We heard a somewhat mystifying comment from U.S. Secretary of StateHillary Rodham Clinton last week warning of a “new colonialism” in Africa from foreign investors and governments interested only in extracting natural resources to enrich themselves.
No culprits mentioned in that statement, but a day earlier Clinton urged scrutiny of China’s large investments and business interests in Africa to prevent African people “being taken advantage of”.
Now, let’s analyse those comments carefully.
Denotations – China extends its grip over Africa
If we strip the semantic connotations of Clinton’s proposition, we’ll end up with a somewhat factual denotation – China’s grip is extending gradually, but unequivocally, throughout the African continent. That much seems to be true.
Because, propelled by a desire to secure natural resources, tap into new markets, and find cheaper offshore manufacturing facilities, Chinese state-owned enterprises have made large investments throughout Africa (which, nevertheless only represented…
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