An article in Apr. 11’s New York Times is about Chinese do businesses and trade and provide aid in a South American country: Suriname.
Before this article, I don’t even know the existence of country Suriname. I was amazed to know that people from my mother land have traveled thousands of miles to this country at a corner on the other side of the globe. Not only did they travel this far, but they also managed to stay, make a living and even assist local development. Most of the labors in Suriname have gone to this country through a company based at my hometown city, Dalian. I can totally see this coming. There’s a labor surplus in China for low entry jobs, which pushed some of the workers on a search for opportunities elsewhere.
A recent BBS documentary named The Chinese are coming, depicts how Chinese immigrant workers fare in several South African countries. Most of those workers take construction jobs in those countries, which makes sense, because many of the African countries really need basic infrastructure. Thousands of construction workers have been building roads and buildings, and many others have entered other fields, such as grocery stores, farmers’ market, selling motorcycles, and so on. As much as I’m aware of many of the undesirable traits that Chinese people have, I do respect that us Chinese are willing to endure any difficulty and swallow whatever bitterness there is in order to survive and proper. Just like a Chinese who sells motor bikes in Zambia, if I remember correctly, puts it: Westerners hesitate to invest in many of the African countries due to unknown risk and unsteady conditions, but Chinese wouldn’t care as much, all they see are opportunities.
For the concern that China expands maybe too fast, and to the extreme that some critics would go, China is exploiting those countries, I guess they are not pro-free-trade, however, they would claim themselves to be. Chinese investment in those countries is mostly an effect of the free trade, let be goods or labor. There’s no need to condemn any player simply for its size or growth pace.