"Great Britain decolonized the African country of Zambia in the mid-20th century. China has recolonized it in the early 21st. The story is the same throughout the Third World from Sudan to Kazakhstan: China invests in a poor country in return for strategic benefits, usually an oilfield or a mine. Besides getting cash, local dictators get a weapons dealer and a protector at the United Nations..."
Toronto Sun's Ezra Levant using Zambia as the poster child of new Chinese led colonialism. In a recent review of The Beijing Consensus, I note the complexities of assessing Beijing's thrust on our nation. On the one hand the Collum coal incident reinforced the vision of a nation helpless before Beijing, on the other hand we have not seen tangible evidence of a country being intentionally transformed in Beijing's image. The sort of "black and white" pronouncements by Mr Levant is one which needs to be rejected for more sober assessment. China is not intentionally setting out to colonise Zambia - a sharp contrast to British foreign policy in the 19th century. As Halper rightly argues, Beijing's activities in Zambia are reactionary shaped by incentives at home, which gives our leaders sufficient potential to bargain, if they so wish.