By: Scott Nelson
The Gulf News reported this morning that South Africa has barred the Dalai Lama from attending a peace conference there later in the week.
The reason? Officials cited their relationship with China.
For years here at the Global Affairs Council, we’ve noted that China has quietly but systematically enacted a policy of engagement with Africa. From Chinese emigration and small business ownership all the way to long range state-sponsored natural resource contracting; China is moving into Africa in a major way.
Today’s announcement by South African officials shows exactly how much influence China now exerts over the region.
Why should we care?
The future will depend more and more on Natural Resources, there’s simply no question about it. As the country that burns through natural resources faster than any other country, Americans should care where their next “fix” is going to come from.
And while we twiddle our thumbs, China has quietly sewn up large sections of the world that contain the very Natural Resources we’ll need in the future.
It may not be malicious, exactly. With over a billion citizens, China desperately needs natural resources in a major way. It’s not like they’re tying up those resources just so the United States can’t get them.
But the fact remains, malicious or not, the resources we need may not be available in the future.
For years the United States has systematically ignored all things African. It’s time we woke up, before it’s too late.
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