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Enter the dragon: Is China looking to colonize Kenya and rest of the East Africa?

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By Nitin Kesar

The way Chinese people are making inroads into Kenya, has a striking resemblance to how British paved their way into India during early 17 century.

With a promise of investing $5 billion in Kenya’s infrastructure, China has done exactly the same thing what East India company did then with India- show a false promise of prosperity and growth.

One of the reasons why China is so interested in Kenya is for its need of oil. As the dragon nation is set to become the world’s largest oil importer, the new oil discoveries in Kenya serve its purpose well.

It is estimated that the Kenya will be the first oil exporter in East Africa by 2016 — with deposits topping 10 billion barrels, or three times more than the United Kingdom’s remaining oil reserves.

Again, it is just like the way Britishers exploited Indian farmers for opium, cotton and spices.

The signs of this modern day colonization showed its horrific side on March 26 when a Chinese restaurant in Kenyan capital of Nairobi was shut down after it emerged that it was barring dark-skinned locals from entering its premises.

The case came into limelight after furious residents took to social media to denounce an apparently racist policy of not allowing African patrons to eat there after 5pm.

This is exactly what happened in India after Anglophone masters took control of the sub-continent and debarred the natives from entering restaurants. In fact, this was the time when Britishers used to put a board outside their so-called English eating joints which read- Dogs and Indians are not allowed.

Though Chinese investment at this moment seems like a good relief for Kenyans, it is going to have a great impact on the African nations sovereignty and autonomy.

A report conducted by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT ), Nairobi, Kenya also suggested that the FDI from China can have adverse effects on employment, income distribution, and national sovereignty and autonomy.

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China Will Get an ‘Understanding India’ Programme To Facilitate Cultural Exchange

"We would like to demystify the idea of India through this programme."

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India, China
PM Modi meets Xi Jinping, wikimedia commons

India plans to launch an “Understanding India” programme in China to “demystify” the country and create a better understanding of it.

Despite being immediate neighbours, India and China lack people-to-people contact and cultural exchange.

Indian Council of Cultural Relations President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who was in Beijing to attend the World Congress of Philosophy, said that by watching Bollywood and reading websites one can know India only superficially.

India and China on Saturday agreed on a joint economic project in Afghanistan, sources said after a two-day summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping here.
Representational Image, wikimedia commons

“India cannot be understood by simply reading books and visiting websites. India is an experience,” Sahasrabuddhe said.

“In most big countries like China, we are trying to have some kind of ‘Understanding India’ programme which will be a structural programme.”

The Rajya Sabha MP said that India was a “riddle” to the people outside because of its diversity and coexistence of masses despite the economic disparity in the country.

“We would like to demystify the idea of India through this programme,” Sahasrabuddhe added.

He also said the Indian cultural centres across the world that don’t have any name will be named after Indian monk Swami Vivekananda.

India, China
India is an experience

The cultural centre at the Indian Embassy in Beijing was named after the spiritual leader on Tuesday.

Also Read: Indian Art Forms in International Festivals Through Sands of Culture Series

“We respect everybody. There are Nehru centres; there are Mahatma Gandhi centres; there are Tagore centres but there are centres that did not have any names… so we thought it was fit to name all those under Swami Vivekananda because he symbolizes Indian culture in a multiple ways. He is an inspirational hero,” said Sahasrabuddhe.

There are 37 Indian cultural centres in the world. (IANS)