China has for some time now been seducing African countries, all of whom are desperate for foreign direct investment with the promise of “no strings attached” investment, aid and military assistance. Though some countries have placed human rights as one of the preconditions for investing in Africa, China has opted to turn a blind eye because it is the greatest violator of human rights.
It is rather unfortunate that the world continues to also turn a blind eye to gross human-rights abuses by China and its continuing suppression of the people of Tibet. Self-appointed champions of human rights such as the US have shamelessly jumped into bed with China despite their pathetic human-rights record.
The ANC government by denying the Dalai Lama a visa to enter the country is squandering all the goodwill that South Africa enjoyed for many years and compromising the favourable impression that the rest of the world had on us.
What authority would South Africa have in championing human rights and clean governance across the continent when we are tacitly supporting the incarceration of Tibetans for peacefully expressing their political and religious beliefs and the alleged assault and sexual abuse of Buddhist nuns and women in Tibet and the destruction of Buddhist monasteries by mainland China?
Is it a coincidence that the Taiwanese government also cited the ridiculous excuse that time is not opportune for the Dalai Lama to visit their country? This is the same absurd excuse given by the ANC government for barring the Dalai Lama from attending the peace conference organised to highlight the first World Cup to be held in Africa, in South Africa in 2010. The ANC has chosen in this instance to sell the soul of the country for promises of trade and investment by communist China.
China views South Africa as strategic for their economic expansion across the continent. The Chinese claim not to be interested in dominating Africa nor in imposing its own will on the domestic affairs of African countries but the coercion of others towards accepting its hostile stance against Tibet is all too apparent.
The ANC government should not insult our intelligence by dismissing the fact that financial consideration was placed above values we uphold as a nation. Not long ago, China opened a China-Africa Development Fund office in Johannesburg that intends to boost economic development in Africa and encourage investment by Chinese businesses. The ANC was represented by its treasurer-general, Mathews Phosa, which would raise questions on whether Chinese money is funding its election campaign.
Cope has consistently called on South Africans to vote for a government that is led by persons who possess moral and ethical sensibilities. We cannot have a government that continues to offend the basic tenets upon which our democracy and freedom are rooted. Claims by Cope that the ANC has deviated from principles that inspired the liberation struggle against the brutal repression of the Nat regime, are becoming a revelation.
It is important that South Africans vote for a party that promotes a foreign policy worth our moral heritage, which embodies the social justice and humanity enshrined in our country’s Constitution and upholds all international laws.
We must take an unwavering stance against all human-rights violations, persecution and oppression of people by democratic and undemocratic states, regardless of the promises of trade and investment. Our soul is not for sale! We must state to the ANC in unequivocal terms that they shall not support human-rights violations in OUR name!