Debunking the myths of the new colonialists - Leon Louw

SOUTH Africa is being flooded by Chinese immigrants. They are colonising Africa. Their government funds their relocation here, where, like in other vulnerable countries, they run illegal stores, destroy local businesses, sell contraband and exploit labour. And it’s all backed by a conspiracy between both the Chinese and the South African governments.

That, at least, is the story doing the rounds.

Mainstream media routinely cover Chinese "neocolonialism". Famed activist Jane Goodall accuses China of "doing what the colonialists did".

South Africa’s Sinophobic Noseweek cites Stellenbosch University emeritus professor Colin McCarthy: "The project to set up an extensive network of Chinese shops, all following the same pattern and targeting the same market, was well researched, well planned, well organised and well financed."

It "constitutes the biggest retail chain in South Africa — bigger than Pick n Pay, Pep Stores, Woolworths, Edgars, Mr Price … and there we were, wasting our time worrying about Walmart!" The Chinese are "part of the criminal economy".

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