China in Africa and wikipedia
- Rough Type reports on wikipedia's tentative moves to verify academic credentials. Ah: I've just noticed that the essjay affair even made the BBC.
- Moving from the pathetic conceits of the online world to the all-too-real world, Foreign Policy asks if the USA and China are heading for a confrontation over Africa:
For years, China has been offering loans, building critical infrastructure, and providing engineering and military advice and hardware to African regimes without extracting any promises that the regimes clean up their human rights records—something Western countries insist upon before aid is shipped. This uncritical support of its African partners has allowed China to make diplomatic inroads on the continent, since it provides aid without strings attached, as opposed to the Western approach of basing aid on human rights and good governance benchmarks that many African regimes are unwilling, or slow, to make. Put simply, an African farmer would rather have a Chinese road built from his village to the market today, rather than wait for an American or World Bank road to be built only after the government makes the required reforms. Thus, it’s on human rights and governance, not oil or strict security matters, that the interests of the United States and China will likely collide.