Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced 410 billion yuan (US$60 billion) in aid and investment for a plethora of infrastructure and development projects in Africa over the next three years.
In a keynote speech at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Xi made the commitment to a packed auditorium inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. There, heads of state, diplomats and corporate leaders from 54 African nations and their Chinese counterparts gathered for the triennial forum on Monday.
The aid includes $15 billion in grants, interest-free or concessional loans; $10 billion in investment by state-owned and private Chinese companies; a $10-billion special fund for infrastructure development; and a $5-billion fund for financing African imports of Chinese goods and services, according to Xinhua.
But Chinese people commenting or reacting on social media soon began grumbling about big-spending Xi blowing taxpayers’ money on dollar diplomacy and on fanfare projects that may benefit nobody other than dictators in Africa and their Chinese middlemen.
The pervasive albeit suppressed anger is seen in posts on China’s social networking platforms, which insinuate that Xi could have devoted the eye-popping amount to better uses at home, like extra tax relief for wage-earners or tuition waivers for pupils from rural areas.
“The party keeps telling me that it’s my duty to pay taxes, but has Xi ever sought my views on how to spend my money?” asked one netizen.
Some have compared Xi’s money-for-loyalty approach with the mindset of the late Qing dynasty regent Empress Dowager Cixi, who infamously said in a decree in 1900 in response to an invading international military coalition that she would “fully utilize China’s money and resources in offering and indulging foreign nations to their total satisfaction.”
“[Cixi’s remarks] to please invaders and give whatever they want for the sake of Qing’s survival make some sense to me, but what’s the point of continue to splurge hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ money on helping far-flung African countries when we have a host of issues back home?” one comment said.
Critics say that, since the founding of the Communist republic, Beijing has tended to Africa’s every need with an astronomical amount of financial support. They also decry the provision of everything from rice to napkins for more than half a century, and note that not even its own economic woes and upheavals have failed to stop Beijing from giving.
For instance, the 1,860-kilometer Tazara Railway linking Tanzania with Zambia opened in 1975 was one of the largest China-investment and building projects in Africa, while the $200-million African Union headquarters – a vast 132,000-square-meter building in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa – is also hailed as a symbol of the China-Africa bromance.
Double Beijing’s outlays on health
It is estimated that Beijing’s 410 billion yuan in aid for Africa is equivalent to the combined annual gross domestic product of Tibet and Qinghai – twice the amount of the tax cut announced last week, or more than double central government outlays on public health or six times its expenditure on social welfare in 2017.
In another sarcasm-laden post on Weibo, a citizen proposed raising capital to buy a chunk of land in Africa, then recruiting a local person as a figurehead leader to found a new nation and then seek diplomatic ties with Beijing.
He promised to return the money with interest to partners once the “new nation” receives aid from Beijing, and expected to get a prime plot in downtown Beijing to build the nation’s embassy, with all the immunity, privileges and prerogatives guaranteed.
The post was shared millions of times before censors removed it on Monday evening.
Read more: Beijing accused of bugging African Union HQ for years
Westerners with their dog eat dog mindset never understand the wisdom behind the classic chinese proverb – ‘All men are brothers’
Bullshit quotes. What lies in this made up story article. I am ashamed of your antics. How much money did you get for such blatant lies!
This Frank Chan guy seems to be hellbent at psyop warfare against China and in support of Taiwan. Just take a quick look at the titles of the articles he has penned on AT:
–Chinese fume over Xi’s $60-billion Africa handout
–China’s road to nowhere on a bridge over troubled waters
–Tsai’s brief yet high-profile LA transit stop beefs up Taiwan Travel Act
–Ten years on, Beijing Olympic venues lie in oblivion
–Trade war, vaccine scandal fail to rattle Xi’s grip on power
–Taiwan urged to call itself Taiwan, not Republic of China…
I went online and checked what Ken Nguyen wrote: "All men are brothers" and sure enough it really was an ancient Chinese proverb that reads: "In the Four Seas All Men Are Brothers." Good job, Ken.
Shirz Shivji, before you open your trap calls someone’s quote "Bullshit." You should make sure you know what you’re saying is absolute truth, otherwise, you’re putting your stinking foot in your own mouth like this time, because the quote Ken Nguyen quoted does existed and authentic. No! No! No! Don’t say anything trying to rebuttal it, Otherwise, you’ll wind up with both smelly feet in your traps.
