Suppose a manager of a British mining company picked up a gun and opened fire on his African workforce? What if the company concerned paid its Zambian miners less than the legal minimum wage? Suppose relations on the shop floor became so poisonous that furious workers chose to crush a manager to death?

If a British-based mining house like Anglo American or Rio Tinto had experienced any of this, I strongly suspect that popular protest would have overwhelmed the company concerned, sending its share price into free-fall and casting its very future into doubt.

Yet all of the above has happened at a Chinese-owned mine in Zambia. When workers at Collum coal mine protested about poor wages and working conditions in 2010, their Chinese managers responded by opening fire with live rounds. In fairness, they were not shooting to kill: no one actually died, but 11 of the miners suffered bullet wounds.

The Chinese argued they were acting in self defence, and Beijing made clear that should charges be pressed against them, bilateral relations would suffer. Zambia, unable to stand up to its biggest foreign investor, duly caved in: no criminal case was ever brought against the managers.

This year, protests at Collum have continued, spurred by the fact that its Chinese owners pay their employees less than the national minimum wage for shopworkers. On Saturday, the miners crushed a 50-year-old Chinese manager to death with a trolley.

So the next time you next read of a multi-billion dollar deal between China and a poor African country, think of what has happened at Collum mine. While Beijing likes to claim that it forges “win-win partnerships” with African nations, the reality is that one side tends to win a great deal more than the other. The outlines of these agreements are always similar: China promises to build lots of useful infrastructure, particularly roads and railways, in return for privileged access to the country’s natural resources.

But this has three consequences. First, the minerals that China extracts are always worth more than the infrastructure it builds. Put bluntly, Beijing always takes out more than it puts in (that is the whole point of the exercise). Second, the workforce that actually builds the roads, railways etc is often Chinese, so the number of jobs created is relatively small. Third, the skills needed to maintain this infrastructure are not always passed on, meaning that much of it will probably fall to bits a decade or two hence.

Finally—and most seriously of all in the case of Zambia—the Chinese are not always exemplary managers of the mines and oilfields they are handed control over. The reasons for this are interesting. The separation between workers and management that is always evident tends to be particularly wide in these cases. That’s for a simple reason: the Chinese managers and their African workers generally have no language in common. Meanwhile, the Africans cannot help noticing that no Chinese ever has an African boss. There is clearly a glass ceiling above which local employees will not rise. That’s before we comes to matters like health and safety, working conditions and wages.

I would hazard a guess that, in general, many Africans would prefer to work for established Western mining companies. That is certainly the view of Michael Sata, the Zambian president who won power largely because of widespread unease over the consequences of Chinese investment.

While opposition leader in 2007, Sata said: “We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return. They exploited our natural resources too, but at least they took good care of us. They built schools, taught us their language and brought us the British civilisation. At least Western capitalism has a human face; the Chinese are only out to exploit us.”

In Zambia, at least, that seems to be the popular view.


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  • Joe Batters

    “We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return…”

     SO I guess the white man isnt so bad after all.  Too bad, let China rape that continent for all its worth and then maybe the next generation can blame them for all their woes instead of Europe or America.

    Also, this article gives you an eerie glimpse into the future of America.  As we continue to allow worthless third world immigrants into our country the day will come when all the public aid dries up and then we will hear the same sob story of “Who will take care of us?”   Was it Rudyard Kipling that coined the term, “White Mans Burden? “

     “Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss”.

    Is there one AR reader who didn’t see this coming?

    The Chinese believe in hard work and they are slave drivers. Production at any cost. Nothing will stand in their way.

    Africans have replace one colonial power with an even more brutal one. This will get bloody.

    It’s nice to see they miss the British.  

    • JohnEngelman

      The British Empire was the most enlightened in history. The legacy of that empire in most former colonies has been representative democracy and well functioning economies. In Africa the British needed several more centuries. 

      • Epiminondas

        The English were too civilized for their own good.  Being a permanent missionary/colonist empire was always a fools errand.

        • JohnEngelman

          White Europeans have become too civilized for their own good. They do not know how to respond to third world immigrants who abuse their tolerance and generosity. 

      • Anonymous

        If the European imperialists were so bad, why do those third-worlders immigrate to Western countries? Why do those same third-world countries use the language and systems the whites put in place? 

      • Ben Vadeboncoeur

        Impossible with that lot. They should have abandoned it from the get go, or let the Germans handle it. Probably would have given them all the lebensraum they’d gave needed.

  • NYB

     “Beijing always takes out more than it puts in”

    This is key to understanding any dealings with the Chinese in business.   If you agree to something in a contract, they will look for ways around it to screw you, even if they have to use the excuse that they “not understand Engrish”.

