Question & Answer

Outline key benefits and drawbacks of recent Chinese investment in Africa for African countries. How was ‘orientalism’ used to justify European imperialism?

The Chinese investment in Africa has induced extensive benefits for African countries. The decades, African countries have lagged in infrastructural development. The Chinese investments in Africa have expanded the infrastructural development massively, leading to improved living standards and growth of the respective country’s GDP (Donou-Adonsou & Lim, 2018). For example, road, railway, and ports infrastructural development has been a critical focus for the Chinese. This has seen African countries open up their interior with better and quality road networks, standard gauge railway built in Kenya, Ethiopia-Djibouti, Morocco, and Nigeria – Lagos railways that are already complete. The development of special economic zones (SEZs) has increased the economic growth power for African countries. Thus, critical for economic gains and sustainability of better living standards for the people of African who access both direct and indirect employment opportunities (Chen et al., 2018). Furthermore, Chinese investments are a significant cause of improved industrialization of the African countries with access to cheap machinery and equipment – which is fundamental for economic gains.

The cons include the debt trap that Chinese investments have tied African countries with some threat of taking over critical infrastructures as compensation rates (Mehbowon et al., 2019). The Chinese loans are bound to cause a massive strain on the ceiling sustainability, which may induce ripple effects on the local economy. That is, attract high taxation to meet the tax collection essential to service the loans over a long period.

The Orientalism notion presents a central idea used by the Western cultures to describe and classify other cultures (often Eastern societies) based on preconceived archetypes that envisage them to be all the same but different from the Western societies (Scott, 2008). That is based on inferiority and exoticism. The notion was used to justify European imperialism and dominance of the White race as the superior and with the right to own land and rule over other inferior races (Gallien & Jokic, 2015).

 

What were the economic, cultural and political legacies of American colonialism in the Philippines? (Structure your answer using these three categories).

The American colonialism is responsible for extensive legacies that affect the Filipinos both positively and adversely. The American colonialism was responsible for a complete overturn of the economic and cultural practices of the Filipino people. A drastic cultural change has left the Philippines a confused lot with sentiments of fear, hopelessness, and transformation of what was originally Filipino way being eroded. The American colonial legacies impacted on the “political aspects of ‘personalism,’ ‘bossism,’ ‘corruption,’ and ‘rampant’ criminality and political violence being transformed” (Hedman & Sidel, 2000). Years after, the Philippine politics and society are shaped by an enduring traditional ‘political culture’ revolving around notions of personal indebtedness, shame, pity, and congeniality, as well as, putative proclivity for forming instrumental dyadic relationships. Thus, a significant cause of the erosion of the Philippines’ cultures and politics (Abueva, 1976). The politics of democracy has yet to effectively take shape with the extent of resentment towards American control. The economic legacies of American colonialism in the Philippines are characterized by the spread of capitalism as the economic ideologies.

Garment exports are hugely important to the Bangladeshi economy. Explain three factors that brought about this dependence.

The garment and textile exports are the single most significant economic growth contributors to the country. The industry contributes over 20 percent to the national Gross Domestic Product of Bangladeshi. Also, it contributes to 81 percent of the country’s total exports asserting the highest foreign exchange earner for the country (Nur, 2016). The vast expansion of the industry has seen the country insanely overly dependent on it for the country’s source of economic growth. The garment and textile industry serves as a source of employment for over 20 million people of Bangladeshi, asserting its profound value and impacts on the country’s economy.

Also, the profound benefits guaranteed by the garment and textile industry in Bangladeshi as the second apparel exporter in the world after China offers massive investment opportunities. The 3 to 5 years turn assurance has seen the country attract massive investments, which have been critical to the expansion of the industry and continued over-dependence (Saxena & Salze-Lozac’h, 2010). Furthermore, the availability of cheap and vast labor force creates an impetus for investors to commit billions of dollars in the industry culminating in its growth. The availability of labor factors contributes to the continued growth and dependence on the industry (Masum, 2016).

 

Briefly provide three explanations for why China has sought to develop its One Belt One Road (or ‘Belt and Road’) Initiative.

The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative is a major national interest project for the country, aiming to increase the connectivity to traditional and new partners around the world. The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative were launched in 2013 and have been categorical in promoting mutual economic growth opportunities for China and its international partners (ZiroMwatela & Changfeng, 2016). This is fundamental to enhance global governance through the integration of regions and the establishment of new economic routes. The successes of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative have been instrumental to the expansion of Chinese international influence as part of its foreign policy (Chan, 2018). The protection and pursuance of the Chinese national interests have been profoundly impacted by the use of the Belt and Road Initiative that focuses on infrastructural and economic developments for both China and its international partners (Shichor, 2018). Thus, it is integral to the growing and sustainability of Chinese international influence and powers.

