Yesterday and today I noticed many people passing around an article from China Daily which attempts to defend China’s relations with Africa and defend it against the accusation of neocolonialism. This is my response.
Let’s be clear about one thing: Africa IS dominated by neocolonialism. All of the so-called “leaders” of Africa in fact preside over neocolonial governments ruling territories whose borders are the direct result of European imperialism. They are representatives of the African petty bourgeoisie and their class interests are directly opposed to those of African workers and poor peasants. And yes, I include such people as Robert Mugabe in this description.
These are the governments with whom China is now making deals. For example, China made deals with the so-called “Congo” – a neocolonial entity. They also have had extensive dealings with the neocolonial government of Sudan – this in fact was on the primary motivations behind American, Israeli and other efforts to detach South Sudan, further fracturing the continent.
Outside of Africa China has various deals with the Zionist State of Israel, an outright white power, settler-colonial entity whose existence is entirely at the expense of the colonially dominated Palestinian and Arab peoples. China even provides arms and funding to the Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka, yet another neocolonial entity, that has long attempted to violently put down the aspirations for national liberation of the Tamil people.
And that’s China today. Let’s not even start on “Maoist” China’s support for Mobuto in “Zaire” and Pinochet in Chile. The latter was a betrayal so great that many Maoists in Chile actually chose to take their own lives rather than face facts and join up with the nascent armed resistance lead by the MIR and FPMR.
Yes, certainly Chairman Mao was a great revolutionary, but Mao did not equal China or the Chinese Communist Party. If you are to believe the historical analysis of modern Maoists’ then by 1971-73 Mao had already lost control of China’s foreign policy to the rightists around Deng Xiaoping with the beginning of the collapse of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
Regardless of whether you accept what the modern Maoists have to say or not (and I am by no means sold of their analysis), what this teaches us, or at least should teach us, is that China’s involvement in neocolonialism isn’t even a new phenomena, or even a phenomena of the era marked by the political collapse of the USSR.
In fact, we must be clear that what this all boils down to on the part of leftists outside of China who defend its modern policies is a line that is objectively anti-African (and anti-other colonized peoples) in its orientation and practice. It covers over the lack of self-determination for Africans and other colonized peoples.
So to echo comrade Jesse Alexander Nevel of the African People’s Solidarity Committee and Uhuru Solidarity Movement, how the fuck can anyone defend this?
However, all of this about China being said it must also be added that while we must be clear about the role of China and all foreign powers in Africa at this juncture, we must never lose sight of the fact that the #1 enemy of Africans and other colonized peoples is US imperialism. The destruction of imperialism’s domination over Africa can only be achieved by the complete liberation and unification of Africa and Africans worldwide under an all African socialist government (which is exactly what the African Socialist International is struggling towards).
When African workers and peasants control their own resources and economies then the stage will be set for the possibility of mutual cooperation between sovereign nations. The key thing for the African Revolution is that the African working class is the only social force capable of leading Africa out of the colonially imposed poverty and oppression — not the US, not Europe, not China, not India, etc, but AFRICANS.