PARIS -- Hardly a day goes by without America-bashers accusing the U.S. of "imperialism" or "interventionism." Meanwhile, China is largely exempt from that sort of criticism from the same crowd. If only they'd listen to the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and a few other stray voices.
In late 2011, I had the privilege of sitting on a panel in Morocco with Lamido Sanusi, the aforementioned Central Bank of Nigeria governor, who's on a mission to clean up Nigerian corruption. Sanusi told me that the moment an official can place his hands directly on your money without any oversight, it constitutes a problem. Within weeks of taking office, he had 16 top bank officials charged. Now, Sanusi has taken aim at China.
In an op-ed piece for the Financial Times, Sanusi was critical of China's "new form of imperialism" in Africa, whereby "China takes our primary goods and sells us manufactured ones. This was also the essence of colonialism."
Excuse YOU, Lamido! America-bashers call this "trade" -- at least when it's conducted by nations other than America and its conventional allies. Of course, this speaks volumes about their anti-American bias. You'll often find the same people complaining that the West ignores the will of the people of any conflict zone -- because only the America-bashers can ever truly know what the people of any given country really want.
Instability in any country creates a vacuum that will inevitably be exploited. Whether you'd prefer to see China or America benefitting from a nation's instability depends on the values you'd like to see exported or disseminated. Personally, I'd rather live in a Western country than under a Chinese regime where, according to the U.N. International Labor Organization report, workers earn a paltry average of $656 per month in jobs that occasionally require the placement of suicide nets at factories. Therefore, I'd prefer to see the dissemination of Western labor standards win out a global scale.
In Africa, China is now winning. Anyone cheering this fact might want to reassess, starting with the following:
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