American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

Global Coke
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

June 6, 2024


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Author Topic: "The Chinese Dream": China in Africa

Alex Wang
Experienced Their American
Posts: 14
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"The Chinese Dream": China in Africa
on: November 17, 2013, 18:30

I know, it's Their America, but since (1) the PRC is already laying the foundations for being the new 'other superpower', yin to America's yang, (2) Africa is the most open 'playing field' for increasing geo-political dominance on a large scale without (yet) directly challenging the US, (3) the question of Africa has been raised by Wyatt and Geoff in the other thread (and I don't agree with Wyatt), and (4) I have raised the question of China vs. US 'cold war' competition in the "Asian secession" thread, I think I will start this thread, based on the interesting China Daily article below, though I don't know much about Africa--but I hope to learn more from people who do!
The American Dream seems to be a nightmare for most people lately, so here I wish to introduce to Their America, the Chinese Dream.
Here is the article:
It begins like this: "Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China and Africa have always been a community of shared destinies and that neither side can grow without the other."
Pretty hard to believe, no? Just diplomatic posture.
"'No matter what changes take place in the international situation, China will stand side by side with its African brothers and sisters,' said Wang, who accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping on a trip to Africa in late March, less than two weeks after the new government was inaugurated.
Wang described it as unprecedented for a Chinese president to make Africa the destination for a first trip abroad. 'It sent a strong message to the world that China is paying top attention to Africa and is actively promoting cooperation there,' said Wang."
Still think it is just posture?
"China is now Africa's largest trading partner. Bilateral trade approached $200 billion in 2012. Meanwhile, Chinese direct foreign investment in Africa reached $15 billion by the end of last year."
But maybe it is just the China perspective?
"Writing in China Daily late last month, Asha-Rose Migiro, former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations [and former Foreign Minister of Tanzania], said Africans and Chinese have much in common in their dreams.
She praised President Xi for China's 'commitment to connecting its development with that of Africa, aligning the interests of the Chinese people with those of the African people, and combining China's development opportunities with those of Africa.'"
"In a recent co-authored paper, Fantu Cheru, an Ethiopian economist, and Cyril Obi, a Nigerian political scientist, argued that China has become Africa's preferred partner at a time when Africans are engaged in a major soul-searching exercise to find out what went wrong with Africa's development in the past half century.
The two believe China's development experience is attractive to Africans, and lending with no strings attached has helped build much-needed infrastructure, which Western policy lending has not done.
'China's view of a dynamic Africa also contrasts sharply to the West's doom and gloom analysis of Africa,' they wrote." (See also their book, with reviews:
But maybe, like Wyatt says, the PRC is just interested in getting some more oil and making a shallow investment in Africa?
"She [Migiro] rebuked the saying that China and other emerging economies are in Africa just to grab resources, citing recent figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which show that about 75 per cent of the value of the BRICS foreign direct investment projects in Africa for the period 2003 to 2012 were in the manufacturing and services sectors. Only a meager 10 per cent and 26 per cent of the number and value of projects, respectively, were channeled to natural resources." And the PRC is the self-styled leader of the BRICS.
But maybe it is just realpolitik again, as Wyatt suggests.
"It is in this regard that the Chinese dream has received immense appeal in Africa. It conjures a vision of collective achievement and resonates with the continent's dream," said Migiro.
"We in Tanzania know that the Chinese dream espouses the same objectives that we are striving to reach - poverty alleviation, economic growth and attainment of sustainable development as articulated in the country's National Development Vision 2015," she said.
I think she is choosing her words very carefully.
It never mattered whether the American Dream was true or real or achievable by anybody. All that mattered was how many people were dreaming it, who they were, where they were, and how much it shaped the way they saw their future.

