CNN：Inside a brightly-lit classroom, around 20 schoolchildren are enthusiastically singing the Chinese national anthem.
That song is followed by another tune in Chinese -- one typically sung during the Lunar New Year.
But this scene is not taking place in a Chinese school but at Lakewood Premier school, thousands of kilometers away in Nairobi.
Here, schoolchildren are learning Mandarin, a language spoken by nearly 1 billion people almost 8,000 kilometers away from their home.
There are reasons to worry by this expansion of Chinese soft power. That said, the west has been doing the same thing for far longer, often with far less fineness
I mean. Yeah it's concerning because of how much power this could and likely will give China, but they could also have a really positive impact on Africa if they really work to build all kinds of infrastructure. Africa has always been a "ooh, that's real bad." kind of place from the perspective of first world countries. But if China has the intent to go in and build everything from the ground up with its massive reserves of capital, is it really that bad for the region?
No one can pull Africa out of poverty but Africans themselves, and its the same for any country, whether in or outside of Africa .
And when they can't pay, the bridges get repossessed.
Why would westerners be alarmed? We've been speaking their language (English) for ages already.
Because they are chosing to learn Mandarin instead. Europe is losing its grip on Africa.
I sincerely doubt many Kenyans are learning Mandarin instead of English.
China’s immigration policy is actually already far more open than the US. If you can speak basic Mandarin it’s straightforward to get a work visa and permanent residence (which is actually a more convenient status than citizenship, since the main difference is that a permanent resident doesn’t have to deal with a hukou).
You have to be joking. Immigration to China is one of the hardest things that makes immigrating to the US like a cakewalk. China is not an immigrant country and even second generation Chinese born abroad do not have Chinese citizenship unless their parents are not immigrants.
Over the past 3 to 4 decades, only a few hundred or maybe a couple thousand were able to get permanent residency in China. They are either high rollers or Nobel prize winner calibre people. Even for a Chinese who obtained foreign citizenship, it is near impossible for him/her to get permanent residency.
Mandarin language instruction is also booming in the USA.
Europe imported hella labor, now we are slowly turning into the 3rd world. Go to any major city in Europe and you will see the slums expanding, all this during negative interest rates and a strong economy.
China always have and always will think longterm, they don't have to worry about losing the power every 4-5years as politicians in the west do.
No, Europe is not turning into the 3rd world. It still has the highest living standards (Western Europe at least) in the world and a strong economy to boost that. I will simply point to Japan's economic stagnation and its population decreasing by 1,000,000 between 2011 and 2015. This is the fate that awaits the Chinese if they do not follow in America (accepts the most immigrants) and Europe's footsteps.
I’m pretty sure they mean electives, like the languages you can pick to learn in American high schools. It won’t be a full course in every language.
To my knowledge Chinese in Africa tend to self segregate and Chinese investment in Africa tends to only employ Chinese citizens
Maybe for foreman jobs, but most of the laborers are locals. On top of that it just makes sense to be able to learn how to communicate with people who're so actively involved in the infrastructure of the country.
'At the Chinese companies we talked to, 89 percent of employees were African, adding up to nearly 300,000 jobs for African workers. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of Chinese employers provided some kind of skills training.'
According to the World Bank, using Kenya as a example, the Chinese hire 98% of their part time and 78% of their full time workers as Africans.
Reminds me of the days Americans were learning Japanese ... it turned out not to be necessary.
But French, German and arabic are used a lot?? Hypocrisy much? China is already 1 of the biggest economic influences and will only grow more. Multiple western countries are putting Mandarin in their classes.
I guess you're American and only see what is in the well. Gotta make America great again huh?
If those kids were learning Spanish, nobody would have batted an eyelid, but since they are learning Mandarin, it is about "colonization".
I speak as an Africa, living in Africa, who interacts with the Chinese. We do $204 billion worth of trade with the Chinese. Mandarin is a good skill to have. It is that simple - just like the US does $600 billion worth of trade with China. The day you stop doing trade with China, you'll have the right to lecture us on "colonization".
Meanwhile, are you aware that France still controls the monetary policy of 13 African nations, and just militarily intervened in two African nations this year - Gabon and Chad, to keep "their men" in power? Where is your outrage about France?