By Richard Krah
Signing a contract with China is like, ascribing to the boiling frog effect; a fable describing a frog being boiled alive slowly.
If you drop a frog suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if you put that same frog in a vessel of water and start heating the water gradually, it will adjust its body temperature accordingly until it reaches a stage beyond its capacity and dies foolishly.
It’s rather pathetic how China is re-colonizing Africa by appealing to the ignorance and selfish interests of the leaders.
Today, the Chinese are offering mouthwatering deals to Africa, both in cash transactions and the outmoded or rather defunct barter trade, which seem very attractive on the outlook but dangerous in reality.
The Zambian government contracted the Chinese, lazy-thought and glossed over details thinking they were granting consent to genuine terms but the whole thing just morphed into modern day colonialism.
China is now proposing to take over the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport should Zambia Government fail to pay back its huge foreign debt on time.
The issue of whether Zambia possesses the required economic muscle to repay that debt is in contention considering the amount involved. It’s typical of the Chinese strategy.
That, moreover, is not the only thing Zambian suffered from China; the Chinese already own 60% shares of the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation which means, Chinese have an influence over what should or should not be premiered on their sets.
Ghana is equally toeing the same line as its leaders have started signing contracts already; Chinese owned company, STARTIME is gradually gaining grounds over our major institutions, the biggest mining companies will soon be “taken” over by a Chinese company and many others.
Now if this is not modern day slavery, what then is it? The 21st century African slave is never in chain; we are in debt caused by the ignorance or selfish interests of our leaders.
CHINA is “colonising” smaller countries by lending them massive amounts of money they can never repay, it’s been claimed.
The country is accused of leveraging massive loans it holds over small states worldwide to snatch assets and increase its military footprint.
Developing countries from Pakistan to Djibouti, the Maldives to Fiji, all owe huge amounts to China.
Already there are examples of defaulters being pressured into surrendering control of assets or allowing military bases on their land.
Countries around the world owe huge sums to China. Some are calling it “debt-trap diplomacy.”
When countries are unable to repay the loans, China demands concessions for default.
Sri Lanka provided a prime example last year.
Owing more than US$1 billion in debt to China, Sri Lanka handed over a Deep Water Port to the Chinese government on a 99-year lease.
And Djibouti, home to the US military’s main base in Africa, also looks likely to cede control of a port terminal to a Beijing-linked firm.
America has been eager to stop the Doraleh Container Terminal falling into Chinese hands, particularly because it sits next to China’s only overseas military base.
In 2013, Guyana took hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to modernize the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), and the Skeldon Sugar Factory Plant.
Those loans are now on the backs of Guyanese. But the nation got no use from the Skeldon plant.
And while China and the PPP said that CJIA would have been used as a hub for aircraft going to Africa and Asia, it is yet to be realized. In fact, plans to make that happen are not even in the pipeline.
Under the ruling Coalition Government, Guyana signed an MOU with China that paves the way for the Belt and Road Initiative to eventually come here.