Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Global Politics of Envy

A report that "a nation that once boasted of 'having friends everywhere' increasingly confronts a problem long faced by the United States: Its wealth and clout might inspire awe and wary respect, but they also generate envy and, at times, violent hostility" — As China finds bigger place in world affairs, its wealth breeds hostility.

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Blogger kushibo said...

I think this is a false correlation. India is also getting bigger, but without the concomitant rise in animosity.

Having talked with a number of Africans who don't like the Chinese presence in their home country but don't mind the Korean or Japanese presence, I'd say what's at work here is that Chinese corporate and governmental entities in those countries have been acting like 500-pound gorillas.

2:08 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Good point. India doesn't have its companies all over the world for the most part.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

without the concomitant rise in animosity

This is not true.

The first thing the Kenyans did when they became independent was to tell the many Indians in the country that they couldn't stay in the country if they didn't give up their Indian citizenship. Very, very, few of the Indians were willing to share a country with Africans, and there was a mass exodus; the prosperous businessmen selling their life's work for pennies on the Kenyan shilling. The British had never dared be nearly as tough on the Indians for fear of the outcry.

Look at what Idi Amin did to his Indians.

Arabs are generally thought to be feared and respected in East Africa; Indians despised but often seen as a necessary evil.

7:46 AM  
Blogger kushibo said...

Not so sure we're talking about the same thing. You're talking 1964, well before it reached the level of one of the highest GDPs int he world, which is the period I'm referring to. Indian policy of the 1980s, 1990s, and today has had little effect on what happened in Africa of the 1960s. ;)

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people think they appear to be more credible if they never admit they're wrong. ;)

The Indians are generally not liked, have not been liked, and will not be liked, in East Africa.

5:41 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

The same goes for Chinese in Souteast Asia. But this new animosity, at least the article suggests, seems to be directed against the country, not the people.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point was that "a number of Africans" really "don't like" an "Indian presence in their home country" because they have, when they weren't stopped, "acted like 500-pound gorillas" and that the Africans had no compunctions about going about whole-scale expropriation and ethnic cleansing, to an extent that shocked the British, who used concentration camps and torture to maintain their rule.

The correlation is not "false," but that Indians have already invested heavily in nearby developing countries, and had everything taken from them; the mainland Chinese may yet need to learn their lesson.

Americans and Europeans may repay their debts to the Chinese and others with fiat toilet paper, but they will not confiscate foreigners' assets and tell them they have 48 hours to leave the country unless they wish to do so in a coffin.

8:00 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Well said indeed, especially that last paragraph. The Malays, whom the Brits called "nature's gentlemen" and who enriched our language with the phrase "run amok," ran amok in 1968 in Kuala Lumpur after a Chinese candidate had one the mayoral race. Hundreds died. Thirty years later in Indonesia, many more died and many more were raped.

8:15 PM  

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