, and African nations are free to stop doing business China at anytime without getting shot in the face.

  2. China doesn't really do debt traps, but why their debts are traps to Africa. Let me explain below
    You see, when you borrow money, say you want a million Kenya shillings or whatever currency your country uses, whoever is lending you expects you to give the money back.

    You will get two types of lenders. Both lenders require that you pay the amount in full, eventually.

    Lender one might not trust how you want to spend the money and might ask to control how you use it. They will be like," I will give you the money, but you can't buy your spouse this and that, you have let me decide what you spend the money on " etc. This model really works with the USA because they can control peoples culture, ask people to be more democratic and capitalist, which is a world view that works and is fine but also benefits them, albeit mutually, in the grand scheme of things.

    Lender two might not really care how you spend your money or trust you to spend it right but they expect you to pay them back. So they will ask, like many lenders e.g banks do, for something in return. Maybe a title deed, your cars log book, so that when you default on your loan, its a guarantee that they can get their money back. This world view also works for China, because China wants different people to decide what is right for them, and govern themselves.

    Now, if YOU are a sane person, who knows very well that you can control how you spend your own money, you would go to lender two. Because they afford you the flexibility to plan your own finances. You would not want to go to lender one, because they literally have the power to even decide how much profit you can make from the loan.
    But if you are INSANE, like most African leaders, you want to go for A, where they tell you how to spend that money, because you simply cannot control how you spend that money yourself

    In Kenya, whenever Americans are given a project, they try and make sure that the tenders are not inflated. Kenyan leaders might know it takes $1B to say build a dam, but they will ask for $2B, take the $1B for themselves. But the taxpayers will have to dig twice as deep into their pockets and work extra hours to pay back the loans. This diminishes and robs citizens of their prosperity and makes them poor in the grand scheme of things. But Americans always make sure to inspect the REAL value of the projects and only give that amount out. Something that prevents Kenyans going into slavery induced by their greedy politicians

    China on the other hand, doesn't care. Which is good for a sane country. e.g Japan, The United Kingdom. But this strategy does not work when you are lending to greedy people. We the citizens, and the opposition party of course, see China as a threat sometimes because, when they give us a loan, we know for sure that they won't care about how we spend it. We know a lot of money is going to be stolen and we will have to pay it back. However, China has come from far and is much better than countries like Italy, Spain and France who literally can even involve their top politicians in this looting and corruption

    That said, you see, China USA, none of them are the problem.
    We Africans, are the problem

  3. Lmfevilao.. Chinese Africans ..its the diamond mines, same shit as England did …allow the gorilla's to rape the Chinese.

    Next..

  4. THis video is so cringy. The white gaze is just disgusting. I can't wait until China becomes the #1 economy in the world. THe USA has brought too much war in the world.

  5. Israel's "bases abroad" do not really count as they are located in an area that Israel actually considers its own – Israeli laws apply in the Golan Heights and there are quite a few Israeli civillians living there, so it is very different from a British base in Germany, for example.

  6. Africans are thanking China for their business & support. That tells you the story.

    Of course, there has to be something in it for China, it's business, there's something for both parties, but I find China's actions honorable. Unlike their predecessors, they're not going there arming the rebels and creating war & genocide, then stealing everything. China is helping Africa grow, for a better future.

    Long live China and anyone who wants to help others.

  7. I saw some crucial comments here. Let me ask, any one of the western countries or so called developed countries help Africa? Then why don't you guys let my country China help them? Win win method is always the way we choose but not for the western countries. So even China is for it's own benefit, but it also helps Africa AND it's better than the countries do nothing. For oil? Which country can compare to Unites States of America as a super country to to invade other countries for controlling petrol? 🤷‍♀️

  8. China is stealing from Africa. Many of us got into their traps en we dont know that they are controlling all of our financies coz of the depts

  9. At least China is not assassinating our leaders and not trying to introduce 'democracy' with arm twisting tactics. They are building much needed infrastructures. They are developing businesses more than what the west has ever done.

  10. The intention of this video is to play Africa and China against each other, just like the "Tomorrow" media in the Jame Bond movie, "Tomorrow Never Dies", plays the UK and China against each other, so that the "Tomorrow" media itself can profit from the chaos.

    Everybody wants friends. So what's wrong with China's attempt to make friends?

    In the colonial days, the western countries not only used Africans as slaves, but they also pointed guns at those poor people's heads to force them to do things that only the westerners could profit. That's why Africa is still poor after hundreds years dominated by the western countries.

    And now, since the Second World War, during which American became the world's arsenal, America has always been mongering wars around the world so that it can sell weapons to America's own army (which is the biggest client of America's weapons) and to other countries, and also, America's military officials can "have something to do" and not lose their jobs.

    But China is the opposite, because what China makes is civil products compared to America's weapons. In order to sell its products, China needs peace around the world. But for America, in order to sell its products, i.e. weapons, American needs the world to be in wars as long as possible, because the markets for weapons are wars. If there are no wars, the America will go around to make some. America encourages its army to bomb other countries because only through bombing other countries can America's weapons be sold and therefore America's weapon makers can profit.