 

What are the benefits and problems of tourism? Use examples from Mexico, the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa as discussed in lectures and assigned readings to illustrate your answer.

Tourism is a significant source of foreign exchange earner for many countries around the world. Tourism generates billions in profits, which is crucial for the respective countries’ GDP and opportunities for employment. The expansion of the Tourism Industry in the Sub-Saharan Africa region is fundamental to enhance the economic growth opportunity, which is vital for the sustainability of other economic spheres (Hounmenou & Her, 2018). Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, and Zanzibar thrive on the expansion of the tourism sector as a major boost in their GDP growth. Thus, create massive opportunities for development.

However, tourism is also a major cause of sexual exploitation and human trafficking practices. In Mexico and the Caribbean –  tourism has impacted the increase in human trafficking and sexual offenses of minors (Walters & Davis, 2011). In the Kenyan coast sex tourism has increased profoundly, adversely affecting the gains attained from the industry. Hope Sr (2013) note that the increased sex tourism in countries like Kenya, among other Sub-Saharan Africa, imposes the costs of the expansion of the tourism sector. The availability of the Zonas de Tolerancia has encouraged an increase in sex tourism and prostitution in Mexico (Kumar, 2016). Furthermore, Mexico has some of the largest hubs for sex trafficking in the world.

 

“Famine is a natural occurrence.” Explain what is wrong with this statement by drawing on examples of famines in two different world regions.

The statement that famine is a natural occurrence is arguably wrong on many accounts. The prevalence of famine in the African countries such as Ethiopia has been associated with the natural occurrences comprising of prolonged drought seasons. This hinders agricultural activities and the production of sufficient food for human consumption and nutritional value sustainability. This, in its light approach, depicts famine as a natural cause. The Chinese 1959 to 1961, the greatest famine of all times claimed over 30 million fatalities (Smil, 1999). However, the famine largely occurred as a manmade catastrophe generated and advanced by Mao Zedong. This negatives the prior statement of famine as a natural occurrence rather can be a manmade instigated incidence.

Furthermore, countries like Israel are located in the desert and constitute some of the world’s largest agricultural producers. The prolonged drought and lack of rain is a common trend in the regions where Israel is located but there are no incidences of famine in the contemporary society. What is the difference between the desert areas where countries like Israel are located, a country like China with 1.6 billion mouths to feed, and Sub-Saharan African with massive productive lands and relative arid and semi-arid areas? The core to disputing the “famine is a natural occurrence” is based on the respective country’s investment in food security (Sasson, 2012). The commitment to invest in agriculture is fundamental and with the capacity to defy the norms of natural occurrences.

 

“Revolutions need space.” Explain why this is the case, grounding your response in the example of the Arab Spring.

For a successful revolution, there is a need for people to come out in the open.  By coming out of the comfort of homes, individuals can face the actual reality of society and familiarize themselves with the challenges faced by the citizens before reacting and demanding positive change. Over the years in history, the responses of the people have had to be out in the open, and air their voices to force any positive changes. An example of such a revolution is the Arab spring revolution, which involved a series of up springs, government protests and armed rebellions that were spread across the Arab world, in response to the oppressive regimes (Fergany, 2016). All the demonstrations and up rises were mostly in the open. Huge Crowds turned up to prove to the leadership of these nations that they were tired of the regimes. They fought for better low standards of living, and more effective leadership. As a result, the open protests were successful, where most of the nations had to change their leadership, and many regimes were held accountable.

 

Using specific examples from Asia, construct an argument for or against the use of labor export (i.e., sending migrant workers abroad) as a development strategy for a low-income country.

I strongly recommend exporting labor to other nations. This is mostly applicable if a country has an oversupply of a particular labor market, and does not have enough opportunities for all the persons in a specific field.  Asia, for example, plays a very significant role in global migration trends. It is one of the most populous continents and home to two of the most populous nations in the world, i.e., China and India (Artuc, Lopez-Acevedo, Robertson, & Samaan, 2019). The countries have a large pool of young people. Besides this, many nations in the continent are struggling with challenges such as tackling poverty, economic growth, and political unrest. By exporting labor, then the issue of poverty is by some means addressed. This is since a considerable number of unemployed persons will get jobs outside the country, which is an advantage to a nation (Artuc, Lopez-Acevedo, Robertson, & Samaan, 2019). Another benefit of labor migration is the inflow of remittances. Both low and high skilled Asian emigrants in most cases send significantly more remittances to their home nations than they would have, had they been working in their home countries.  Migrating to other countries for labor opportunities is also significant for countries, in that the workers get to improve on their expertise and knowledge, which they use to build their nations when they eventually get back.

