Briefing from ROAPE Volume 35 Number 115
China Faces Reality in Africa
When violence broke out in Kenya after the December 2007 elections, the Chinese believed that they had understood the problem. ‘Western-style democratic theory simply isn't suited to African conditions, but rather carries with it the root of disaster,’ said a comment piece in the People's Daily, the newspaper of the Communist Party. ‘The elections crisis in Kenya is just one example.’ The analysis revealed more about China than about Kenya. China's long-held policy of ‘non interference’ is simply a pledge to support those in power in any given country, however venal or corrupt they may be. The idea of an opposition is an anathema to the one-party state, where communist ideology has given way to authoritarian capitalism, the notion that economic growth depends on stability, and stability requires repression.