    So the fact is, that China is a peace-keeper while America is a war-monger. Plus, China does win-win business with all other countries, and only win-win businesses will be sustainable.

    But America does not like that, because it doesn't like peace. America doesn't like peace because if Africa and other countries are enjoying peace and not having wars to kill each other, America's weapons won't have markets. So now America is trying to play Africa and China against each other, like what this video is doing, in order to break the peace, and then America will try something else to make wars — America is doing all these with only one purpose: to sell weapons and to allow its military politicians to "have things to do".

    Anybody with at least normal intelligence should clearly see America's ungodly motive behind videos like this one, and not to be played by any evil countries like America.

  11. what bulll shit propaganda video. how the fuck you comparing Western imperialism and exploitation of African versus. Africa's OWN decision to trade WITHOUT gunpoint? Chinese did not invade, did not shoot, did not kidnap, did not intervene in any African nation, yet this fucking dumbass western reporter is comparing that to what YOUR ancestor did? man shut the fuck up you idiotic cunt.

    China is 1000x better than any western lying colonial fucking satan country.

    As an black american (of African descent) , i say FUCK UNITED STATES and fuck WESTERN countries, you bunch of lying hypothetical neo-imperialist murderers. FUck you

  12. The West main goal for the past centuries was solely exploitation, the Chinese are subtle but at least the continent moving towards the 21st century whereas the West have "kept" in the 16 century, killing Democratic elected leaders and interfering with elections. And human rights violation is only used by Western powers as excuse, their foreign policies are rife with human rights violations without acknowledging it. So to Africa and Africans it's all about the lesser of two evils.

  13. America looks really stupid in the eyes of the World, Sad thing is they cant even see it themselves. China has pulled up Americas Skirt

  14. Every important nation in the world offers medical/technical/educational/infrastructure assistance to African nations without any strings attached! Only China makes these ridiculous videos 24/7 to let everyone on earth know what they are doing and how wonderful they are for helping out the people in Africa. Only problem is, their assistance comes with incredible strings attached which tend to take control of the countries infrastructure and resources in payment for what they do “from their hearts”. ….. first comes the freebie, then the BRI, then debt that they can never pay, then they sign over their infrastructures and resources to the Chinese in payment for colossal projects they never needed in the first place such as huge, extravagant sports stadiums which are rarely used and expensive to maintain! Anything African countries get from China is NEVER A GIFT

  15. 中国共产党代表的是大部分无产阶级的政党,只有无产阶级人民没有了,中国共产党也就消失了,那也是它最伟大的时刻

  16. Don’t forget the truth:

    When the European came to Africa with a book, African have their lands.

    When the European rape African land, African only had the book.

    This book is called BIBLE.

    History never lie

  17. This is another bastard channel.

    What we expect from a channel that promote western type perspective of colonialism and freedom?? Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and now Iran, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sudan, and you so called created fu3k up Liberia. How many deaths from starvation from war? You wendover, a bunch of di3khead are hypocrite that deserve to die in hell! You are unfit to be follower of Jesus, Jesus dont have fu3k up son like you

  18. US: "we'll give you money, but you must do this and that, if not, then we'll send in the Apaches and carrier strike groups."

    China:"we'll build roads, high-speed rail, bridges and dams, lil or no interest, don't care abt your domestic issues (human rights/free elections), just vote for us or abstain in the nxt General Assembly!

  19. The difference between US and China is US harvest an oasis and leave a desert behind while China turns a desert into an oasis before harvesting it.

  20. By many of the comments it would seem not many people watched this until the end where the picture painted is not necessarily as rosie as those below would prefer.

  21. asia, eastern europe, and africa will belong to china in the next two decades. central europe will remain a loose federation, australia and the pacific will join china, and india will go its own path. america will retain control of western hemisphere and conquer cuba, north korea's regime will fall and be replaced by an autocratic transition government that serves china. israel will annex palestine and saudi arabia will sign a peace treaty with iran.

  22. AS MONTY PONTHON SANG 40YEARS AGO! I LIKE CHINESE!!!! GET USED TO IT CHINA IS TAKING OVER!!!! NO WAR NEEDED!!!!

  23. Its sad to see a person(the west) explaining to you how you became poor when that same person is the one who is making you poor. The west colonialism uses aids and stuff to prove your poverty while the chinese teach you how to build infrastructure to prove to you how much you can achive.
    The west has successfully tampered the ongoing development in Ethiopia by the chinese through such propoganda. Which country in africa is next?

  24. In the wake of the current trade war
    – When China manipulates their currency it's called "Currency Manipulation"
    – When the US manipulates their currency it's called "Quantitative Easing"

    This is why many people are beginning to take the US and the west less and less seriously.

  25. You don't have to be Nostradamus to understand that if and when the loans can't be met, there will be a heavy price to pay by the country that China "helped". If they come knocking for that loan and the money is not there, you can kiss the dam, the railway, or whatever other infrastructure they helped build, goodbye, particularly if the country still has something China wants very badly. This does not absolve "western" nations of anything they do or have done, but be warned that China is simply using a different tactic to take what they need. It was prophesied that the Russians would attempt to take South Africa by proxy force and that the attempt would fail. This came to pass. The same prophecy also foresaw China taking South Africa without firing a single shot, and anyone with a sense of preservation would wonder if this is closing in already – it really is just a warning about Africa as a whole. Choosing China as a savior is stupid – lift yourselves up and get it done without them.