Experienced Their American
Posts: 10
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Re: "The Chinese Dream": China in Africa
on: November 30, 2013, 16:27

Very interesting article, Alex, thank you. There is a lot of truth to this in the Nigerian context I think.
After Nigeria and China established formal relations back in 1971, for almost three decades the West actually pushed Nigeria toward China, by criticizing the military regimes here and isolating my country internationally. And recently, of course, Nigeria's oil has been very important to China.
But just as Migiro says--against Western critics--China has responded with much wide-ranging support for Nigeria's infrastructure and political economy. They have signed a strategic partnership agreement just like the one described generally by Wang Yi. They have supported Nigeria's bid for a seat in the U.N. Security Council. Unlike the US they have solidly supported Nigeria in fighting the insurgents in the oil-rich Niger Delta. They are the critical player in equipping Nigeria with traditional (e.g., railway) and 21st-century communication infrastructure, from satellites to cellphones. Bilateral trade increased twenty times in about 10 years from under $400 million in 1998 to almost $8 billion in 2010!
Most importantly, they are supporting my country as a brother not a parent, just as Wang Yi said. Instead of turning up their nose at our post-colonial struggle for prosperity and political integrity, like the US, they have joined in, side by side, to support us, in the same sort of struggle that they are also going through.
This is the biggest difference between Western and Chinese/Indian partnership with Nigeria, and all of Africa. No matter how hard it may try, the West can never not be the colonizer, can never not be rich or advanced or 'transparent', can never truly join Africa in a common struggle.
So the American Dream is really just a fantasy, which punishes Africa for its 'failings'.
But the Chinese Dream can be dreamt.

New Member
Posts: 4
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Re: "The Chinese Dream": China in Africa
on: January 10, 2014, 12:13

Dream all you want. And when you wake up, you will have another master, in different clothes. Here is what I like about the American dream: freedom. We will never be free unless we free ourselves, and we will never free ourselves as long as we keep looking to others for help, parents or brothers I don't care.
Until we master ourselves, we will always be slaves.

Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
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Re: "The Chinese Dream": China in Africa
on: January 10, 2014, 12:15

Spoken like a true American!

Gerd Lahm
New Member
Posts: 1
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Re: "The Chinese Dream": China in Africa
on: January 10, 2014, 18:15

Thanks to all those above who have been discussing this topic. I thought I'd bring your attention to two Spiegel articles which examine Africa's rise and China's role.

1. Billions from Beijing: Africans Divided over Chinese Presence

Bagamayo was the capital of the colony of German East Africa from 1888 to 1891, when the administrative seat was moved to Dar es Salaam because the shore in Bagamayo was too shallow for a real seaport. Since then, time seems to have stood still." But soon nothing will be as it once was in Bagamayo," says Marie Shaba, "because now the new rulers of the world, the Chinese, are coming."

2. A Giant Awakens: Inside Africa's Economic Upsurge

This development has historians talking about a potential second "scramble for Africa," comparable to the period in the late 19th century when European colonial powers carved up the continent among themselves and plundered its resources. Now, in the age of globally unleashed capitalism, new competitors have entered the race, including India, Brazil and smaller emerging markets, such as Turkey. First and foremost in this modern-day scramble, though, is China.
The world's largest economy has overtaken the West to become Africa's most important trade partner. The volume of Sino-African trade amounted to nearly $200 billion last year. Driven by an insatiable hunger for raw materials and mass markets, China is conquering the continent with such determination that African intellectuals warn of a new form of Chinese colonialism. Still, most Africans see this new global player's involvement as an opportunity to break free of poverty.

My question is about how long it will take the United States to wake up to this lost opportunity and begin challenging China in Africa directly. One might have thought that with Obama, who seems more open to the world than his predecessors and even has relatives in Africa, this would have happened sooner. What I think the likely answer is, and it is hinted at in the articles, is that there will be a mad 'scramble' for the continent recalling the 19th century, and the US will play its role.

Experienced Their American
Posts: 10
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Re: "The Chinese Dream": China in Africa
on: May 12, 2014, 18:15

Here are two recent articles that support my point.
The first concerns China's commitment to rebuild the old British colonial railroad in east Africa--which seems highly symbolic to me.
Where are the 'strings' attached here, Joyo?
And where is the mad scramble, Gerd?
Here is a frank assessment of China's flawed but I think sincere attempt to seek mutual benefits and development with Africa.
And how symbolic that the headquarters of the African Union was funded by China!

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