After Britain had collatarised Chinese aids and guarantees with Hong Kong for 99 years, China has gained more experience than any country on earth on the intricacies of long term collaterisation of assets. Examples are below:
Philippines this year cancelled all Chinese aids. The president was in Isreal last week for new partnership in arms. Malaysia canceled Chinese speed train loan contract this year and opted for a costlier Japanese electromagnetic rail. Because all Chinese grants requires collateral with state critical assets. Singapore bluntly told China we don’t need your 25 years tenure loan at 0.5%. Greece handed China a national asset last year on default, and European Union took measures to stop any further member country from Chinese loans.
Zimbabwe is the second African country to default and will soon hand over a national asset. Lamu port in Kenya, which was constructed by China on a Chinese loan of $16 billion, will see Kenya default in 3 years time and the biggest port in east Africa and adjoining towns will be handed over to China for 99 years.
Kindly note that in all these loans, no single dollar cash was handed over to the countries involved. In all cases, China will execute & build the projects (as is being done in our Abuja metro line project), using Chinese materials, equipment, technicians, etc that are all imported from China. But you owe and they patiently work underground for your default to pay back the loan, through their crafty manipulation and sabotage of your economy. After 15-25 years, they repossess your assets and now determine for the next 75 years your import rates (in case of Kenya) or rail charges (in case of Abuja Nigeria)
In Nigeria: both the current FCT minister and Governor el Rufai of Kaduna who travelled with Buhari to China a few days ago, have sent word that they will spend extra days in China to sign off such rail financing loan agreements with China.
Signing a contract with China is like ascribing to the boiling frog effect; a fable describing a frog being boiled alive slowly. If you drop a frog suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if you put that same frog in a vessel of water and start heating the water gradually, it will adjust its body temperature accordingly until it reaches a stage beyond its capacity and dies foolishly.
It’s rather pathetic how China is re-colonizing Africa by appealing to the ignorance and selfish interests of our leaders. Today, the Chinese are offering mouthwatering deals to Africa, both in cash transactions and the outmoded or rather defunct barter trade which seem very attractive on the outlook but dangerous in reality.
The Zambian government contracted the Chinese, lazy-thought and glossed over details thinking they were granting consent to genuine terms but the whole thing just morphed into modern day colonialism. China is now proposing to take over the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport should Zambia Government fail to pay back its huge foreign debt on time. The issue of whether Zambia posses the required economic muscle to repay that debt is in contention considering the amount involved. It’s typical of the Chinese strategy.
That moreover is not the only thing Zambian suffered from China; the Chinese own 60% shares of the Zambian National Broadcasting corporation which means, Chinese have an influence over what should or should not be premiered on their TV/Radio sets.
By Richard Krah