Skip to comments.How the West is losing Africa – and Latin America
Posted on 04/26/2011 2:27:56 PM PDT by AfricanChristianEdited on 04/26/2011 3:18:05 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
On one level, its a familiar tale; advanced Western economies elbowed out by pushy Chinese. Yawn. Not much new in that. Whats not generally appreciated, however, is the speed with which this is occuring in many parts of the world, or the scale of it. In both Africa and Latin America, markets which Europe and the US have traditionally regarded as their own preserves, Western interests are being eclipsed by newer, brasher trading relationships with the fast growing economies of China and the rest of Asia. As in so much else, advanced economies are losing out to the developing world. A new study by Renaissance Capitals Charles Robertson in conjunction with the consultant, Lucy Corkin, has had an in depth look at the phenomenon, and for Western economies, it doesnt look great. Last year, China surpassed the US as Africas largest trading partner, and the relationship is growing at an exponential rate. From Nigeria to Sierra Leone, Angola, Kenya and Ghana, the Chinese seem to be taking over.
President Trump will march right into Africa, kick out the Chinese, and take whatever the Africans have as “payment”.
Of course, that will have to wait until he marches into Iraq and Libya and takes all the oil that is “owed to us”.
Now the Chinese can learn for themselves why the West gave up on Africa.
Nations are free to make their own choices, even foolish ones.
With Obama as POTUS, I’m not surprised we are losing formerly friendly nations as partners. Obama has stabbed allies in the back - Israel, England, to just name two - and for now other nations are looking elsewhere.
China is trying hard to break out of its formerly isolationist shell, as that nation has rarely if ever extended its influence far beyond the area of near Asia.
We will see what happens, and most likely soon. China has over a billion people who need to keep working, otherwise the Chinese government (which is huge!) will not be sustained.
We live in interesting times.
If we assume, like you do that Africa is lost cause what about Latin America?
Not losing.... ignoring.
Were they ever ours? I think it’s a good thing.When we are deprived of minerals etc.we will be spurred to self sufficiency. The Chinese don’t have oil.They need to import most of their stuff. The US and Canada have most of the minerals and oil we need right here. It’s time we get pushed in that direction.
For better or worse, Latin America has more or less erased its pre-Columbian history. All of the animosities of the indigenous past have disappeared down the rabbit hole of 5 centuries of forced assimilation (into Spanish or Portuguese culture) and inter-marriage between natives and African and European settlers. Latin Americans are basically either Spaniards (LA ex-Brazil) or Portuguese (Brazil) with black, Amerindian, white or racially-mixed features. For the most part, they speak Spanish or Portuguese as their sole native language, worship in Catholic Churches (although it has to be said that evangelical churches are making great strides) and are philosophically and culturally Spanish or Portuguese. This mostly limits the scope of domestic strife to differences arising from ideological disagreements or power struggles. In Africa, the struggles involve blood-and-soil and religious issues of the kind that characterized Hitler's great purge of European Jewry and Islam's murderous rampages (in antiquity) through North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia. Rwanda and Congo were blood-and-soil. Sudan was both blood-and-soil and religious.
Actually, the Chinese do have oil. Unfortunately, they produce about 4m barrels per day and use 10m barrels, which means they have a shortfall of 6m barrels per day that they must import. We use 18.7m barrels per day and produce 5.5m barrels per day, for a shortfall of 13m barrels - or twice the Chinese shortfall. The Chinese probably have oil elsewhere, since they've not been producing for very long. The problem is that they want to keep all the profits from striking oil while leaving it to foreign companies to pay for the dry holes - which means few foreign companies want to get involved in Chinese projects:
China is home to some of the worlds richest offshore oil and gas reserves, with proven reserves of 24 billion tons of crude oil and 14 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, equivalent to 126 times the countrys crude oil output and 184 times its natural gas output in 2008.
However, Chinas offshore oil development is still hampered by technological and equipment constraints.
In the current stage, our offshore exploration has been heavily dependent on foreign technology and equipment. It usually costs around $70 million to $100 million for us to drill a new offshore oil well, said Zhou Baixiu, former assistant to Sinopecs general manager.
Zhou said the company has been actively involved in international offshore oil development projects in order to acquire modern exploration technology and advanced platform management skills. The company is currently participating in six offshore exploration projects, most of which have a depth of 500-1000 meters.
But if America is anything it is a nation of businesses. Are you advocating that America should withdraw into its shell?
America created the international system after the Second World War because She was confident of being competitive. What do you think America gains from withdrawing from two continents?
Yes, it is. China, on the other hand, is more of a fascist state. American businesses are not interested in risking capital investment in places, such as Africa, where tribal violence and civil wars are all too common. China, on the other hand, will have no problem defending its investments with the PLA in one guise or another.
As for South America, there are a number of American business interests and investments including American investment in some companies. That said, there are some areas of South America where American companies are not keen to do business because American businesses, in the past, were chased out of the nation (usually by communist/nationalist movements).
Yes, the Chinese won't be trying to respect their thralls in South America and Africa as human beings.
I’m not sure you understand “Africa”, there is no such thing as “Africa”. There are fifty three vastly different countries, most of which have been at peace for the past thirty years.
Jim Rogers is one of the very few Americans who has any understanding of “Africa”. He has travelled extensively through the African continent and China, so he understands the issues well. He is also one of the most successful investors and we can see why.
So, what do you expect America to do? You criticise anyone who mentions reasons why AMerican businesses shy away from the continent, yet I read few affirmative statements aside from “America should be in Africa.”
I do know that Africa is a continent with scores of seperate nations. You should also consider that much of what Americans, on average, know of African nations comes from reports about violence in Zimbabwe, violence in Kenya, etc.
I don’t assume Africa is a lost cause; the Western governments did. Africa has a lot of natural resources (gold, oil, diamonds), incredible agricultural potential, and a large number of educated people in some countries.
As young countries (many less than 60 years old), their growing pains have disillusioned people who expected a lot more from them. Time will tell, but they have large obstacles to surmount.
Latin America, though not as young, has many of the same problems, though to a smaller extent. In both cases, the countries involved have to sort out their futures themselves - foreign involvement isn’t bringing about stability without the use of anti-democratic strongmen.
China is in the position of manufacturing more than the US market could absorb, so it needs new markets. At the same time it needs natural resources to power the manufacturing, so it is looking in those places in particular.
Last time I checked, Africa and Latin America were made up of sovereign nations and belonged to no one. So, the term “lost” seems a bit strong.
Palin is the better bet
Besides which, quite frankly this is a diplomatic and economic issue and the Chinese are winning -- for now.
However, there is also discontent in African countries among the populace of the ways in which the Chinese run their business. The leaders may be happy that someone will do business without bothering about human rights, but the populace don't quite agree..
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