我的新年决议:为什么我要屏蔽“西方”

 In op-ed, 个人意见

成为父母的最大成就之一就是让您的孩子质疑您看待世界的方式。如果在北京养育孩子这一点显得更为重要,因为这里的玩具都是根据中国人的思维方式设计的。去年,我为我现在两岁半的儿子买的一个玩具引起了我的注意,并塑造了我2019年的新年决议,也很有可能会塑造你的。

这个玩具是一张世界地图,中间有澳大利亚,印度尼西亚,太平洋岛屿和南极洲,左侧是欧洲和俄罗斯,中东,非洲和大部分亚洲,右手侧是美洲和加勒比地区。就像彼得斯地图在1967年第一次按真实尺寸比例显示各国所做的那样。这张地图真的让我再次思考我们如何看待这个世界。

我在中国长大的儿子接触的地图所显示的亚洲,特别是中国,不是在“东方”,而是在“西方”。当然,这是显而易见的,因为世界并不平坦。然而我们倾向于认为并说世界是平的,有些国家在右边(东方),有些国家在左边(西方)。

实际上,以这种严格的方式看世界实际上可以实现政治和经济目标。在2018年,我注意 “西方”这一短语正在被越来越多地使用,特别是在谈及中非关系的文章或其他媒体中。通常,中国被描绘成一股不可忽视的力量,“西方”被描绘成对抗中国的统一力量,在某些情况下,对抗非洲国家。如果使用我丈夫在写作和纪录片制作时所分享的格式,在这些文章中,“中国”和“西方”根据政治前景会被描绘成“好”或“坏”,非洲国家则总是扮演“受害者”的角色。

来自马提尼克岛的著名精神病学家弗朗茨·法农曾说过:“说一种语言就是建立一个世界,一种文化。”我同意并扩大他对使用特定词语的看法。我相信语言,我们使用的词语对塑造我们的思维和产生真正的结果很重要。这就是为什么,例如,我奉行尽量不提(并试图永远不会说)“非洲”一词的原则。我总是说“非洲国家”- 因为非洲不是一个国家,非洲大陆的55个国家非常多样化。这就是为什么我避免说“中国这样做或那样做”或“中国相信这个或那个”- 因为这个国家不是一个单一的行动者。中国有私营和国有企业,中国政府,中国的非政府组织,中国的智库和学术界- 像其他所有国家一样他们也都采取不同的行动和思维方式。

所以,我的新年决议是将“西方”添加到我禁止使用的单词或短语列表中。为什么?你可能会问我应该这样做吗?诚然,如果只看我儿子的地图并没有什么特殊意义,但它到底会带来什么样的危害呢?

其实是有害的,因为在大多数情况下使用这个短语时,往往倾向于使两种相对的力量之间相互对抗。这种立场的建立否定了世界上其他人的声音,尤其是较贫穷,不那么强大的国家。以“西方”用于中国与非洲国家关系的背景下。在这种情况下,“西方”的观点- 作为欧洲,美国,加拿大,也许还有澳大利亚和日本,而不是俄罗斯的某种融合,往往就是以下两种情况中的一种:

1.一种正在进行的殖民特征- 虽然我刚才提到的地区和国家以前的奴隶制和殖民主义有着截然不同的类型,现在也对移民,多边主义和其他问题的政策差异很大;

2.在某种形式上与新兴的“中国”背道而驰,这种“中国”本身具有帝国性质,并通过大量使用的硬性,软性和新术语被威胁,自2018年以来,这一术语通常被表达为“锐实力”。

这些当然都是有趣的叙述,但它们不允许非洲人民和国家的观点出现。

以我在2018年写下的关于债务的看法为例。非洲对债务的看法多种多样,但确实包括非洲(和其他大多数穷国)实际上需要从其他国家或私人贷款机构筹集外债的事实,以便到2030年,他们可以摆脱贫困,应对气候变化,实现联合国可持续发展目标。如果这些国家不承担这些债务,他们就没有机会实现目标。然而,在使用“西方”这个词的文章中,你不会发现任何这样的观点,更不用说对这种观点的提及了。就好像这种观点不存在,或者只是不够重要。

