Africans turning against the exploitative attitude of Chinese companies
The exploitative attitude of Chinese companies and their engulfing security apparatus in Africa gradually turns the locals against them.
Most African citizens do not view them as independent entities but as part of the Chinese government, reported Geo-politik.
A peculiar feature of Chinese companies working in African countries is their insistence on using security apparatus and human resources from China. This constitutes the placement of personnel and security equipment on various construction or other project sites from Chinese agencies only.
According to some estimates, the rapid growth of Chinese operations has led to the deployment of about a million Chinese nationals with more than ten thousand Chinese companies in Africa. Only Chinese security companies are entrusted with the safety of these assets and nationals while securing the sea routes.
The practice seems to have its ideological roots in the colonial era when companies used to support private armies to deploy in their colonies, reported Geo-politik.
The market for Chinese security services has increased significantly since the launch of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Africa.
Prior to the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in Africa, several Chinese companies operating in Africa were believed to be using armed militia, reported Geo-politik.
While most Chinese companies provide traditional security services, many of them have acquired sophisticated capabilities of collecting intelligence and conducting surveillance against potential threats. Some of them are also even seen working closely with local institutions including the armed forces.
However, their rising clout and growing intervention in local problems are leading to many law and order problems in host countries, reported Geo-politik.
In 2018, two Chinese security contractors were arrested in Zambia for allegedly providing illegal training and supplying uniforms & military equipment to a local security company.
In particular, three countries viz., Congo, Sudan and South Sudan are believed to be facing law and order issues due to the activities of Chinese agencies.
The problem may also spread to other countries as many Chinese firms are trying to establish security partnerships in Mali, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania, reported Geo-politik.
Though the Chinese security agencies have gained considerable influence in African countries and gained some inroads into their institutions, their acceptance among the local population is still a long draw.
Their continued exploitation of local people and disregard for the environment and culture of these countries are serious roadblocks in the voyage of Chinese corporations, reported Geo-politik.