Chinese influence in Africa VCG/Getty Images

L’impérialiste République populaire d’Afrique ?

PÉKIN – Il y a quelques mois, le New York Times titrait en couverture : « La Chine est-elle la nouvelle grande puissance coloniale de la planète ? ». L’idée d’une Chine colonialiste au XXIe siècle n’est pas nouvelle, les observateurs débattant de cette question depuis une dizaine d’années. En réalité, pour quiconque a vécu ou étudié le colonialisme, cette affirmation apparaît fort inappropriée, voire insultante.

Le colonialisme exposé dans les ouvrages Au cœur des ténèbres de Joseph Conrad, Et l'Europe sous-développa l'Afrique de Walter Rodney, ou encore Peau noire, masques blancs de Franz Fanon, est un colonialisme puissant et insidieux. À l’époque décrite, malgré de solides relations sur le plan du commerce et des investissements, on observe systématiquement une domination explicite, illustrée par enseignement imposé, par des couvre-feux, et par des restrictions de circulation des personnes sur la base de la couleur de peau.

Les pays qui ont fait l’objet de ce colonialisme – dont mon pays natal, le Kenya – en ressentent encore aujourd’hui les effets. Qualifier la Chine de puissance coloniale revient en quelque sorte à passer sous silence les atrocités réelles qu’ont subies les communautés colonisées, y compris mes propres parents, qui ont été incarcérés par les autorités coloniales britanniques.

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