China Is Taking Africa While The World Sleeps

( In an op-ed at Townhall, columnist Austin Bay warns that Chinese imperialism is stealing sub-Saharan Africa in much the same way it has expanded its imperialism in the South China Sea.

In 2016, the international tribunal at the Hague ruled that China had violated the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea when it seized islets and “sea features” belonging to the Philippines. But Beijing ignored the ruling claiming that China was recovering “stolen” territory.

Bay writes that China’s “stolen” territory defense is propaganda designed to hide China’s imperialist aggressions against weaker neighbors.

According to Bay, China is using the same imperialist tactics in sub-Saharan Africa.

For nearly two decades of human rights groups and other organizations have warned sub-Saharan African nations that China’s promises of direct economic investment and loan programs weren’t altruistic. China’s offers come with a lot of strings, including requiring all work be done by state-owned Chinese companies and Chinese workers.

Bay writes that the warnings were spot-on. China’s goal in sub-Saharan Africa wasn’t about helping the countries develop. Instead, it was about gaining access to the countries’ natural resources, most notably the strategic minerals like cobalt and coltan in Congo. These minerals are key in the manufacture of computers, computer chips, mobile phones, and electric car batteries.

In 2020 Congolese officials estimated that 70 percent of Congo’s mineral deposits and mining-related industry are controlled by Chinese companies.

According to Bay, China has relied on government corruption in Congo to secure unfair deals. Late last year, a leaked report claimed a subsidiary contract in Congo’s deal with China was used to funnel $55 million to senior members of the government by using shell companies that made the operation seem legitimate.

The only ones to benefit from China’s “investment” in “infrastructure projects” in Congo were China and Congolese officials. Chinese companies got paid to do the “work,” Chinese workers did the “work,” 80 percent of Congo’s strategic minerals went to China, and government officials received carefully-hidden kickbacks.

And the people of Congo got cheated.