The world woke up on August 17th, 2017 to an explosive interview reminiscent of Murtala Mohammed’s ‘Africa Has Come of Age’ speech in January 1976 at an extra-ordinary summit of the defunct OAU at Addis Ababa. This time, however, it is the David called Botswana that is up against the Goliath called China. Ian Khama, Botswana president told China off over a planned visit of the Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama. China is very sensitive to anything that could remotely suggest recognition of Tibet and Taiwan which it regards as parts of the Chinese State.
Clearly, the tension is out of sync with the great welcome for China by majority of African leaders who have expressly stated so. What might have gone wrong? Is it strictly over Dalai Lama or some other under currents in the tackle between China and Botswana?
Whichever one it is, there is a big question for reflection: Is it about time some African leaders tell China off, whatever the trigger or is Botswana over reacting to an issue it would have kept quiet if it were the Western world that is feared across Africa because they , unlike China, are practitioners of regime change?
Meanwhile, below is a reproduction of the script of the clash from the Botswana Guardian. Enjoy it reflectively – Intervention.
In a no holds barred interview this week with the Botswana Guardian President Ian Khama reveals for the first time details of how China engaged in intimidation in its efforts to block the Dalai Lama’s visit to Botswana. Khama wished the Dalai Lama a “speedy recovery” from the exhaustion he suffers, after which the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader is “welcome to come and visit Botswana.”