    As long as you know this, you are forewarned.

    • JohnEngelman

      That is the way capitalism always works when the employer has much more wealth and power than the employees, and when the government does not intervene on the side of the employees. 

  • Tim

    From the theatre trailer- “These men take justice into their own hands… They`re the Molly McGuires”…Jackie Chan playing Sidney Poiter playing Sean Connery playing Peter Mc Hugh… Excuse me while I crawl under a rock, err, I mean under  ground and die…Thank God the `Ol Man isn`t alive to see this.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    There was an article in the Daily Mail a few years back entitled “Is it time to re-colonise Africa”?
    Personally, I would not want to see us (the British) “re-colonise” anywhere. All of that paternalistic nonsense has ended, thankfully.
    I think the sentence “many africans would prefer to work for well established western mining companies” is probably the best solution; ie, western owned companies with western managers.
    Once we’ve taught the brightest Africans (the top 10%) what we know, then we leave and let them take care of themselves.

    • newscomments70

      “Once we’ve taught the brightest Africans (the top 10%) what we know, then we leave and let them take care of themselves.” That has been tried many times over. Two examples: Idi Amin and Robert Mugabe were educated in the UK…look what happened.

      • Sherman_McCoy

        You can take the cannibal out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the cannibal.

  • There are two things we need to remember when reading this article: One, the Chinese hold sub-Saharan Africans in very low regard (many of us would add, “And with good reason.”) And two, the Chinese don’t give a hoot in hell about what we call “political correctness,” or about what the world thinks.

     I’ve often thought that, if we in the Western Hemisphere really wanted to get Haiti “back on its feet” (as if it were ever in any position but flat on its back), the way to do it would be to let China take it over and run it. Six months of that, and I’d wager the Haitians would be pleading with the French to come back!

    • zimriel

       Well, maybe not the French. The Frogs in Haiti acted much worse than the Chinese in Zambia. And it went beyond the slavery days; I’m more talking about the enforcing-reparations days. Read some of those 19th-century un-PC histories about the island. Even the racists agreed that the French were brutal and rapacious.

      But the Haitians would love for the AMERICANS to come back. The US’s colonial adventure there actually had the place running pretty well until Papa Doc.

    • Strider73

      China isn’t needed to get Haiti “back on its feet.” Just let the next-door Dominican Republic do the job. The DR may be backward by our standards, but it’s Nirvana compared to Haiti. The Dominican army could crush its Haitian counterpart, liquidate the entire leadership, and claim total sovereignty over Hispaniola island in a few days. Within a year or two conditions in the former Haiti would improve by at least an order of magnitude. Those Haitians who don’t like the new management could sail the 80 kilometers of the Windward Passage to Cuba, where they would no doubt find gainful employment in the sugar cane fields.

  • JohnEngelman

    While opposition leader in 2007, Sata said: “We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return. They exploited our natural resources too, but at least they took good care of us. They built schools, taught us their language and brought us the British civilisation. At least Western capitalism has a human face; the Chinese are only out to exploit us.”
    In Zambia, at least, that seems to be the popular view.
    – David Blair, Telegraph (London), August 6, 2012      
    European colonialism was the best thing to happen to sub Saharan Africa. It ended centuries too soon. 

    • ABM

      I disagree, we should have never even set foot in that god forsaken place.

      • JohnEngelman

        The historical role of empires is to impose civilization on barbarians. The Roman Empire imposed civilization on the Celts. The Holy Roman Empire, which may be seen as the restoration of the Western Roman Empire, imposed civilization on the Germans. Unfortunately it weakened before it could conquer Scandinavia and stop the Viking raids. Nevertheless, it lasted until 1806. 
        Civilization breeds civilized people. City life imposes population pressure on superior intelligence. The criminal justice system of a civilized nation removes those with criminal inclinations from the gene pool.           

        • The__Bobster

          Some people aren’t civilizable.

          Is that a word?

          Well, it is now.

          • JohnEngelman

            Some people are not, but all races are. Sometimes it takes several thousand years of evolution. The individuals who cannot be civilized need to be excluded from the gene pool. 

          • Sherman_McCoy

            Where then, is an example of a black civilization?

          • JohnEngelman

            Before the time of Christ there were two Negro nations with urban civilizations: the Nubians and the Ethiopians.  My point is that the Bantu required more centuries of genetic selection under European rule.

        • The Verdict of History

          Societal (cultural) and Evolutionary (genetic) pressures predominate… 

        • Sloppo

          In the United States has been doing the opposite of “removing criminals from the gene pool”.  Our government has paid the least intelligent, least productive and most criminally prone people to have more children for several decades.  Now we are reaping the “benefits” of those investments.

