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Chinese Dream overlaps with African Dream

03-04-2014 21:54 BJT Special Report: 2014 NPC & CPPCC Sessions |

African people are pushing for their own dream of a better life. As Rene Del Carme reports from South Africa, Chinese businesses have invested heavily in Africa, causing the China Dream and the African Dream to overlap.

When South African President Jacob wished Chinese people in South Africa a Happy New Year for 2014, he called on Chinese business to create more jobs and help improve the lives of people in the country.

Chinese businessman Xu Chiung Bin agrees. He’s been living in South Africa since the dawn of democracy 20 years ago.

"Since I came here to SA by 1994, up to now, I can see the huge changing between the relationship between China and South Africa. The relationship between those two countries becoming closer and closer. By those 20 years I can see the big changing. I think later on for Chinese businesspeople, they need to create more business opportunities to transfer some skills to the local person. And not only do the trading, but do the manufacturing and set up their own factory here. I think that will you know keep the relationship carry on between those two countries," he said.

He believes the China Dream and the African Dream are similar and says the success of Chinese investors in Africa must benefit them and their African brothers and sisters as well.

"I think the African Dream is more or less the same as what we call the Chinese Dream. Everybody dreams about getting a better life, better job and better opportunity for the future. So that is the dream not only for Chinese people, but for African and South African people as well.The Chinese Dream mainly is to improve the standard of the people. The living standards must be improved and for the every citizen must got, you know, same rights and you know living freely. But for African dream, I’m thinking you know so far I still can see quite a lot of informal settlements. I can see some changings now. But not enough," he said.

"In essence the people are chasing a dream for a better life. A better life for themselves, a better life for their families. A life where there standard of living is improved. A life where they have better education and better opportunities. And my belief is that this China Dream overlaps and can support this African Dream," said Erwin Pon, Chairperson of The Chinese Association.

Niasha Malindi came to South Africa from Zimbabwe to achieve his dream of running his own business.

"As an African, we dream small things. But right now we’re no longer dreaming about small things. We’re dreaming about bigger things, because now we can go to Chinese, Europe, anywhere else. You can come with something then you can have a business here in Africa," he said.

Niasha sells South African souvenirs to tourists. Since most of his customers are Chinese, he taught himself to speak a bit of Mandarin to communicate better with his customers and to make more money.

"Right now I have so many Chinese customers, which are coming here. Mostly I can speak to them and they can come and buy from me. Specially, if I greet them in the morning, I say, it’s cheap and payable, ostrich eggs and so many things," he said.

But despite the huge overlap of the China Dream on the Africa Dream… Many say issues of poverty, unemployment, poor education systems and inequality in Africa will only be properly addressed once there is the political will from African governments to tackle them.

"Investors from China are only one aspect of it. They cannot change the country itself. But by working together with government officials who can set pure, good laws and regulations for the investment, as well as using the investment money wisely, to actually uplift these communities, then we can achieve this African Dream together," said Erwin.

Editor:James |Source:

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