Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chinese gangsters in Africa

a couple days ago there was an article about Angola deporting Chinese criminals from that country, but I didn't post it for obvious reasons (not Zimbabwe related).

But StrategyPage has this in one of their articles on China: Three problems: spreading guns that encourage violence/crime, chinese criminals, and cheap imports that fall apart or kill locals (while undermining local manufacturing jobs)...

China is also having more problems keeping its arms exports secret. This is not a problem when the weapons go to some dictatorship and stay there. But in Africa, the secret Chinese weapons shipments tend to spread around. The UN has noted that Chinese weapons are increasingly showing up in trouble spots. When captured, the owners of these weapons simply say they got the weapons from some local arms dealers. The dealers are hard to capture, or even identify, but the weapons are obviously of Chinese origin. China denies everything, but that approach is getting old and there are growing demands for international cooperation to investigate and measure this underground Chinese weapons market. 
Africa has become a new land of opportunity for adventurous and ambitious Chinese. But this has also attracted Chinese criminal gangs. The Chinese gangsters mainly prey on the growing Chinese populations in Africa, using kidnapping, extortion and robbery to get a share of the new wealth being created by the hard working Chinese migrants. Local governments have a hard time coping with this sort of thing, and in the past year China has offered to send police investigators to find out who the bad guys are and, in cooperation with the local police, arrest and deport these crooks back to China for prosecution. Angola recently arrested and deported 37 Chinese under this program. 
Meanwhile, the temptation remains for Chinese gangsters. Goods from China are cheap, if shoddy compared to European or American items. But in Africa low prices are king, and the Chinese know how to play that way. The Chinese also don’t mind the nasty remarks from the locals. Chinese traders have been going abroad, often into hostile environments, for thousands of years. For the Chinese government, these “overseas Chinese” are an economic, diplomatic, and sometimes military, bridgehead into foreign lands. The “overseas Chinese” can be a source of military intelligence, and local knowledge for espionage and other missions. Most Western nations have pulled their diplomatic and intelligence people out rural areas in Africa, losing touch with what’s going on out there. Not so the Chinese, where the Chinese entrepreneurs will go anywhere that appears capable of providing some profit. There are over a million Chinese in Africa now, most of them recent migrants.

No comments:

Free hit counters
Free hit counters