• April 21st, 2019
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Trailing the chopsticks



Elvis Muraranganda 

Ni Hao! The Island Province of Hainan with its beautiful beach city of Sanya, was warm, a reality far from the weather in Beijing. It felt like home, Swakopmund to be precise, just slightly more humid. 

Sanya in itself is a pearl in the South China Sea, an epicenter of both breathtaking splendor and a bed of modernized economic sensations and fascinations as far as the eye can see. 

Its white beaches encircle a land full of an aroma of buried mysteries of the civilization of the indigenous Li and Miao people as well as coconut and betel nut production, to mention just a few.

As part of my reading materials I picked-up “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” and “What can China’s Road Contribute to the World”. This gave me a bit of on inside to why this Asian nation is keen on building strong economic relations with the rest of the world. A vision carefully crafted into its audacious “belt and road initiative” which has evoked the appetite of many African countries. 

Under this initiative China wants to connect the world under one economic route for the trading of goods and services by assisting nations with infrastructure development. The country which was suffocating in underdevelopment and poverty about six decades ago now wants to share its road to prosperity with other nations. 

I started to further interrogate the path which saw China lift 60% of its population out of dire poverty to decent living standards. How China manages to keep the remaining 40% calm, focused and under control while they further carve out solutions to save them from the claws of poverty. 

Ordinary Chinese people will always quote you, “development with Chinese characteristics”, in fact the phrase “Chinese characteristics” makes up the composition of everyday dialogue. 

This rhetoric simply means, whatever they do must be to the benefit of the Chinese people and their country. Every conduct and engagement must follow that thought pattern. The people and the country first. 
China has a one-on-one assistance policy which means that the advanced provinces and cities will adopt a “big brother” mentality by helping the underdeveloped and poverty-stricken areas to their feet. This is an internal twinning system between different areas within the borders of this country.  

It is interesting to note that the media is playing a crucial role in keeping the citizenry’s hopes up and spirits high and this includes social media. The citizens are informed and involved in the developmental efforts of the Chinese government. 
Now, I can go on about the systems here in China, but I believe that if we are going to engage with China in the “belt and road initiative”, it should not only end with taking money or the assistance to develop our countries, but also  learning some of the other best practices that works. 

One key element to this notion, is for us to put Namibia first. We should borrow and get assistance on our terms for benefit our people (not persons) and our country. 

It is for this reason, that when we as nation who only joined the BRI late last year, to learn from those helping us, our borrowing and engagement should also have our own characteristics to continue guarding our territorial integrity and sovereignty.  This does not only end with China alone, but with any country or organization we are entering into any transaction with, just Angola did when they moved to stop using their oil as a guarantee for loans. 

Another pivotal behavior among the Chinese people is discipline. Discipline in respecting and upholding the laws of the country and discipline in observing the order and guidance of the Communist Party of China. 

While, I will not talk about the political discipline, I will stress on the former because just the other day I read an article that an African national was being accused of breaking the country’s laws as she was found with prohibited substances. However, the eye of this story is the fact the Chinese laws were applied and are being applied here strictly and religiously irrespective of who you are or your origin.

In formulating our own Namibian characteristics, it should be clear to all and sundry, that Namibia is not a haven for delinquency and we must apply our laws strictly against anyone, and I mean anyone who breaks them. Let us not be seen to be relaxing them in favour of anyone, including foreign nationals. 


New Era Reporter
2019-04-12 09:26:01 9 days ago

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