还有许多其他问题-—从贸易,学术研究到价值观-—在这里,存在着一种真实的,重要的潜在视角和叙事方式。使用“西方”这一词不仅在其选择性的,反历史的报道中毫无意义,而且还剥夺了不适用于这一词汇的非洲,加勒比海,南美,亚洲和太平洋国家的权利。它取消了他们的中介地位。这就是为什么在睿纳新,我们努力将这些简单化叙事之外的新思维带到人前。

另一位我最喜欢的作家,已故的爱德华·萨义德,一位巴勒斯坦裔美国人,于1994年写道:“正如我们没有人在地理位置之外,我们都没有完全摆脱由于地理位置而带来的斗争。这场斗争既复杂又有趣,因为它不仅涉及士兵和大炮,还涉及各种想法,形式,图像和想象。”

在2019年,让我们开始想象和认识一个世界,在这里较贫穷的国家和人民,包括非洲国家的人们,在不断变化的地理位置中都能占有一席之地。在这个世界中没有东方,没有西方。只有我们所有人。

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EDMOND BOSILONG

Research Analyst

Edmond is a research analyst who is passionate about sustainable development, innovation, and the environment. Passionate about climate financing, he firmly believe there is a more reliable system to promote equality, growth, and welfare in societies without affecting the ecosystem. Through his skills, knowledge and experienced gained over 7 years, he wants to make an impact in the world of development. Edmond holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Korea Development Institute and a BA Degree (Honors) in Business from University of Derby.

   HANNAH RYDER

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Hannah Ryder is the Founder & CEO of Development Reimagined. A former diplomat and economist with 20 years of experience, named one of 100 most influential Africans in 2021, she is also Senior Associate for the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), sits on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and is a member of UAE's International Advisory Council on the New Economy. Prior to her role at DR, Ms Ryder led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s work with China to help it scale up and improve its cooperation with other developing countries, including in Africa. She has also played various advisory roles for the UN and OECD and co-authored the seminal Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change in 2006.

LEAH LYNCH

Deputy Director

Leah Lynch is Deputy Director of Development Reimagined (DR), and head of the China office. Leah has over 10 years of experience in development and has lived in China for over 8 years. Leah has also travelled extensively around Asia and Africa for research. Leah supports the strategic direction of the team across China, with a mission to deliver high quality research on sustainable development and poverty reduction. Leah is also Chair of the Sustainability Forum at the British Chamber of Commerce in China, providing direction on sustainability initiatives for British and Chinese business. Leah has also consulted on various evaluations on UK aid (ICAI) and is a specialist on development cooperation from the UK and China. Leah has also consulted on various UN projects, including providing support to the UN China team during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Prior to DR, Leah was at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, supporting the UN’s portfolio on communication strategies, China’s South- South Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Before UNDP, Leah lived and worked in Kenya developing sustainable water policies for the Kenyan government.

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Yike Fu is a Policy Analyst and has been responsible for leading numerous areas of work, including on debt analysis in Africa and beyond, and China-Africa trade and investment logistics and analysis. She is the co-author of “African Debt Guide”, in which she challenged the narrative that Africa is in the midst of a new debt crisis by analysing data back to the 1970s and adopting new metrics to present the real story behind the data. She also developed a benchmark to compare the financial distribution of development partners such as the UK, US, Japan, France and China in Africa. Prior to her role at DR she worked at the International Finance Corporation and African Union Representational Mission to the US. She holds a Masters in International Affairs from George Washington University.

JUDITH MWAI

Research Analyst

Judith is a Research and Policy Analyst, where she specialises in Africa-China relations, international development, and diplomacy. During her time at Development Reimagined, Judith has co-authored several articles published in The Diplomat on debt and China-Barbados relations and was quoted by China Daily in a piece on Women Rights in China. Previously, Judith worked as a research analyst for an Advocate and Commissioner and Oats office in Kenya.

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Ovigwe specialises in geopolitics with particular reference to Africa in a changing Global Order. He is adept at critically analysing the politics of contemporary development processes and providing insight into the geopolitical interests that influence them. His work includes research, publications, tailored briefings and advising on global and regional trends, and issues at the nexus of geopolitics and development. Ovigwe appears frequently in media around the world such as Al Jazeera, TRT World, SABC, CGTN, BBC Radio, and other platforms.

