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为中国投资非洲一辩 [Copy link] 中文

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2011年6月,国务卿希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Rodham Clinton)在赞比亚发表演时警告说,一种“新殖民主义”正在威胁非洲大陆。“我们知道在殖民时代,殖民者可以很容易进入一个国家,开采那里的自然资源,给当地政府一大笔钱,然后就走。”言辞之间分明是影射中国。

2009年,中国超过美国成为非洲最大的贸易伙伴。中国在非洲的直接投资从2003年的不到1亿美元激增到2011年的120亿美元以上。

Joe Spix





中国自从2005年开始对非洲大举投资以来,就一直被看做是贪婪攫取商品、肆无忌惮剥削非洲人民的秘密帝国主义者。而就在中国对非洲展开大规模投资时,美国却只能站在一边,眼睁睁看自己在非洲的影响力逐渐衰落。难怪美国政府会猛烈攻击自己的这个新的竞争对手。

尽管美国如此危言耸听,但中国对非洲的投资动机实际上很单纯。为了满足中国人口需要,防止出现危及他们统治合法性的危机,中国的领导者必须保持国家经济高速增长、继续帮助更多人脱贫。为了实现这个目标,中国就需要耕地、石油和矿产。在国内还有大量贫困人口时,还要推行帝国主义或者殖民主义,那是完全不理智的做法,而且也不符合中国当前的战略思想。

另外,也没有证据显示非洲人自己感觉遭到了剥削。相反,中国在非洲受到广泛欢迎。皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)最近一项对10个撒哈拉以南非洲国家的调查发现,大部分非洲人支持中国投资。实际上,在所有调查的国家中,当地人对待中国投资的态度比对美国的投资更积极;在塞内加尔,86%接受调查的人认为中国给他们的国家带来好处,认为美国投资改善了他们生活的则占56%。在肯尼亚,91%的受访者称他们相信中国的影响是积极的,而对美国持有同样观点的人只占74%。

也有人指责中国公司喜欢把中国员工(甚至是罪犯)运到非洲工作而不雇佣当地人,这种说法也与就业数据不符。在一些国家,比如我的国家赞比亚,非洲和中国员工的比例最近已经超过13:1,也没有证据证明有中国犯人在那里工作。当然,中国不能践踏工人权利和污染环境。对违反人权、破坏环境和腐败的行为应有严肃公正的调查。但是如果一味指责中国在非洲总是对工人苛刻,这很大程度上都是空穴来风。

如果有这种情况,绝大多数的责任也是来自非洲领导人自己。2011年人权观察报告《拒绝就开除你》(”You’ll Be Fired If You Refuse”)称,在赞比亚的中国铜矿出现了一系列劳工和人权事件,但报告忽略了重要的一点:执行社会政策和保护环境都是当地政府的职责,一旦出现恶性事件,最应当追究的也是当地政策制定者的责任。

批评中国的人没有看到导致很多非洲领导人腐败、对民众不负责任的根源。几十年来,很多非洲政府不顾他们自己在国内的职责,只追求迎合国际上的捐款者,以获取大笔捐赠。即使用意良好的救助也削弱了政府的责任。救援割断了非洲人民和他们的政府之间的联系, 因为如何使用这些救济款,人民一般没有任何发言权,而政府经常只满足捐款人的要求,而不是民众的需要。

在运行良好的民主社会,政府从公民那里得到财政收入(一般通过税收的形式),然后承诺为大众提供服务,比如教育、国家安全和基础设施。如果政府不能实现承诺,就面临下台的风险。

而很多非洲政府能一直执政,靠的是很少有附加条件的国外捐款,而不是依靠从自己民众那里收取税赋。因此腐败的政客依然可以掌权。幸运的是,伴随着2008年经济危机,西方援助减少,这使得非洲国家有机会纠正结构性的失败,从而能像世界其他国家一样,最终可以出现负责任的政府。

60%的非洲人口年龄在24岁以下,外国投资和创造就业是减少贫困和避免出现像横扫阿拉伯国家的政治巨变的唯一途径。中国对资源的需求给非洲带来了急需的贸易和投资,也为非洲的出口创造了宽广的市场。这对追求经济快速发展的非洲来说,是很大的好处。


作者 Dambisa Moyo 是一位经济学家,著有《赢者全得:中国的资源之争及其对世界的意义》。

来源:纽约时报中文网

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Post time 2012-7-3 16:23:07 |Display all floors

Beijing, a Boon for Africa
IN June 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gave a speech in Zambia warning of a “new colonialism” threatening the African continent. “We saw that during colonial times, it is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave,” she said, in a thinly veiled swipe at China.