 

Opportunities for waged work for women in Asia are seen by some as a form of female empowerment and by others as further disempowerment. Write an essay, using examples from more than one sector, to explain why both arguments can actually be made.

There have been many cases of inequality and discrimination in Asia, mostly for waged women, which is the ultimate cause of disempowerment.  On average, an Asian woman earns between 70 to 90% of what a man in the continent makes (Kabeer, Deshpande, & Assaad, 2019). This is a case of gender inequality, mostly considering that the two genders perform similar duties. A reason for this wage discrepancy is that women are disproportionately concentrated in the lowest-paid roles and in informal work, where 75% of women in the continent are in the informal sector (Tatli, Ozturk, & Aldossari, 2017). Failure to pay them equal wages for similar tasks performed is a form of disempowerment to the women since it tends to demotivate them and make them feel inferior to their male colleagues.

Many of the jobs fail to consider women’s benefits, such as sick pay or maternity leave. This makes them more vulnerable, a factor that ultimately disempowers them. Asia has many reports of pervasive gender inequality, which means that women’s jobs in the continent are devalued, where women are less likely to get empowered to claim for their labor rights. There are many occasions in which women have carried out around 2.5 times of unpaid work than what men do, where globally, this work amount is worth around $10 trillion a year (Kabeer, Deshpande, & Assaad, 2019).

The heavy and disproportionate responsibility for the unpaid work which women have to undertake reduces their power of making decisions, meaning that they are subsidizing the economy for free. There have also been no proper guidelines and policies in Asia that could help in getting on the right track to economic equality and ensuring that women have a better working environment and equal wages to their male colleagues (Tatli, Ozturk, & Aldossari, 2017).  There has been a growth of inequality between men and women in the employment sector in Asia. The majority of the rich in the region are men, while women are continuously concentrated in insecure jobs bad lowest paid.  The rights of the women are also consistently abused, where they report most cases of sexual harassment and abuse while at their workplace, a factor that tends to affect them negatively.

Some nations such as Vietnam and Cambodia have policed against discrimination in hiring based on gender. Other countries, such as the Philippines and Bangladesh, have a law that mandates equal pay in the case of the fair value of jobs (Kabeer, Deshpande, & Assaad, 2019). However, despite these policies, there still is a wide gap between the commitments on paper and the achievements on the ground.  The inequality in these nations has immensely contributed to more women’s disempowerment.

 

Write an essay, using examples from Asia and the Pacific and/or from the Middle East and North Africa, to show that global climate change has been caused unevenly (i.e. with uneven responsibility by different peoples and places) and its effects are felt unevenly (i.e. the impacts vary by social groups and across different places)

Nations across the globe are experiencing the consequences of climate change. This ranges from the weather patterns to cases such as the rising of sea levels and tsunamis across nations. Many of the developing countries, especially in the Middle East and Northern Africa, are likely to face significant negative consequences of climate change, despite the fact that they have fewer greenhouse gases than the rest of the world, especially the developed nations (Lelieveld, et al., 2016).  This is evidence that low-income countries, which contribute the least to climate change, are the most vulnerable to its effects.  Climate change tends to affect economic growth depending on climate exposure and the adaptation to efficiency, where it is clear that they are asymmetric between different nations (Moradkhani & Ahmadalipour, 2017).  The developing and impoverished countries are likely to suffer most. This is due to the adverse effects of climate change on the rate of asset deprecation, which represents the engine of growth.

Large economies, such as the US and China, have the most pollutions from industries and other related human activities as compared to the majority of nations in the Middle East and North Africa.  The pollution and gas emissions cases from these nations, however, tend to affect the global climate change. This factor consequently affects the smaller countries more since they have lesser economic capability to deal with such adverse changes in the climate.  It ascertains that there is uneven responsibility by different people and places, and the worse impacts to nations that did not contribute to these changes.

