This is exactly what happens to an ungrateful and shameless beggar like the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC), with its desperate craving for and over-reliance on Chinese „development“ loans. In the latest of such episode, a deputy Chinese foreign minister on a visit to Ghana is reported to have held a press conference, in the company of China’s ambassador to Ghana, to bitterly gripe about the purportedly shabby manner in which Chinese nationals illegally engaged in small-scale mining for gold in the country, or Galamsey, are being treated by their host government (See „Ghana Should Not React to Chinese Press Conference – Vladimir Antwi-Danso“ MyJoyOnline.com/Ghanaweb.com 6/18/13).
First of all, it is rather disturbing, even as Dr. Antwi-Danso aptly notes, for the diplomats of a foreign government to hold a press conference, without the apparently express permission of the host government, to lodge a bitter complaint over the alleged mistreatment of that foreign government’s citizens by the host country. Such concern ought to have been swiftly and amicably dealt with in camera at the highest levels of government.
In essence, what the Chinese government’s press conference held in Accra clearly means is that Beijing has absolutely no confidence in either the capacity and/or the ability of the Mahama government to effectively deal with the purported „Chinese Menace“ on Ghana’s ecological system. Thus, in counseling the Mahama government not to publicly respond to the patent diplomatic affront that was the Chinese press conference in Accra, Dr. Antwi-Danso, a scholar resident at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy, housed on the campus of the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, was obviously looking towards a good chance for Ghana and China to find an amicable solution to this admittedly palpable environmental and quality-of-life hazard.
The sticky issue here, though, is that Beijing clearly appears to have gotten fed up with either the lethargic or offensively insouciant approach of the Mahama government to the putative Chinese menace. And the NDC had better listen up, as this grave situation could well lead to an irreparable diplomatic row between a hawkish benefactor mega-nation and its mini beneficiary counterpart, or should we grimly, albeit honestly, call Fourth-Republican Ghana by its „closet name“ of the Shamelessly Beggarly Erstwhile Gold Coast Colony?
Dr. Antwi-Danso may also have good reason to counsel levelheadedness among the bumbling ranks of the Mahama government, because Ghana has a longstanding cordial relationship with the Chinese that appears to well precede our Western colonial occupation.
For instance, even as the erudite Ghanaian statesman Dr. J. B. Danquah observed in one of his many insightful writings, the Akan of Ghana share the „lustrous“ word of „Kanea,“ lamp, with the Chinese, and this does not seem to be a word primarily derived from international commerce with ancient Cathay, as China was then called by Westerners. In sum, there may really be a primordial consanguineous nexus or affinity between the contemporary Akan of Ghana and the ancient Chinese people.
Whatever be the case, had the situation been the reverse with Ghana’s chief diplomat in Beijing holding a press conference in order to bitterly protest Chinese government mistreatment of Ghanaian citizens resident in that country, you can almost definitely bet your proverbial „Bottom-Dollar“ that Ghana’s ambassador to China would have been promptly invited by highly placed officials of the Chinese foreign ministry and asked to immediately pack up and ship out of that mega-nation.
One important thing could also be happening here; and it is the apparent fact that the Chinese have closely and studiously observed the fact that the Mahama government woefully lacks a sense of purpose and direction and the legitimate mandate of the Ghanaian electorate, as well as the kind of administrative competence worthy of their respect and attention. And this latest unprecedented press conference sends an unmistakable signal from Beijing to Accra.
And that signal, of course, is that we had better beware of strangers bearing gold-muzzled dromedaries or gift horses, Trojan fashion!
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. Department of English Nassau Community College of SUNY Garden City, New York
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