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Balance of Power and Strategy; Lessons China the dragon teaches to Africa the mother land

Updated on December 4, 2013

According to John E. Schrecker, 1971: Imperialism and Chinese Nationalism; Germany in Shantung

There was a scramble for China. This was under the prevailing scramble for spheres of influence by European countries. China's shores welcomed Europeans and Americans from 1890's to 1911. The rise of nationalism held back this scramble. Before that there were fights, many of which ended up in bloodshed. Some of it is captured in literature, like this between Germany and a Chinese Town.

"After this reprisal raid which became the most notorious act committed by the Germans in Shantung, the detachment marched directly back to the coast and boarded the Gefion for Tsingtao," (Schrecker, page 97).

Lessons to mother land Africa

We continue our third series on China, the dragon, and how it can be the teacher to the oldest continent in the world.

In this mini-series we shall read about: imperialism and how China reacted to what it perceived as imperialistic advances; China was an emerging super power and therefore it positioned itself along that identity; nationalism was a force of change sweeping through China, it influenced the way it played its roles and how other countries dealt with it; the vassal relations in which China saw other sovereign states was destined to change; establishment of diplomatic protocol as a means of dealing with different nations replaced various means in which China dealt with various countries; China invested in alliances and pact formation; China established development and trade partnerships with other countries; these led to diplomatic and trade mission formation.

China emerged as a Super power but was it out of luck or strategy?

China was both a very strong and formidable country but at the same time it faced threats from different countries. At one time Japan and European countries devised means to colonize it. There are lessons Africa can learn from the inevitable forces that made colonization take root. For China's case, it was parts of it that fell into foreign power. Still this scenario can be a lesson for Africa especially in the eventual events from which China has benefited.

According to Henry Kissinger, 2011: On China

Historically, China used its long history of might, power and position as the middle Kingdom. It treated other people on its periphery as vassal states. This changed with time.

China was formed by its ancient organization and ; encounters with Europeans; formation of relations in form of Sino-Soviet alliance; eventual break-down of the Sino-Soviet alliance; the Korean war; forging of US ties; Taiwan Strait crises; Trade with various countries and industrialization and internal leadership; strategic partnership building; economic interdependence.

China emerged as an organized country with leaders capable of managing China as well as tactful when it came to foreign relations.

"Hu and Wen brought an unprecedented perspective to the task of managing China's development and defining its world role," ( Kissinger, page 488).


These are some of the pillars on which China placed its nationalism, development and foreign policy: China invested in Approaches to diplomacy; it invested in strategy; it invested in negotiation infrastructure; It recorded all its past achievements for future reference; it positioned itself as a player in global balance of power by winning friends among various countries and it shared its resources and education capacity.


Source of Knowledge on China

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China as a world power

Was China always a world power?

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How did China begin its ties with USA?

According to Don Lawson, 1985: Eagle and the Dragon; The History of US-China Relations

-China had improved its trade over waters with USA by August 28th 1784.

-China developed a foreign trade policy and committed to formation of alliances.

- There was Chinese merchants' eagerness to trade with many countries. They in turn influenced the way China related with the countries where trade took place.

- American merchants' eagerness to trade with China influenced the way USA related with China in turn.

- America had prized furs which were marketable in China.

- America had the Ginseng root which was marketable in China.

- China had the number of and type of persons with the trainable skills who would be employed in America.

- China offered tea and silks.

- There was a call for diplomatic relations and missions' establishment in both countries.

- American missionaries were establishing in China.

-China had played a pivotal role in the World War II.

-China was an adversary in the Korean War.

The lessons to Motherland, Africa

1. Africa should position itself to work in partnerships with the various countries in the world.

2. Africa should be ready to organize its communities through: education, health assurance, food security; technical skills; and skills to enable people access jobs or markets.

3. Leadership and governance should provide opportunities of trust and confidence by investors and the beneficiaries. Suspicions and repeat of what transpired in the early colonial subjugating history should not be repeated.

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    • Tom Mukasa profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Mukasa 

      24 months ago from Lives in USA

      Thanks to all my friends. Merry Christmas to all of you. May the end of 2016 be wrapping of a gift called 2017.

    • Tom Mukasa profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Mukasa 

      5 years ago from Lives in USA

      DDE, you are welcome.I promised my friends in Africa to come up with 100 stories of this kind on this hub. I hope they will be lessons to help eradicate poverty in Africa, uphold dignity, respect, rights and conserve the environment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A very interesting topic of debate. Informative and lots to think about here

    • Tom Mukasa profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Mukasa 

      5 years ago from Lives in USA

      Thanks Mel Carriere. There is an African saying: "If you are to grip a lepers hands you do not grit your teeth." No doubt Africa will have to come up with its tailored solutions. But it will have to copy others' lessons. I have tried to list the overarching themes Africa will have to adopt:

      1. Africa should position itself to work in partnerships with the various countries in the world.

      2. Africa should be ready to organize its communities through: education, health assurance, food security; technical skills; and skills to enable people access jobs or markets.

      3. Leadership and governance should provide opportunities of trust and confidence by investors and the beneficiaries. Suspicions and repeat of what transpired in the early colonial subjugating history should not be repeated.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      5 years ago from San Diego California

      I don't exactly see China as a model to follow unless the slave labor and starvation of your citizens (Mao) is morally acceptable. I'm not pushing for US style democracy, but I think Africa has to work out African solutions to African problems.

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