Deconstructing Popular Myths About China

Published on 18th June 2019

A video is doing rounds on the three long-term leases that China has recently signed. It notes that China has embraced the Invigorate Africa model! It notes that Washington having wasted $5 trillion on stupid wars, and wanting more, are incensed with China having spent its resources wisely and now overtaken the US as the world superpower.

Ejike Okpa deconstructs some widely held China narratives

All that glitters is not gold, but when you find real gold it makes no sense to deny it.

Africa is not a new invention and since its existence long before many, has had to depend on others for what it can do for herself. I abhor dependency by independent nations. When I left Nigeria in mid 80s, no one wanted to deal or hear about China but through manipulation and false narratives about China as new “Daniel Come to Justice’ mentality and pretensions, it has managed to garner following. There are more poor people in China than all of Africa. 90% of Chinese people are very poor. Granted they have shiny skyscrapers to impress unsuspecting and naïve folks, all that glitters definitely is not gold. My wife was in China late last year and her on-the-ground experience does not compare to the make-believes.

The lease agreements are not in Africa as the video points out.

Sure, but if they can do it anywhere they probably will see Africa as the next stop. Were I president of Nigeria, I will kick China out. I don’t see any value in their machinations and I will inspire and motivate Nigerians to stand up against any foreign interests. The brain is equally distributed in the world but somehow some think their salvation rests in the hands and wishes of others. When Africa was colonized, the currency exchange rate was same all through. But since independence, and to checkmate their growth and development, devaluation was introduced with SAP – Structural Adjustment Programs of the World Bank enabled by IMF. Africa has not recovered and in its desperate attempts to seek partners has fallen into the hands of vulture investors from West and East, all prescribing solutions they will not swallow for their own ills. If Africa can collapse its multicurrency regimes into no fewer than four, and trade among its self, they may stand up to foreign incursions. But since Africans rather BEG than BRACE for the challenges of nation building, they are pawns on chess board.  

China modernized ports in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. They also built a super-efficient rail road through Kenya and Tanzania. They are also working on other projects while the US spends $60 billion on military bases in Africa. The “obligations for centuries” talk is spewed by the likes of Steve Bannon, brainless ideologue.

Maybe so, but those projects are of poor quality. I could care less what anyone says, the question is, am I am persuaded? The Steve Bannons of the world do nothing for me. I just wish Africa can stand up and be counted. Nations are by their sovereign rights entitled to grow and develop as they want printing their own currency. But such currency must have local purchasing power and where there are needs to be met, they can seek foreign investments. When a nation depends entirely on foreign intervention, it stands to suffer. Money is the creation of human beings and can be manipulated to create and sustain value.  

I guess China will become an A country when it spends $5 trillion on waging 18-year long wars for Israel and with another one about to begin. That’s the problem with China, not enough Bannons and Pompeos in their government. China is a triple A country. Just a couple of days of monitoring China Xinhua News twitter will tell you that.

Until China can feed her subjects who are barely citizens at home, and not try to spread like fleas, then they will earn my respect. But again, anyone who invites ants into their home stands to bear the consequences. When I came to US in the mid 80s, I paid N700 to fly from Lagos-London-Dallas, then an equivalent of $1,200. Thirty two years hence, it cost in the region of N350,000 to fly the same route. Run the rate of change and see the extended decimals. What did Nigerians miss attending colleges and universities throughout the world? They submitted to World Bank and IMF nonsense and in turn, got SUBDUED into a position where they want them. 

Here, this is what A countries build while C countries wage endless wars and overturn regimes across the globe: China has relentlessly raised the per capita of its citizens, which can only be described as an economic miracle. At the turn of the century, China’s middle class comprised just 4% of the country’s population, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. This ratio rose to 31% by 2012, representing 420 million people. Per capita defense spending in China is $124 and $1,919 in the US. Perhaps we if we run the numbers on per capita infrastructure expenditures in China and the US, they would reflect the same numbers but in reverse. China cut its defense budget by seven percent in 2019.

Am no fan of China and nothing anyone says will persuade me about their superiority. I have met some of them and when I take them on regarding Africa, they run. They function where no one stands up to them. 

On my website you will find my Q4 2018 and Q1 2019 commentaries in which I have sections on China. The facts might surprise you. The problem in America is that we rely on mainstream media for our news, and the spin they put on the news is in total agreement with the ideologies of the swamp: American exceptionalism and America hegemony. Those days are past. We spent ourselves into oblivion. New power blocks, not for military proposes (Americans are obsessed with their military), are being formed among 130 countries on China’s silk road (the BRI) for the purpose of expanding international trade and treat partners as equal, and hence promote peace and stability. Washington has nothing to offer us but wars, regime change and debt. Both parties are as thick as thieves in this endeavor.

It is like any relationship – if one submits they should not be SUBDUED. But that is not the case reason nations instead of focusing on their internal issues to strengthen their global respect chose to run after the West and or East, in the end, they become doormats. I will not blame any man who comes to home and take my wife from me. I will BLAME myself for creating a condition that encouraged them to come in the first place. I am territorial and fiercely independent minded while acknowledging the need for bilateral and or multilateral relationship. I do not go to anyone for what I know I can do and take pride doing. CHINA is not impressing me in this lifetime but again, they have fans. Am not just one.

John Adams said: There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

One is more likely to implode from the inside than from outside forces. We seem weak addressing matters that affect us. Charity ought to start from home before it takes roots abroad. That is my take unapologetically.

Ejike E. Okpa

Dallas, Texas.


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