Thursday, June 18, 2009

Article downplays differences between development in China and Africa

For those of you interested in China-Africa relations, I call to your attention an interesting piece from the Chinese perspective by Li Anshan, professor at the Institute of Afro-Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Peking University. Titled "Chinese Experiences in Development: Implications for Africa," it appeared on June 18, 2009, in Pambazuka News, an excellent source for information about Africa. Professor Li (pictured at right) argues:
China's development is simply a process of learning, learning from anybody who can provide a better way for development, and the process is still going on. To apply others' experiences and lessons, that is, their success and failure, to your own conditions, is the only applicable lesson that China can offer.
He explains the role of the Communist Party of China in this process and emphasizes the importance of agriculture for both China and Africa. He also underscores China's belief in pursuing self-reliance and implies Africa should do the same. My major criticism of his analysis is that he does not draw enough parallels and differences between development in China and African countries.

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