How Beijing is ‘using anti-colonialism to get away with neo-colonialism’

By Stacey Mensah


CROUCHING Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a Chinese idiom that is used to remind people to never underestimate anybody. 

Such a message should be ingrained on the psyche of the West, as time and time again China has been mis-sold while managing to hide or negate some of its more questionable actions.

Some would say that with the annexation of Crimea, the all too convenient bombings in Buynaksk and Volgodonsk, and Putin’s continued Russian premiership, the last few years have served as a distraction until now.

The invasion of Ukraine was enough of a signal for China, as it recently started preparing for its invasion of Taiwan. 

This has been done through the exploitation of economic and political measures.

China is using the language of anti-colonialism to get away with neo-colonialism.

Neo-colonialism can be understood as the subtle propagation of socio-economic and political activity. Fundamentally, its aim is to reinforce political ideology and cultural subjugation.

China is not new to this type of warfare as they have been seen to manipulate media, currency and elections in other countries in order for them to fall in line.

Dibyesh Anand, an Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Westminster, said the UK must start paying attention to China’s history of strategic warfare with Tibet.

He told Redaction Report: “Modern day China is based on the claim that everything that belonged to the Qing Empire belongs to China. 

“As Tibet was a part of the Qing dynasty, they believe that Tibet should be a part of modern-day China.

“Tibet is important to China because it is rich in resources, it’s the size of the land; it is connected to Chinese nationalism. Having a separate identity for the Tibetans is like saying that the Chinese identity is illegitimate.

“What has happened to Tibetans is happening to Uyghurs and Hong Kong people now. It’s a complete dissemination of their rights and identity. This is what China is essentially threatening to do to Taiwan.

“China is becoming less dependent on the Middle East, less dependent on any single part of the world which may be indirectly controlled by the West or the US. China is essentially hedging its bets. 

“While African and Asian leaders are very touchy and aware of colonization by Europeans in the past, they seem to be very ill-prepared for neo-colonialism and of course possible colonizing in the future by non-Western powers such as China.

“If you had Western countries doing what China is doing (in African countries) NGOs would get involved but as its China no one is really batting an eyelid. 

“China is using the language of anti-colonialism to get away with neo-colonialism.”

For China, countries like Tibet and Taiwan are not a spoil of war but rather Xi Jinping sees it as the country’s birth right. That gives a glimmer as to the lengths that China is willing to go to.


Featured Image: Pixabay

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