  26. I'm so glad that so many people support China. As we can see in the past decades, America made troubles all over the world. We Chinese people love peace and harmony. We don't like war! So we human beings should united and work together for a better life and future!

  27. A lot of Euro Cucks in this section tonguing China's little communist balls. Meanwhile, your cities run wild with Syrian men raping your women, mocking your government and destroying your culture. Maybe with some testicular fortitude and
    D E M O C R A C Y
    Europe could rise up and compete with China, until then, why bitch about the one country who's been footing the bill for NATO'S military might and defeated the USSR that was clawing at your doorsteps not too long ago,, that recognizes the fact that China will destroy Western Civilization if left unchecked?

  28. 书同文,钱同币,语同音。
    Books with the same language, money with the same currency, language with the same pronunciation.
    But those who wanted to do so were overthrown because it was not in the interests of the great powers.

  29. 'Africa no longer bows to the US' heheheheheheh, kindly tell me when to stop laughing…
    You should do your research before such a heavy statement…Africa still bows and begs from the US…and gets hurt alot when ignored by the US…
    Along that train built by China from Mombasa to Nairobi…guess whom we are begging to build a motorway btw the two cities? The US…

    Africa begs and plays to the tune of the US daily…including a heavy influence on our politics. I am not proud of this but it is a fact you have to state except China has overtaken US in filling up the African begging bowl…but I still see a huge percentage of projects funded by WB and EU all over.

  30. If your enemies hate you and against what's you doing there,believe me you are totally right and keep doing that. If your enemies celebrate your behave or decision,truth me you do need to consider what's you doing there immediately. that's the politics in this world.

  31. China is indeed in Africa for its own development, but what's wrong with that? China is also conducive to Africa's development in order to help Africa build roads, build stadiums and carry out infrastructure construction.

  32. No country will selflessly help another country, everything is related to interests. There's nothing wrong with that. Africa's own development alone will be slow, but with China's participation, there will be more projects for the benefit of the people, and Africa will indeed benefit, otherwise Africa will not cooperate with China!

  33. Reading the flux of silly comments thinking China is helping Africa, which posted by uneducated African users, would be the most ironic, & hilarious thing in the world. African people please keep boosting what Chinese government doing to your land, I'm sure your generation to generation will thoroughly taste the feeling of being raped, without using a single bullet by those "peaceful" "civilized" visitors.

  34. Sad but true. A trip on the "highway" from Mombasa to Nairobi you will see thousands of locals with sledgehammers and pickaxes with Chinese supervisors. A very unsettling sight.

  35. This comment section is a mess, attacking each other. -"Your country did this, you country is that" – "But your country also did this"

    We're individual, we're not our countries or governments. You have a brain so please try to think for yourself. Call things for their names. Only because other countries did or do something wrong it doesn't justify other countries doing wrong things too. I have no problem to critic my country, I'm the first one to do it and I have no problem to critic other countries when I think they deserve it. You should do the same, I couldn't give a fuck about someone talking bad about my country or west countries because I'm not my country.

  36. It’s really a double edge sword. Africa is getting the help it needs, but Africans now are working in sweat shops basically.

  37. I don't think the west is "jealous" or are against Africa's aid, I think they still hold the old Cold War era fear of Communism and don't want to see a Communist country gain so much political influence over so many countries at once.
    Remember that since the beginning of the Cold War, the west has shifted its focus from internal affairs and participating in wars against invading powers to participating in wars to stop the spread of Communism and creating wars in order to kick out leaders of other countries that the west doesn't see fit to run that country.

  38. China is a Communist country – The End – Full Stop. We shouldn't be giving them any slack as they are governed by an idealism which is not what a friendly neighbour does. Africa beware.

  39. Americans, if China makes Africa better, they won't emigrate everywhere. It's good for the whole world. Put aside your jealousy. Can you be a good man?

  40. What china did to africa is kinda like what china did to indonesia but i dont know anything though its just a speculation because theres a lot of chinese bussineses in indonesia but its probably not that much like in africa but then again i dont know any thing.

  41. The problem is there certain people that take money from China and they decide to waste it on garbage that's a big problem

  42. m not sure which way is better… invest in foreign infrastructure building, help other countries improve and earn a share according to fare trade, or going to those lands and slaughter them, destroy local civilisation and take people for slaves???

  43. I mean if the US would actually cut their military funds and help the third world nation. Africa would still be Africa today. However US are just all talk and does not do shit, so China is taking this opportunity to expand their economy.

  44. Africa: We want a road
    US: OK. Charities in our country have bought you some cows. You can sell the milk and send your children to school. Your children will grow up, and if they are smart, they will know how to build dirt roads, then after business grows enough, your country will earn enough for paved highways.
    China: OK, when do we start building?

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