China is taking the long term view here and Xi is building a legacy. This is why he consolidated power in his hands to carry out his vision. It’s working on a peaceful and prosperous world and has to be applauded. Notable is how these dissenting views are being aired when we are made to believe that everything against the government is censored.
China don’t have to bother about arses like all these. They can shout yell whine for all we care.
Is Asia Times just a propaganda vehicle for the West now? Come on! Please print some facts!
It’s the most petty article I’ve ever read, 这讲究就是废话
Frankie Chen is just another colonial british educated brainwash idiot. U are bringing shame to your chen family. At least be a fvcking good liar: income tax account for only ~3 or ~4% of Chinese goverment revenue. Even Customs duties is more than that. The tax/gdp ratio is 1/2 the USA and much much lower than most Asian countries. Only mostly big businesses pay corporate taxes as most small business and mom and pop dodge taxes as well.
MR CHEN IS EVIDENTLY A CIA ASSET.ANYONE CAN MAKE UP STORIES THAT A FEW PEOPLE ARE SPEAKING DISATISFACTION ABOUT CHINESE AFRICAN INVESTMENT. 60B IS CHUMP CHANGE AND AFRICA WILL NEED MUCH MORE.CHINA IS NOW DOING WHAT IT STARTED OUT TO DO IN THE 16TH CENTURY AND THAT IS OPEN AFRICA UP TO TRADE WITH CHINA. INVESTMENT WORKS ,NOT MILITARY FORCE. THAT WAS YESTERDAYS TACTICS!!!
Have you ever see a small dog barking loudly, only to run away when another big dog silently comes over?
That’s the appropiate analogy of how small-minded China critics are, forever incapable of understanding how big China goal truly is.
Needless to say, the author of this junk article belongs to those small-minded ones 🙂
I believe that almost all Chinese are in favour of helping those who are less fortunate than themselves. They fully support their President Xi JinPing in helping the African, South American and other Asian countries that are currently less fortunate than China. When someone lives in a community, it is better that all the members of the community move together towards prosperity than only one or two persons become prosperous while the rest of the community languished in poverty. If only one or two persons are prosperous while the rest of the community live in poverty, the risk of an unfortunate accident for the prosperous person/s is indeed very high. Moreover, the one or two prosperous person will never live a normal life.
No its the Chinese who eat dog.
Ever asked Malays or Indons what they think of Chinese ?
But there are more than 4 seas !
‘some even married african women’…. but seems like many more Chinese ladies prefer to marry Africans or Europeans.
They prefer something bigger !
Low Shen-Cheang Because Africans have only just found out about China and Chinese, while SE Asians have had 100’s of years experience of your behavior.
I was in Angola in 2005, and the general feeling towards Chinese money and people was positive…. fast forward to 2015 when I was last there, and it was overwhelmingly negative.
Winson Han Were you named after Winnie Xi Pooh ?
4 social credit points for you, comrade
How much money do winnie xi poohs children have ? Can you google it, I can !
I heard that cattles would cry when they’re herded into the slaughter house. In other words: they know the time have come. How insensitively inhumane you beef consumers… I mean of all mammals to raise for for food, why cattles? Why not dogs, rabbits, or cats even?
Sadly for you, and I, Winson: like America, China too is being hit with power outages. Communities such as Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, too, is suffering blackouts at exponential rates. Thanks to Xi for being a good samaritian… I doubt if Xi and Trump would want for any power outages to happen in their households but, the hell with the rest of us mere mortals I guess is the mentality. I doubt if Arabella’s and Xi Min-zhu rooms will ever be allowed to go black.
Sorry, there should be a limit to how far Xi should take this. This welcoming with open arms on the expenses of the Chinese civilization, is way way overboard. I think Breitbard and the Alrights have it just about right and Trump the messenger of the Masiah to carry out that Brietbart agenda. Sadly, Xi is welcominging people from the world over with a red carpet treatment. Sad. Sad indeed. We Chinese will too have our B’livesMatters days. Thanks to Xi.
A dictator of a dictatirship is one who holds a gun point blank at your head and say “submit or else”… The chinese don’t say or do those things. America is.
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