I have noticed for some time that China has been doing quite a lot of business with developing countries. I remember the Nepalese saying that the quality of Chinese engineering projects in the 1980s was far superior to the other aid they received from elsewhere. Any surprise, then, about a rise of “Maoist” revolutionaries starting in the early 1990s?
In fact, I suspect that if the US really wanted to stem the nuclear reactor development in Iran and North Korea they would need to have stronger diplomatic relations with China. That probably feels like eating crow to President Bush who undoubtedly thought he could just swagger his way through international politics in the same way he took over the US presidency. Alas, even Hizbullah actions that destabilize the Mid-East, at the end of the day, seem to be related to a form of Chinese foreign policy as China supplies Iran and Syria. Do they also call some shots, or keep plausable deniability? Hopefully the US Whitehouse is starting to realize that their brash and confrontational style of diplomacy, coupled with overextending the military into conflicts they can not win, is undermining their own country’s security.
Getting the French to stop selling arms and sit at the table for stabilizing the region is one thing, but hardly impressive for the US. The only reason it could seem impressive today is because of the rediculous antics by US leaders who tried to make France look like an enemy for the past few years. The fact is China and Russia are the real powers who the US needs to come to terms with. If the US continues to let itself be bogged down by the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and trying to figure out how to align itself with it allies, then China will be (intentionally or otherwise) surpassing its biggest competitor by quietly but quickly expanding its economic and military influence over developing markets.
Here is a typical example from 2000 of how people regard Chinese assistance:
China is considered by African countries as a good example in the development of national economy and has good experience and technology that are practical and useful for African countries, said Angolan Industrial Minister Albina Assis at the ceremony.