Friday, May 06, 2011

Chinese in Africa (Zambia) documentary

This one-hour BBC documentary is pretty eye-opening.  Granted, it seems the Western press is almost unanimous in disapproving China's economic role in sub-Saharan Africa.  In When China Met Africa, the editing and background music make the documentarians' biases clear.  The piece follows a Chinese farm owner and a Chinese road construction manager in Zambia.

I just have one observation.  Despite appearances, I'm not completely convinced that the Chinese farmer and his extended family are racist.  In China, some bosses treat their employees just as cruelly.  It's not to say that this is okay-- it's just that they sometimes treat their own people that way too.  On the other hand, that family could totally be racist.

If you don't have time to watch it, this Economist article is worth a read.


Edvin said...

Fascinating stuff. I wasn't aware of the level of chinese presence in Africa.

I couldn't understand half of that chinese/english babble, wonder how the africans seemed to understand it..

kashgar216 said...

1. There are more Chinese in Africa now than the total number of Europeans who have gone to Africa in the last 400 years.
2. I can barely understand their English. I assume it's not only poor, but is also heavy with the local Zambian dialect.