In the most recent years, nature has been unforgiving and relentless, where there have been extreme weather events with regard to frequency and intensity. Nations such as Bagdad and Bahrain, for example, experienced the hottest temperatures ever in June 2019 (Moradkhani & Ahmadalipour, 2017). India, on the other hand, has had an ongoing drought, which is related to acute water shortage, a factor that threatens the rural communities and increases the poverty rates. Even though climate change is global, the regional impact is varied and unequal. Nations in the Middle East and are the most vulnerable to these changes. Some of the changes include growing desertification, extensive spread drought, and the high growth rates of the population. There has also been a rapid urbanization in these countries and extreme heart cases, which result in water scarcity.  A factor that is aggravating this impact is the near absence of climate change and risk mitigation policies. These nations are thus likely to suffer from the climate changes, a factor which poses an existential challenge and threatens their economic viability. However, to address these challenges, al the nations across the globe, mostly the developed countries, have the responsibility of undertaking more stringent measures to ensure that they enact and implement policies that will help tackle the problems posed by climate change.

 

 

References

Abueva, J. V. (1976). Filipino democracy and the American legacy. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science428(1), 114-133.

Artuc, E., Lopez-Acevedo, G., Robertson, R., & Samaan, D. (2019). Labor Market Challenges and Export Patterns in South Asia.

Chan, M. H. T. (2018). The Belt and Road Initiative–the New Silk Road: a research agenda. Journal of Contemporary East Asia Studies7(2), 104-123.

Chen, W., Dollar, D., & Tang, H. (2018). Why is China investing in Africa? Evidence from the firm level. The World Bank Economic Review32(3), 610-632.

Donou-Adonsou, F., & Lim, S. (2018). On the importance of Chinese investment in Africa. Review of development finance8(1), 63-73.

Fergany, N. (2016). Arab Revolution in the 21st Century?: Lessons from Egypt and Tunisia. Springer.

Gallien, C., & Jokic, O. (2015). Eighteenth‐Century Orientalism in Contemporary British Historiography and Literary Criticism. Literature Compass12(4), 121-133.

Hedman, E. L. E., & Sidel, J. T. (2000). Philippine politics and society in the twentieth century: colonial legacies, post-colonial trajectories (Vol. 26). Psychology Press.

Hope Sr, K. R. (2013). Sex tourism in Kenya: an analytical review. Tourism Analysis18(5), 533-542.

Hounmenou, C., & Her, W. (2018). Distinctiveness in the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Sub-Saharan Africa: a review of the literature. Journal of Human Trafficking4(4), 298-326.

Kabeer, N., Deshpande, A., & Assaad, R. (2019). Women’s access to market opportunities in South Asia and the Middle East & North Africa: barriers, opportunities and policy challenges.

Kumar Acharya, A. (2016). Trafficking of women for sexual exploitation in Mexico and their identity crisis. International Review of Sociology26(2), 322-336.

Lelieveld, J., Proestos, Y., Hadjinicolaou, P., Tanarhte, M., Tyrlis, E., & Zittis, G. (2016). Strongly increasing heat extremes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the 21st century. Climatic Change, 137(1-2), 245-260.

Masum, M. (2016). The Bangladesh textile-clothing industry: a demand-supply review. 社会システム研究33, 109-39.

Megbowon, E., Mlambo, C., & Adekunle, B. (2019). Impact of china’s outward FDI on sub-Saharan Africa’s industrialization: Evidence from 26 countries. Cogent Economics & Finance7(1), 1681054.

Moradkhani, H., & Ahmadalipour, A. (2017). Impacts of climate change on heat-related mortality risk across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts.

Nur, M. S. (2016). A Study on Advantages of Sourcing Apparel from Bangladesh.

Sasson, A. (2012). Food security for Africa: an urgent global challenge. Agriculture & Food Security1(1), 2.

Saxena, S. B., & Salze-Lozac’h, V. (2010). Competitiveness in the Garment and Textiles Industry: Creating a supportive environment. A Case Study of Bangladesh.

Scott, M. (2008). Edward Said’s Orientalism. Essays in Criticism58(1), 64-81.

Shichor, Y. (2018). China’s Belt and Road Initiative Revisited: Challenges and Ways Forward. China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies4(01), 39-53.

Smil, V. (1999). China’s great famine: 40 years later. BMJ319(7225), 1619-1621.

Tatli, A., Ozturk, M. B., & Aldossari, M. (2017). Equal Opportunity and Workforce Diversity in Asia. Routledge Handbook of Human Resource Management in Asia, 256-272.

Walters, J., & Davis, P. H. (2011). Human trafficking, sex tourism, and child exploitation on the southern border. Journal of Applied Research on Children2(1), 6.

ZiroMwatela, R., & Changfeng, Z. (2016). Africa in China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’Initiative: A Critical Analysis. ISOR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences21(12), 21-34.

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