美国知乎网友提问：What do Africans think of the Chinese?
Thomas Neymar, Digital Media Specialist Answered Oct 11, 2017
To start with, China has been a traditional friend and supporter for many African liberation movements, providing military training and weapons etc. This partnership has continued in the post independence era, with China being the major development partner in civil engineering, industrial and building infrastructure.
The Chinese have successfully penetrated the African market because of their low cost products which are quite affordable to most people in Africa. Also, their unconditional support and non-interference in political matters has endeared them to most African governments, unlike the USA which prescribes gay rights, freedom of speech and democracy as conditions for partnership and aid. But Americans are hypocrites and selective because they apply double standards depending on who you are - for example, they don’t have conditions for Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates etc because they are benefiting from oil. And these are countries with some of the worst human rights violations. Due to these double standards, it’s difficult to trust the USA, they don’t have permanent friends, but only permanent interests. Once they are done with you, they will bring out a whole lot of issues as in the case of Saddam Hussein.
In Africa, most young people grew up watching Chinese Kung Fu movies. Martial Arts stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and movies such as Fist of Fury, Shaolin Temple, Drunken Master etc were very common back in the days.
In this era, most people have a chance to interact with the Chinese face to face, thanks to Chinese malls which are found in most African countries such as Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania etc.
Generally, the Chinese are friendly and reliable business partners. They are humble, creative and willing to negotiate deals. The Indians have been operating in Africa for a much longer time than the Chinese, but they have been outnumbered by a large margin. Chinese shops are everywhere, their products are affordable and the customer service is excellent.
Amina Ismail Answered Sep 29, 2018
Africa is huge, so keep in mind that different regions think differently. I am Somali, and so is my family. I think being born in the U.S might make me think differently though. I’ll my best to answer, but I think someone who was born there might answer better. Somali’s are natural traders. My mother would go to China for business trips, normally it would happen three times a year. In terms of business, we don’t care. Growing up in the U.S people would joke about the low quality of Chinese products. My mother didn’t care at all, she just wanted her money. She’s never had any negative to say about it. In the contrary she enjoys herself when she’s in China. She always tells the story of how the first thing she ate in a Chinese restaurant was white rice and hot water. To a Somali, white rice is the equivalent to stale white bread. She couldn’t eat the rice, but now she drinks hot water all the time. Now I have seen arguments before between Somali women. Most of the time it’s business related, and I’m pretty it’s universal knowledge that stealing and lying are bad. We take our money seriously, so if you owe us something. Pay it back, you don’t want a women yelling in your face. I have asked people and many Somali’s are OK with the Chinese.
Now when it comes to race, well that’s a whole different story. Somali’s are straight up racist, mainly because many have never met a Chinese person before. It also doesn’t help that Somali’s are blunt and sometimes rude. Indha yar or small eyes/eyed people is a term used to refer to people of East Asian descent. (If my spelling is wrong please correct me!). It might be seen as rude, but keep in mind most people have limited interactions with China. I have never seen hatred or animosity to a Chinese person before. As long as you are respectful of Somali culture and the Islamic faith you’ll be OK. Overall not many Somali’s have had little cultural interactions with the Chinese. Your average Somali might not know a lot about China.
Brandon Ellis, Illustrator Answered Nov 6
There's a few aspects of Chinese culture I and most people in Africa aren't a huge fan of, but what I personally admire about them is their hard working culture and their love for intelligence (or learning at least). Those are two things sorely missing in South Africa, and I don't mean to be insulting here but the culture in this country is one of corruption and finding any way to get what you want without earning it.
The more practical part of having Chinese people live and work here, is they contribute quite substantially to the economy and help alleviate the skill shortage we currently have. They often live with other Chinese people and keep to themselves (not sure why) and they don't try to “colonize” anyone like some people assert. They're a big part of why we have a technology industry here at all, they sell products at very competitive prices, virtually no crime from within their communities, they create work sometimes, they're on average more intelligent than the rest of us. I see no reason to dislike them, and I'm quite grateful they saw any potential in Africa.
Quite frankly; were they to all up an leave, this economy would crash overnight, our skill shortage would reach a point it couldn't recover from, and hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost. The Chinese government might have some shady deals here, but the Chinese people themselves integrate and contribute, often better than the locals themselves do. I don't speak for everyone, but personally I'm glad they are here.
Karabo Molema, Masters Information Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (2016) Answered Aug 26, 2018
As a nation, they have a very rich history and culture. Which is something to be admired. The way they generally do business in Africa, is miles ahead of western nations. They don't come with any baggage, whereas in general with western nations, there tends to be baggage. More so if the business in question, involves entities affiliated with governments, than private enterprises.
On a personal level, I have known and worked with a few, and for the most part, I enjoyed their company. I never felt that conversations were artificial, they felt real. I guess maybe because their culture has bigger similarities, with African culture in general, that with Western nations. Communication becomes easier, or maybe it's because there is no baggage, I don't know.
Florren M Answered May 27, 2017
There was a time when only Chinese people come to Africa but now Africans are going to China.
I think they have good work ethics and we should keep a good relationship with China
Chinese fake goods in SA we call it FongKong
In Zim Zhing Zhong but yet better than nothing. Our relationship with China is good mainly because Chinese don’t directly look down on people if they do maybe they do it secretely but I have never seen any do that plus they mind their own business they don’t try to correct the way we live honestly I respect them for that.
Wafa Snoussi, studied at Faculty of Science (2018) Answered Oct 17, 2017
As I am north african ( especially from Tunisia), to be honest, we don’t prefer chinese products because we see it were not good and it are not healthy and we say: Made in china, because we import just the third kind of product which is not good at all but it is cheap. But in other hand, I look at china as perfect place where the technology is developed and the people there are hardworker, I think that they are friendly and very funny people , Also, they aren’t racists. this later is the most important point I loved at chinese people.