Who is re-colonising Africa?
Historically and by the social nature of the struggle movements against rightwing, colonial-apartheid-UDI occupation of “former” colonies in Africa south of the Sahara, most, if not all of these movements have a background of not identifying with their “former” masters.
In fact, they rather side with the former Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc countries of Europe and Cuba and their foreign policy for Africa. In other words, the nature of Africa’s resistance against colonial occupation and its unfair crimes against humanity clearly chose to move away from the imperialist West.
During that Cold War, the international Western Judeo-Christian civilisation supported its own interests and forces in Africa commercially, economically and militarily.
The imperial West openly had initiated and then formed an integral part of the lucrative sanctions-busting, as well as overt and covert military backing of illegal and illegitimate forces.
Those include Pretoria’s brutally racist, colonial-apartheid regime and its Bantustan armies and the KwaZulu-Natal based Inkatha under its Chief, Mangosuthu Buthelezi; Rhodesia’s white-racist, rightwing UDI occupation; the murderous Renamo bandits in Mozambique; their Angolan counterparts UNITA and FNLA, all secretly equipped for and trained in bush, peri-urban and urban war tactics.
African Heads of State and Government who benefited were, among others, Malawi’s Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko, and Cote d’Ivoire’s Houphoute Boigny – who were also friends of South Africa’s PW Botha and FW de Klerk and their government.
In fact, most of the proxy wars on the African continent – the so-called civil, tribal and rebel wars, genocides, the brutal murder of the Congo’s first elected leader Patrice Lumumba and other influential African leaders, as well as South Africa’s vigilantes and witdoeke, black-on-black violence, taxi-wars, and the artificial division of an African country such as Sudan – all formed part of a strategy to undermine and execute a continuous war of destabilisation.
It would make sense that the rulers of post-colonial Africa would identify with the Chinese coming to this continent, welcoming the new investor with open arms, whether or not it has a history of having supported struggle movements.
Against the background of China’s seemingly meteoric rise to become a world economic and political power, it is interesting to observe that former US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham-Clinton chose Beijing as her first stop immediately after having been sworn into office.
And, just on May 8, 2013, Clinton hailed China’s new President Xi Jinping as a “pragmatic leader”.
She said in her address to the Pacific Council of International Policy, a think-tank in Los Angeles, “President Jinping is more of a politician than his predecessor.”
Israel, together with racist, colonial-apartheid South Africa, was condemned as a pariah in Africa and the Eastern bloc, as it had brazenly supported the former regime in Pretoria.
During the Cold War against communism, Israel became the number one sanctions buster and military backer and supplier of apartheid-South Africa and its Bantustans. All criticism of Israel’s foreign policy in Africa was met with the reliable accusations of being “anti-Semitic”.
How times have changed.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met China’s new President Xi Jinping in Beijing in May. Xi Jinping announced during Benjamin Netanyahu’s five-day visit to China that their meetings had “already yielded rich fruits”.
According to AFP, the Israeli leader witnessed with China’s Premier Li Keqiang the signing of a series of trade and cultural deals the day before he met with the Chinese President.
China already had established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992 and was also the first country to set up an office in the Palestinian territories in the 1960s.
Netanyahu had visited China before as Israeli Prime Minister in 1998. This time in 2013 he praised China for its successes and development since then.
During Africa’s anti-colonial wars, the covert struggle for the continent between the Chinese intelligence, the CSIS and the Israeli Mossad was vicious.
Gordon Thomas, author of “Gideon’s Spies – The Inside Story of Israel’s Legendary Secret Service, The Mossad” writes” “CSIS activities in Africa were under the local command of Colonel Kao Ling, a legendary figure in the service, having built his reputation in Nepal and India.”
Mossad decided to “go head-to-head with the CSIS in Africa”, Gordon Thomas writes in his book.
“For three years Mossad waged its deadly war of attrition against the CSIS over the length and breadth of Africa. Finally, through an intermediary, President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, the (Chinese) CSIS let the (Israeli) Mossad know it had no wish to fight anymore; rather they shared a common interest in stemming Russian influence on the continent.
“The offer from the CSIS to collaborate against a common enemy, the KGB, was one the Mossad chief gratefully accepted. The Chinese began to provide details about Arab movements in and out of Africa.”
Ever since the early 1980s many Western countries subcontracted their manufacturing industries to China, assisting with China’s extraordinary economic and financial growth.
The goods came under the label “Made in Hong Kong”. Nowadays they are labelled as, “Made in China”.
Is Beijing’s new involvement in Africa in the interest of China only? Or, is China merely a Western-US proxy, similar to Australia, Canada, Belgium, Turkey and most other European states – who are also members of NATO – as well as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Israel and Iraq?
That is food for thought for Africa.
• Udo W Froese is a political and socio-economic analyst and columnist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. More of his work can be found on his blog at theotherafrika.wordpress.com, and you can follow him on Twitter handle: @theotherafrika