Richard Dowden: Africa Will Be a Chinese Colony
China is now Africa's second largest trade partner—with business worth over $100 billion a year, and growing. It is relying on the continent's natural resources to fuel its growth.
In order to grow at rates above 8% per year, China requires abundant natural resources like oil, copper, and iron ore. And it has turned to Africa as their source of natural resources, investing billions of yuan in FDI projects in Africa over the past decade. And as Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society, explains below, China has a trade advantage over the United States because it makes no suggestions or demands about internal politics or change; there is a strict observance of the sovereignty of nations in which they do business.
Cambridge research fellow Stefan Halper, and author of "The Beijing Consensus," outlined the exact politics of such an agreement: China starts off by making "a generous cash payment to the chief of state, usually about 500 millions dollars," he told us. "That money is usually transferred directly out of the country to either Switzerland or Andorra or somewhere like that. Sometimes, as in the case of Liberia, the chief of state gave half of the money back to the Liberian treasury and pocketed the other half and was declared a national heroine for doing so."
After that, China offers the country a contract to, say, extract the oil and purchase the reserves, guaranteeing a certain flow of oil for a fixed number of years, maybe 30 years. In exchange, the country in question receives some sort of infrastructure development, usually connected to the project. China will often also build schools or health clinics. They may even throw in a sports stadium, a new legislature building, or even a new presidential palace. Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, for example, has a palace that is made to look like a pagoda.
Africa clearly benefits from the investment in infrastructure, but African people don't benefit from the construction jobs: the Chinese send in their own workers, create their own barracks and restaurants for the workers, and even run their own brothels, he says. "It's Chinese construction in a box."
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
It marks a major shift in the government's battle against the opioid crisis.
- The nation's sixth-largest drug distributor is facing criminal charges related to failing to report suspicious drug orders, among other things.
- It marks the first time a drug company has faced criminal charges for distributing opioids.
- Since 1997, nearly 222,000 Americans have died from prescription opioids, partly thanks to unethical doctors who abuse the system.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
The real Game of Thrones might be who best leverages the hit HBO show to shape political narratives.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that Game of Thrones is primarily about women in her review of the wildly popular HBO show.
- Warren also touches on other parallels between the show and our modern world, such as inequality, political favoritism of the elite, and the dire impact of different leadership styles on the lives of the people.
- Her review serves as another example of using Game of Thrones as a political analogy and a tool for framing political narratives.
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