How China Lost Burma
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  • Corlyss

    Priceless. I hope someday to read The Ugly Chinaman. For those too young to remember The Ugly American, it was a “slashing exposé of American arrogance, incompetence, and
    corruption in Southeast Asia.”

  • ljgude

    I became aware of Chinese colonialist involvement in Africa over 10 years ago. I watched the fiasco n Zimbabwe and noticed how China bailed out the sinking Mugabe so now that mineral rich country is hopelessly in debt to China. China is working pretty aggressively right across the continent to develop Africa’s natural resources. Post colonialist ideology prevents the West to seeing China as a colonial power but colonialism is not something non westerners are incapable of doing. I think this anti colonial blow back in Burma is a good lesson for the Chinese. The first key to successful development of poorer countries by larger more powerful ones is to make sure that economically the endeavor is a win for both parties. When the more powerful maximizes its own interests and minimizes the benefits to the host country what we call colonialism occurs – regardless of the skin color of the participants. In this case it sounds like the Chinese made the mistake of acting in a high handed manner and managed to thoroughly anger the Burmese. Poor countries don’t usually ditch a partly completed project the size of a dam unless they clearly see an overarching downside. That said, I can’t see North Korea going the way of Burma because they are the worlds leading case of ideologically arrested development.

    • Corlyss

      “Post colonialist ideology prevents the West to seeing China as a colonial power”

      I’m sure that’s true of the blinkered liberal elites in the west. They still can’t bring themselves to admit that the colonies qua colonies were many times better off under enlightened western rule than they have been for even a single day under the rampantly corrupt, invidiously tribal, dangerously lethal era of what passes for self-determination in those abandoned wastelands.

      Re: NK, nobody actually wants the place, with all their starving ignorant automatons. It would be different if someone wanted the place besides China. China uses NK to proliferate nukes to unstable regions where the US is heavily invested, like the middle east, and South America. Anything to keep the US off balance regardless of how reckless it is. Another reason why fracking has to continue and increase exponentially to liberate us from the curse of dependence on middle east oil.

      • ljgude

        I suppose post colonialist is code for blinkered liberal elites. 😉 Your comment mikes me notice something else about the 180 degree swing from colonialism to anti colonialism to post colonialism. My favorite example of colonialism comes from V S Naipaul’s History of Trinidad where he finds the most vicious form of Caribbean colonialism was under the French in Trinidad. So unbearable was the condition of black slaves who, whenever they could get their hands on any poison, would distribute it to their fellow sufferers to kill as many as possible and lacking poison ate dirt to kill themselves. It was pretty horrible but we have overacted My favorite post colonial disaster is Mugabe’s Zimbabwe where, without nearly the level of repression in North Korea or Cuba, sheer managerial incompetence has reduced one of Africa’s richest countries to desperate poverty. My favorite was Mugabe’s ‘Drive out the rubbish’ when he burned out the souvenir vendors who were managing to survive and hurting no one. White Zimbabweans notice what has happened which their betters at places like Harvard are incapable of even conceiving. Even black Zimbabweans notice. I remember one old chap I met out in the bush put it in terms any sixth grader could understand. “This black skin government no good.” And that is not a racist slap at Obama – it is expression of disgust at liberal elites that are the products places like Harvard and Yale. I myself am a product of another Ivy so I don’t say that as a disgruntled hick who went to Ohio A&M. Or Idaho State.

      • neshobanakni

        Why can’t our government see the situation as clearly as you? NK is just a cat’s paw. It’s not rocket surgery!

        • Corlyss

          Too many political interests competing for limited attention without a relevant filter being applied by the decision makers. A lot of it is mere noise, but because politicians owe so much to so many, they’ve lost the capacity to decide what’s most important and ignore the rest.
          I suspect the FFs didn’t count on so many voices wanting to be heard on any specific issue of public policy import.

  • Atanu Maulik

    The monumental incompetence of the Chinese foreign policy elite has eased a lot of pressure on the Americans as they pivot to Asia.

  • rheddles

    While this article discusses China’s colonialism, it ignores China’s imperialism. And China remains an empire, the most successful in human history. And the most effective anti-imperial force in history has been revolutionary American individualism. The 20th century saw the United States act consistently to dissemble every European empire and the nascent Japanese empire. I sense a conflict brewing.

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