It is a reality that adversity provides opportunity. The economic meltdown as a consequence of combatting the coronavirus has provided China with a golden opportunity to exploit shattered economies so as to advance its aim of being the dominant world power by 2049 – the centenary of Communist power in China.
Mineral-rich but economically weak countries like South Africa are prime targets within China’s strategy. In July 2018, on his visit here, China’s political boss Xi Jinping promised $14,7 billion in investments (R220 billion). Now with President Ramaphosa’s announcement of an R500 billion stimulus package, China is set to contribute half the package.
Already China has substantial stakes in our metallurgical industry. It has a 20% share in Standard Bank while the likes of Telkom promote its IT arm, Huawei. Put bluntly, China is buying up South Africa. It is also busy doing that across the Western world.
In the UK, as the Gatestone Research Institute points out (22 April 2020), the BBC receives funding from Huawei. As the Australian government has belatedly discovered, China has been buying up real estate, particularly farms. China is a major sponsor of the US National Basketball Association. When the manager of one of the teams, the Houston Rockets, tweeted support for the pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong, China demanded an apology from the Basketball Association.
The ANC government is naïve if it thinks China’s financial interests in South Africa are altruistic. The reality is that by accepting Chinese aid and investment, the ANC is promoting the re-colonisation of South Africa.
Sent into The Mercury, The Witness and The Star and published, 27 April 2020.