          • JohnEngelman

            Yes, but that is coming to an end. During most of pre history and history the most intelligent people had the most children who survived and reproduced. 

          • Sloppo

            You can say “that is coming to an end” all you want, but this thing Obama calls “redistributive justice” is on the upswing right now.

    • The Verdict of History

      White people are God’s gift to Black Africans to this day, though…

      – Foreign Aid (anti aids/hiv)
      – Humanitarian missions
      – Contraception 
      – Management of black african national finances
      – Literacy training
      – Missionary work…

      Blacks should be crediting Europeans for their very survival, and yet, in return, Whites are lambasted and even physically attacked by them…

      All good deeds…

      • JohnEngelman

        They blame us for their shortcomings. Unfortunately many whites agree with them. 

      • Sherman_McCoy

        None of these things should have been provided to blacks.  They would have gone the way of any failed race, and rightly so.

        However, if missionaries are inclined to go there, do remember that the Lord said nothing about spreading your technology or customs, just the Gospel.  Putting the natives in bras was an absurdity.

        • jeffaral

          Christian missionaries go there and bring those poor blacks to white countries so that the poor ones are at last free to milk the wellfare state, rape our women and vote for Obongo.   Thank you all good soldiers of Christ.

          • Sherman_McCoy

            Also a valid complaint.  There seems to be nothing good that can come of whites having contact with blacks.

      • Anonymous

        They want to blame us for all their failures, yet want our money, our women, etc.

    • Kronolog

      One should not laud  it blindly: It’s true that the Africans under British rule were treated fair, but those under Belgian rule during the days of the Congo Free State were treated horribly.

  • MissBonnie123

    I remember watching a video about a White farmer in Zimbabwe. He was trying to get to his farm but the Africans were blocking it. At one point the African told the White farmer that he would rather have the Chinese take over Zimbabwe than have White people in Zimbabwe and the rule of White men.

    I remember thinking to myself that this African man does NOT know what he is talking about. The Chinese will not be made to feel guilty to the point of submitting to the African like White men do. The Chinese will not honor any rights of the African because the Chinese don’t understand or practice the concepts of civil rights.

    The Africans in Africa are going to continue to have a miserable future under Chinese rule.

    • Epiminondas

      And some of us are going to enjoy the spectacle.

  • 1proactive2

    How about the hyphen-loving African-American blacks, which means 99% of them, head over the help out their non-hyphen African bretheren in the mines?   After all, the American hyphen blacks have always said that they can do any job just as well as any White, and The Bell Curve was just a racist book. 

    They succeeded wildly in building DIEtroit into a thriving metropolis after taking over 45 years ago. Oh, let’s not use that example.  How about Philadelphia?  Yeah!  Oh wait, hyphen blacks screwed that city up as well.

    Okay, look how well they’ve created the now hugely successful Atlanta, Georgia. Wait, check that, too. Atlanta is hyphen majority black and crime-ridden, and now it’s an enormous mess under decades of hyphen black governing.

    Then again, Nelson Mandela, the darling of the world press, can just head up to Zambia with his African Commie Congress, take over the mines, and presto!, instant success and profits!  Oh darn, South Africa has gone third world murder happy, just like everywhere else blacks have taken over – or even settled. 

    The only thing left is – reality.  Blacks are just too primitive for the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

  • Lygeia

    It is the Chinese and North Koreans who are driving all of this upheaval in Africa. China wants Africa’s resources. To accomplish this, China and North Korea armed all of the black African Marxist rebels who overthrew the stable white governments.

    This was done because white people were educating the Africans and teaching them how to farm so that the Africans could feed themselves, and be self-sufficient. The Chinese just want the Africans to be savage so that the only jobs they are fit for are manual labor type jobs in mines and on plantations. The whites were trying to make the black Africans self-sufficient and the Chinese did not want that.

    Now the black Africans have Chinese overlords who starve them and shoot at them if they ask for decent treatment.

    The Chinese may succeed where forced multiculturalism has failed. Blacks and whites have a common enemy in the Chinese.

    • whiteyyyyy

       Speak for yourself, I’m hoping they rape every natural resource before they pack their bags

    • IstvanIN

       WE overthrew the white governments in Rhodesia and South Africa.  The commies were a force in Portuguese Africa but the Portuguese were ruling from Portugal and not from inside Africa like the Rhodesians and Afrikaners.  We could have supported Portugal but we didn’t.  Don’t blame the Chinese, North Koreans or Cubans for this one.

