Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China

Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China just wrapped up a visit to the U.S. on April 21, 2006. I love the people of China and respect them for their ingenuity and talents.

President Hu’s visit reminded me of my Chinese friend and room-mate for several years ago, James Song, with whom I had the opportunity to celebrate a Chinese New Year.

James lived and worked in the US as a software engineer and was very wise and frugal in his living.

This visit to America by President Hu was said to be good and bad for America. Good because he stopped by and had high-level meetings with Bill Gates of Microsoft and met with officials at Boeing, America’s aeronautics giant. In both instances, the Chinese leader signaled plans to pump tons of the Chinese Yuan into the U.S. economy as a result of trade negotiations and agreements with Boeing and Microsoft respectively.

Also, it is reported, Hu plans to help crackdown and fight to protect intellectual property rights in China when he goes back home.

In D.C., it was not so good, according to analysts for CNN and FOX news. President George W. Bush, news reports say, was not tough enough to press for better human rights in China. The issue of Taiwan and Tibet were left hanging in the balance, we’re told.  HU made no promises on fairer trade with the US, and China is still the odd couple in the war on terror and nuclear weapons, especially on Iran.

Not so good because, it is reported, said, a journalist with U.S. press credentials, yelled at the Chinese visitor at a White House meeting and caused President Bush to apologize to his Chinese counterpart.

It is reported that Hu is on his way to Africa, with plans to visit Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco.

Is a visit to Africa by a Chinese president good or bad for the continent? I am bound to ask the same questions I asked before and how Hu’s travel to Africa will benefit the continent.

What will Africa gain from a visit to Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco by the world’s number one communist nation? Will it be trade, oil, and infrastructure, the spread of a communist ideology or to pit China against America in Africa?

Will Africans learn anything from China’s sudden rise as a potential super-power? Will the continent learn anything about trade with the rest of the world? Will Nigeria be selling more oil to China or to the USA or will the international market price decide who gets more oil? Will it be fair-trade and fair-game to Africa? Does China support any form of democratic governance and human rights in Africa? Does China show support for the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa?

And to be fair to both China and America is America only interested in oil in Africa for so-called geopolitical and strategic reasons or does Africa deserve to be Africa and treated fairly and squarely on these matters.

Does anyone really care that Africa can be a self-sufficient continent and respected for its customs and values?


Leave a Reply