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Tanzanian journalist: China brings changes to Tanzania

Editor: Li Shouen 丨CCTV.com

09-03-2018 09:59 BJT

By Li Shouen, CCTV.com reporter

Prior to the opening of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa (FOCAC), CCTV.com had an interview with Leonard Mapuli, editor of Tanzanian Star TV, at the press center of FOCAC here in Beijing.

He has witnessed closer bilateral ties between the two nations in recent years and has taken note of many changes.

There are a lot of imported goods from China, such as computers, TV, cell phones and cell phone accessories, USB memories cards, etc.

There’s plenty of cooperation projects between China and Tanzania, including a new railway that is under construction. The construction of many skyscrapers are also cooperation projects between the two countries.

Mapuli added that StarTimes is a very well-known Chinese company in Tanzania, which provides digital TV and introducing Chinese TV dramas to local people. Previously, Tanzanians knew little about Chinese TV dramas, but Mao Doudou (leading character in the TV series "Doudou and Her Mothers-in-law") has become an iconic and popular star after the show had captured many viewers starting two years ago in Tanzania.

He also noticed there are more Tanzanian businesspeople coming to purchase products from China. “Last Monday, when I went to the Chinese Embassy to get my visa to cover the FOCAC, I found there were lots of people in the Embassy, much more than I expected. China has become very influential to Africans, especially Tanzania. “

Mapuli also shared a brief story on how he found out about another ongoing change. “When I was transiting from Doha to Beijing yesterday (Sept. 1), someone at the airport asked me ‘where are you going?’ I said ‘China.’ ‘Are you studying in China?’ I said, ‘No.’ And this shows another area of changes, I have noticed: there are more and more African students choose to study in China, but previously, they prefer the US and European nations.”

He added that one more interesting example is, there have been more inter-marriages between Chinese and Tanzanians, leading to more mixed-blood kids in Tanzania. According to his observation, there are more Chinese men marrying Tanzanian women than Chinese women marrying Tanzanian men.

As for how Tanzania locals view Chinese and China, Mapuli feels grateful to share the story of his elder brother.

“My elder brother is working in a Chinese project. Actually, he has worked in several Chinese companies, because he is a geologist, and there are many Chinese companies investing in the mining industry in Tanzania, so it is easy for him to contract with Chinese companies once a project expires.”

He said his brother is happy to work in Chinese companies, his family is happy, and he himself is also happy for his brother too. And his brother holds a positive attitude on China. “Ever since he worked with Chinese projects, he has never complained anything about his company or China. He has never said anything negative about China. Never!” he added, “Actually, he is very close to his boss who is a Chinese. They are close friends, very close ones. He even visited his home, sometimes they go out for bear or go for party together.”

What impressed me most is how he sees the Westerners’ “China trying to colonize Africa” accusations. While I asked for his opinion, he told me there is a huge discussion of “China colonizing Africa” concerns in Africa.

“But who are saying so? Westerners. Why do they say so? Because they are jealous! They know how potential Africa is. They know their images in Africa are negative, because most Africans know that the Westerners were once colonizers, they came for resources, for minerals; they came to make Africans slaves. That is the perception of Africans to those Westerners.

The Westerners know how potential Africa is, but they don’t know how they can come back. So what the Westerners are doing is just shouting with jealousy for what they had failed.”

According to Mapuli, Africans feel nothing “bad” about the Chinese and the Chinese enjoy open  access in Africa and they are accepted by Africans. Africans are cooperating with Chinese softly, peacefully and in a friendly manner.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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