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Jing leads China-African health and agriculture cooperation research at Development Reimagined, having managed our FOCAC Policy Analysis and Advocacy project. She is also the co-author of “China-Africa Health Cooperation under FOCAC Umbrella”, in which she analysed China’s commitments around health cooperation since the first FOCAC summit and deepdived into four African countries’ health overview, challenges and cooperation with China as cases studies. Before DR, Jing worked at GIZ Cambodia on M&E of a disability advocacy project. She also worked as a translator with Chinese medical team in Benin.

PATRICK ANAM

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Patrick is an International Trade Policy and Trade Law Expert with over 5 years of experience. His expertise includes trade law, trade policy analysis and regional integration. He is currently engaged with Development Reimagined as a Senior Trade Analyst and was the lead author of Development Reimagined's recent Report on Africa-China Relations titled "From China-Africa to Africa- China: A Blue Print for a Green and Inclusive Continent-Wide Strategy Towards China." and “Reimaging FOCAC Going Forward.” Patrick has previously consulted for the East African Community, UNECA and for the Kenya Ministry of Trade.

ROSIE FLOWERS

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Rosemary is our Senior Policy Analyst. She is a skilled policy analyst and has previously worked as a UK civil servant. She is studying Human Rights at Birkbeck, University of London with a research focus on international law in the context of health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

JADE SCARFE

Project Manager and Africa-China Communication Assistant

Jade is a Project Manager for Development Reimagined’s flagship project Africa Unconstrained, which focuses on financing needs and debt vulnerabilities of African countries. Her research focuses on China-Africa development finance alongside debt vulnerabilities, infrastructure needs and South-South cooperation. She has worked with a breadth of stakeholders from China, Africa and the wider international community, including governments, private sector, NGOs and civil society. Her writing has appeared in a number of publications, including The Africa Report, The China-Africa Project, The Diplomat and more. Jade holds a Master’s in China and Globalisation studies from King’s College London.

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Programme Manager

Rosie is the Project Manager of Africa Reimagined (AR) at Development Reimagined (DR) where she supports high-end African brands with entering the Chinese market by operating services such as trademark protection, Chinese market research, Chinese partnership building, and Africa to China logistical support and import/export services. Rosie has worked with DR for over two years now with proven success in helping high-end African brands navigate the Chinese market. She is extremely passionate about her work because more African brands selling in the Chinese marketplace means African countries can export MORE value-added goods, create MORE jobs and foster MORE innovation in African countries.

Rosie is also alumni of the School of International Studies at Peking University in Beijing where she is also an editor at the Peking Africa Think Tank. PATT is led by a diverse group of scholars who specialise in African Studies within the context of Sino-Africa relations.

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Lauren has lived in six countries from the Americas to Europe and Asia and speaks both French and Spanish proficiently. At Development Reimagined, Lauren’s research focuses on climate action both in the Asia-Pacific and in Africa, and how countries are using tools such as SDGs and Covid-19 action to build a more climate-resilient future. She holds a Masters in International Relations from Leiden University.

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Osaru is a health professional with an MSc in Health Systems Policy and an interest in women’s health and population management. At Development Reimagined, she applies her health sector experience to global health research and collating locally applicable development insights from China.

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Research Analyst

Ferdinando’s research at Development Reimagined is centred on South-South Cooperation dynamics, specifically on the analysis of Chinese investment and debt flows in Africa and their linkages to African industrialisation. He is currently a Yenching Scholar at Peking University, after having graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Development Studies.

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Research Analyst

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Research Analyst Kenya

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Chensi Li is a research analyst. She has previously worked for local NGOs in Nigeria and Cameroon and think-tanks in China.  Her research areas include Sino-African relations, African foreign affairs, public diplomacy, state-building and national governance.

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Yixin is a Junior Research Analyst and her focus areas is on public-private partnership and entrepreneurship. She has over three years of working experience in both private and public sectors in Ethiopia. She was the China Liaison Officer for project ‘Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa’ at International Trade Centre, where she accumulated rich experience in investment and trade promotion

HANNAH RYDER

Founder and CEO

Hannah Ryder is the Founder & CEO of Development Reimagined. A former diplomat and economist with 20 years of experience, named one of 100 most influential Africans in 2021, she is also Senior Associate for the Africa Program of the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS), sits on the Board of the Environmental Defence Fund, and is a member of UAE's International Advisory Council on the New Economy. Prior to her role at DR, Ms Ryder led the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s work with China to help it scale up and improve its cooperation with other developing countries, including in Africa. She has also played various advisory roles for the UN and OECD and co-authored the seminal Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change in 2006.