Archive for July 27th, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Namibia: No Free Lunch

The Export-Import Bank of China’s (EXIM) terms of credit were unfavorable, Calle Schlettwein, permanent secretary in Namibia’s Ministry of Finance said on July 20 [Update: link]. So was the China National Machinery & Equipment Import and Export Company’s quotation for the installation of a railway link to Oshikango, an Angolan border town, reports South Africa’s Mail & Guardian Online. The $ 100 million credit line which was suspended by the Ministry of Finance late last year had been offered by China’s state chairman Hu Jintao during his visit to Namibia early last year, reports the South African paper. The three suspects held in connection with the alleged Nuctech bribes were to appear in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court to apply for bail has been postponed to Tuesday by their lawyer, Sisa Namandje. Namibian prosecutor-general Martha Imalwa was in China some time ago to discuss the Nuctech case and another, so far unknown case with Beijing officials.

Critics of African-Chinese relations sometimes accuse China to happily support repressive African regimes. But when it comes to graft probes, there are apparently governments in Africa who are willing to carry out genuine probes.

China hosted a Sino-African summit attended by 50 African leaders in November 2006. But one of them, then South African president Thabo Mbeki, warned that Africa could get into a colonial relationship with China. “If Africa continues to just export raw materials to China while importing Chinese manufactured goods, the African continent could be condemned to underdevelopment”, similar to its historical relationship with its former colonial powers, Mbeki told a student congress in Cape Town soon after the summit, according to The Namibian. The Namibian also quoted an EU diplomat stationed in Namibia who commented on China’s announcement that “no strings were attached” to Chinese development aid. “There is no free lunch”, the unnamed diplomat told the paper.

There may be a mix of motivations for the current investigations. Mere power struggles within Namibia, or a mere desire for good governance. That plus an evolving new development strategy – an unfriendlier label might be protectionism (no trade block or big economic power, may it be America, the EU, or China, has proven itself immune against it after the beginning of the global financial crisis). Maybe Thabo Mbeki’s warnings, with some delay, arereaching a more receptive audience these days. China gives African countries a great opportunity to play a Chinese card in negotiations with the fully industrialized nations. If the African people benefit from that altogether, African relations with China may turn out to be very useful.

That of course is no small “if”.


Related: China in Africa, Hearts and Minds, Febr 13

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hu and Ma exchange Direct Messages

Chinese state chairman and CCP general secretary Hu Jintao (胡锦涛) sent a congratulatory telegram to Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) after Ma’s election as chairman of the ruling party KMT on Sunday. Ma responded that they had “put aside disputes”, a KMT statement said.

The Guofu and His successor

The Guofu and His successor?

BBC correspondent Cindy Sui wrote on Sunday that in his capacity as the KMT’s chairman, Ma Ying-jeou would be able to meet Hu Jintao personally. Beijing claims Taiwan as Chinese territory and doesn’t recognize Mr Ma’s presidency. Ma is in no hurry to visit China, but it is believed that his KMT chairmanship will strengthen his influence in Taiwan’s dealings with China.


Lee Teng-hui: ECFA “Most Serious Mistake”, May 17
The Ma-Wu-Chiang Drama, May 8

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hermit’s Childhood and the Beautiful Stone

Hello Children,

Hermit: Hello Children

Hermit the Very Important Taoist Dragonfly is harmonious and patriotic and makes monumental contributions to the defense of the motherland.

today, I want you to meet Rao Jin. You can learn from his immense dedication to the sake of the motherland’s harmony and territorial integrity. And its unity. When reading his powerful statements, my heart goes out to him. We are brothers-in-arms for our Great China. When you have grown up, you can join us, if you are worthy and don’t fall for one of the Eight Disgraces.

You see, every business great cause was small once. But just like the so-called fool who wanted to remove an entire mountain – this mountain really emblematizes the lies and distortions of the Western media -, heros like Rao Jin and Hermit (that’s me) will never cease to defend the harmony among China’s nationalities, and to prevent the Balkanization of our colonies any place in our motherland.

Above all, we won’t allow foreign media to fan the flames and hurt our feelings. They will never overcome the Great Wall and divide and subjugate us again. So you can play happily and without worries, children, until you join our great cause, too.

When I was a child, I also played a lot, and this is very healthy for childhood. I once lost a beautiful stone when I was a child. Some Western children bullied me on the beach and took the beautiful stone away from me and threw it into the sea. I waited for the falling tide, but those mean foreign children were waiting too! As they had found out how much I loved the stone, they wanted to dispossess me of the beautiful stone for good, by picking it up themselves after the water had receded. But I was more persevering, and waited longer than they did. Westerners are dangerous, but also easily distracted, and after they had left, I guarded my beautiful stone which was still under the water and didn’t leave the place at all! I even crapped my pants, because I wouldn’t risk to leave the place for any moment! Then, when the tide had gone out, I was able to regain my beautiful stone.

On my way back home, the conductor kicked me out of the tram because my pants were stinking, and I had to walk the long way home. But I had my stone back, and those foreign bullies had gone away empty-handed.

I think from this we can see how I became who I am and why I am so perseverant in my work for the motherland today. It all started back then. If those foreign bullies knew what a momentous movement they started with their brutal but also very silly behavior back then, on the beach!

By the way, I also get letters of a threatening nature. JR writes one to me every day, because he is an imperialist bully and probably wants me to stop my patriotic and virtuous work. Net Nanny also sends me letters of a threatening nature every day, but for different reason, namely, because she is envious, because my work is 65 per cent good, 35 per cent bad, while hers is only 60 per cent good, 40 per cent bad!

Just like comrade Jin, I had two encounters with death before I was ten years old. I suffered a wasp-sting, and my Granny died at the hands of an imperialist Japanese kitchen machine which had been deliberately designed to kill patriotic Chinese housewives!

But nobody will ever stop me and my patriotic cause. And, I’m sure, those who are trying to put psychological pressure on Rao Jin won’t succeed in their schemes either.

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