Text: | Print|

Strength of resonance between Africa, China

2014-05-05 13:46 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

The Chinese Dream put forth by President Xi Jinping has captured the hearts and minds of people in China, and to a large extent in Africa. The fervor to embrace the Chinese Dream is understandable, as it seeks to provide a life of prosperity for people in which they can become whatever they choose to be.

The Chinese Dream is perhaps the most relevant in Africa as it seeks new ways to empower people after several years of socio-economic underdevelopment. It is also interesting to note that the Chinese Dream seeks to build on the achievements of the earlier generations of Chinese leaders. There is also a historical trajectory on the implications of the Chinese Dream on the African continent.

Chairman Mao Zedong and his compatriots, notably premier Zhou Enlai laid the foundation for modern China in much the same way African leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Kwame Nkurumah of Ghana, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Sam Nujoma of Namibia, Patrice Lumumba of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Milton Obote in Ugandasaw off colonialism and instituted self rule. To appreciate the confluence of the Chinese Dream and African aspirations along the same lines, one needs to go back in time and look at how the liberation struggles in China and in Africa have panned out.

One perspective that history has recorded is that China contributed to the liberation struggle in several African countries in the understanding that both regions had undergone more or less similar experiences under variants of European colonialism and imperialism. Thus the antecedents of the Chinese Dream and what it portends for Africa - as natural global south allies - should be traced to the 1950s through to 1990 when the last African country - South Africa - was liberated.

Deng Xiaoping's well-known dictum of a "good cat being the one that catches mice regardless of whether it's black or white" aptly captured China's experimentation with sweeping reforms. Dubbed socialism with Chinese characteristics, the market-oriented theories and policies lifted millions of Chinese people from poverty and put the world's most populous nation on course to be a global economic giant. Unfortunately the period when the Chinese people were achieving their economic aspiration is also the period when most, if not all, African countries were facing huge economic challenges arising out of the failed so-called Washington Consensus policies.

Thus, while the ground was being forged throughout the 1980s and 1990s for the Chinese Dream to gain traction in the second decade of the 21st century, African people were facing the nightmares of civil wars and economic underdevelopment.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.