Chinese Political Expert from the School of International and Strategic Studies of the Peking University- China, Prof. Li Anshan, has stated that the presence of Chinese nationals in Africa and for that matter Ghana ‘is an opportunity in the hands of Ghanaians and the government to exploit’.
Speaking on Tarzan’s Take on Joy News Channel on Multi-TV, Prof. Li Anshan indicated that even though China is exploiting natural resources in Africa it has expertise that the host Africa nation could tap for its economic development.
The programme, which was dubbed from “Berlin to Beijing; the sovereignty of the people of Ghana lies with the Chinese government,’ sought to find out why after one hundred and thirty years of the partitioning of Africa into colonial states by the West, very little has changed in terms of development and independence.
Ghana for instance, after 53years of Independence and 43years of becoming a Republic, still relies enormously on aid from China – giving away its natural resources in return as payment for this assistance.
This challenge according to the host of Tarzan’s Take, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, seems to raise the suspicion of another form of colonial influence.
In response, Anshan Li blamed the impression on the Western Media who according to him are creating ‘a misunderstanding about Foreign China Africa Corporation (FOCA) which in itself originated from the Africans’.
He said the foreign media has created the impression that ‘china created FOCAC to exploit Africa, and that is not true’; he maintained.
Citing China as an example, he noted that during the early development years of China, even though it had all the expertise to invest in the available markets, it lacked the physical ‘money to do these investments’.
It, therefore, had to offer all its technological know-how to Japan ‘at very low prices’ to get what it wanted because ‘it did not have money to pay’. This to him paid off at the end of the day.
On this note, he cautioned that ‘if you are signing a contract, you have to be very careful and be very clear about what you need then you can make a deal’. This he explained will ‘create a win-win situation’ for all parties. In other words, the ability to win any deal with development partners lies with the government of Ghana and its people.
Explaining how China’s economy managed to overrun Ghana’s economy, when at the time of Ghana’s Republic, the latter’s GDP per capita income was twice that of the former, but by 2011, China’s GDP per capita income was almost four times that of Ghana. Prof. Li Anshan attributed it to the kind of leadership and stability of the political environment.
He said: ‘we have the leadership that is determined to make the country develop in its own way and ‘we need stability… stability is important because it provides the circumstances for development’.
He advised African economies ‘to create their own (development) paths’ and avoid ‘copying’ the western models. The most important thing he noted is ‘to learn something and apply it to your path’.
Prof. Li Anshan described the China-Africa relations as ‘friendly and developing fast’.