In 2009, China became Africa’s single largest trading partner, surpassing the United States. And China’s foreign direct investment in Africa has skyrocketed from under $100 million in 2003 to more than $12 billion in 2011.

Joe Spix




Since China began seriously investing in Africa in 2005, it has been routinely cast as a stealthy imperialist with a voracious appetite for commodities and no qualms about exploiting Africans to get them. It is no wonder that the American government is lashing out at its new competitor — while China has made huge investments in Africa, the United States has stood on the sidelines and watched its influence on the continent fade.

Despite all the scaremongering, China’s motives for investing in Africa are actually quite pure. To satisfy China’s population and prevent a crisis of legitimacy for their rule, leaders in Beijing need to keep economic growth rates high and continue to bring hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. And to do so, China needs arable land, oil and minerals. Pursuing imperial or colonial ambitions with masses of impoverished people at home would be wholly irrational and out of sync with China’s current strategic thinking.

Moreover, the evidence does not support the claim that Africans themselves feel exploited. To the contrary, China’s role is broadly welcomed across the continent. A recent Pew Research Center survey of 10 sub-Saharan African countries found that Africans supported Chinese investment by very large margins. In virtually all countries surveyed, China’s involvement was viewed in a much more positive light than America’s; in Senegal, 86 percent said China’s role in their country helped make things better, compared with 56 percent who felt that way about America’s role. In Kenya, 91 percent of respondents said they believed China’s influence was positive, versus only 74 percent for the United States.

And the charge that Chinese companies prefer to ship Chinese employees (and even prisoners) to work in Africa rather than hire local African workers flies in the face of employment data. In countries like my own, Zambia, the ratio of African to Chinese workers has exceeded 13:1 recently, and there is no evidence of Chinese prisoners working there. Of course, China should not have a free pass to run roughshod over workers’ rights or the environment. Human rights violations, environmental abuses and corruption deserve serious and objective investigation. But to finger-point and paint China’s approach in Africa as uniformly hostile to workers is largely unsubstantiated.

If anything, the bulk of responsibility for abuses lies with African leaders themselves. The 2011 Human Rights Watch Report “You’ll Be Fired If You Refuse,” claiming a series of alleged labor and human rights abuses in Chinese-owned Zambian copper mines, missed a fundamental point: the onus of policing social policy and protecting the environment is on local governments, and it is local policy makers who should ultimately be held accountable and responsible if and when egregious failures occur.

China’s critics ignore the root cause of why many African leaders are corrupt and unaccountable to their populations. For decades, many African governments have abdicated their responsibilities at home in return for the vast sums of money they receive from courting international donors and catering to them. Even well-intentioned aid flows undermine accountability. Aid severs the link between Africans and their governments because citizens generally have no say in how the aid dollars are spent and governments too often respond to the needs of donors, rather than those of their citizens.

In a functioning democracy, a government receives revenues (largely in the form of taxes) from its citizens, and in return promises to provide public goods and services, like education, national security and infrastructure. If the government fails to deliver on its promises, it runs the risk of being voted out.

The fact that so many African governments can stay in power by relying on foreign aid with few strings attached, instead of revenues from their own populations, allows corrupt politicians to remain in charge. Thankfully, the decrease in the flow of Western aid since the 2008 financial crisis offers a chance to remedy this structural failure so that, as elsewhere in the world, Africans can finally hold their governments accountable.

With approximately 60 percent of Africa’s population under the age of 24, foreign investment and job creation are the only forces that can reduce poverty and stave off the sort of political upheaval that has swept the Arab world. And China’s rush for resources has spawned much-needed trade and investment and created a large market for African exports — a huge benefit for a continent seeking rapid economic growth.


Dambisa Moyo, an economist, is the author of “Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World.”

Source: The New York Times

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