    •  Whites have nothing in common with the Sub-Saharan African. If anything, people of European heritage and Asian heritage have much more in common. As far as Africans go, they are a liability to everyone that comes into contact with them. Asian, White, Arab, or otherwise. Just a dysfunctional group of people.

    • jeffaral

      Oh yeah christian Blacks and Whites together against the heathen Chinese!   Count me out!

  • IstvanIN

     The Chinese have it right: profit.  The Europeans spent too much time trying to civilize the natives, to no good end, except their empires.

  • Epiminondas

    Well said.  They thought they were being so clever getting the white man to knuckle under and admit his wickedness.  They’re about to learn a brand new lesson.  Christians weren’t so bad after all.

  • The Verdict of History

    And some what literally too…

    Although Obango isn’t White.

  • ncpride

    “We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return.

    We’re sure you do, but you fools did a pretty good job of ensuring that will never happen. What’s happening to you is called Karma.

    I have zero sympathy for these people, and a reluctant admiration for the Chinese for standing their ground.

  • Mahound

    But, but … I don’t get it. The friendly guys in the media said that the white man is evil. I’m confused.

  • Xanthippe2

    The Africans Blacks are not all that is being ill-treated!  I was listening to a podcast on which an Afrikaner nationalist was being interviewed.  He said that the Chinese are buying up many exotic animals and reptiles, so much so that their numbers are being seriously depleted.  They are persuadably being sold to wealthy Chinese as exotic meats and “health enhancers.”  They are also capturing domestic dogs and hanging them in trees and torturing them till they die.  The Chinese think this enhances the flavor of the dog meat.  This was in South Africa, but no doubt happens everywhere in Africa in which the Chinese are in control.

  • .

    The British administrators took an interest in the well being of their colonies and all they got for it was a kick in the teeth. Now their former colonies are going to see what life is like when the administrators don’t take an interest in their well-being. I take no joy in that but they brought it on themselves.

  • toldev

    Sometimes you are better off with the white devil you know………

  • May China rape Africa of all their natural resources. It couldn’t have happened to a better people. LOL!!!!!

  • jeffaral

    I pity the Chinese who have to deal with the low IQ savages!

  • jeffaral

    Where the idiotic christian white man failed, the chinese will succed.   Good for them.   Go China!

    • Ben Vadeboncoeur

      The Chinese can only steal and copy. Their greatest invention is really fireworks. Read the Next 100 Years and you’ll see what happens to them.

  • The blacks, the lowest IQ of them all, know better than we, just exactly what the asians are about.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    Im not taking anything out on the “rest of you”!
    It appears that African Blacks are learning that their new yellow rulers are a whole lot worse than their previous white rulers. If, once we’ve taught their “top 10%”, they make a hash of things (very possible), well, then, that’s their fault.
    From some of the responses to my comment, a new reader might get the impression that I’m a liberal. Which I’m not. So please bear that in mind, and spare me the glut of viscously textured, nasally inspired, mucous covered ripostes! 

    • Anonymous

      Just as anti-white blacks in the US who are experiencing Mexicans taking over their neighborhoods won’t unite them and, in many cases, are not as nice to them as whites have been.  Blacks have sided with illegal immigrants because they view them as a source to ‘take the white man down’, but these mexicans don’t like blacks and are pushing them out of once black neighborhoods, just as blacks have pushed whites out of our neighborhoods and cities.  Karma is a beach, ain’t she?

  • Anonymous

    The only people who benefit from wars and empires aren’t the average citizens; only the business people.  The average European then as well as today was just a working stiff.  The same people who benefit off of colonialism back then are the same people who benefit now from Europe being flooded with nonwhites and who benefit from the illegal immigration in the US today.

  • Smelling the roses??? I was born and raised on the South side of Chicago where I had the luxury of attending predominantly black schools my whole life.  Unfortunately, I started smelling the roses when I was only 6 years old.  LOL!!!

    You are comparing apples and oranges. Stating what the Chinese can do to a  people whom have a average IQ only slightly above that of a Chimpanzee, whom have no written history, no reasoning power, and no control over their own destructive genetic impulses is one thing. Elaborating on what the Chinese can do to Americans is something else entirely.

    China, and by extension the Chinese, can only “rape” the USA of its resources if it is allowed to do so by America’s ruling elite.  Americans are more than capable of putting their own resources to good use. In contrast, the African is unable to think. Unable to function by themselves. We see this this in Detroit, Haiti, South Africa, and the south side of Chicago.

    Do not compare us to those creatures.

  • Ben Vadeboncoeur

    A Chinese proverb; Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.

  • Ben Vadeboncoeur

    You didn’t even need a crystal ball for that trick!