Wednesday, July 24, 2013

International Relationships: China in Africa

One of the big topics is international aid and international investment in the developing world. Just yesterday I listened to a story about Egyptians hating the US, despite them getting more money than I certainly get from the US government.

One of the interesting topics seems to be the competition for the hearts, minds, and resources of the undeveloped parts of the world by the two dominant economic countries, in this decade that is the US and China. In the second half of the 1900s it was the US and the USSR. In the first half of the 1900s it was probably between European powers. France, England, Spain, Portugal, and Germany have all spent time in the role of developing the rest of the world. Although we look back at the atrocities that many countries ruled other nations using and it is often appalling. 

Here are two images below of China both educating and investing in Rwanda. We must be happy for the Rwandans to have international investment, after all, even Detroit would probably like international investment right now.
The Inyange Girls School in Rwanda
China and Rwanda 
The one thing that struck me as unusual about all of this is the "Wisdom, Science & Patriotism". In the United States, we just would not say that. The reason being we generally feel that patriotism is loyalty to the country (the government) while we prefer that our government is loyal to us. In other words, China and Rwanda have more hierarchy and status in their cultures than in the US and that impacts how we view our government as well. 

For the record I saw a number of USAID signs of similar size, shape, and text, probably over a dozen, while I was in Rwanda, but I might have neglected to take a picture, these two signs just stood out to me because it was one of the very few references I saw to China.

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