Madagascar, citizens in revolt against Chinese companies that colonize the country
Focus of protests a ten-year concession to a mining company. In recent years, Beijing has invested more than 740milioni dollars in Madagascar, building businesses and corporations. The Chinese influence has fueled a feeling of intolerance of Malagasy citizens.
Antananarivo (AsiaNews) - The increasing presence of Chinese enterprises in Madagascar, including the giant Jiuxing mining cooperation, has caused widespread protests by citizens in an escalation of tension and discontent.
Behind the demonstrations, the Chinese underground gold mining project that could last for the next 40 years; according to local people, this activity would have disastrous affects on agriculture.
Every Thursday Soamahamanina - a small village located at the center of the island – was the scene of vocal protests. The Chinese are increasingly seen as a hostile presence.
"Madagascar belongs to the Malagasy - says a student - not the Chinese or foreigners. Forty years of underground exploitation means selling the country. " Much of the population has taken this position, although some farmers who have accepted money from the Chinese in exchange for the land have been bitterly exploited.
Already in 2011 the police had intervened in the Chinese district of the capital to prevent a riot. In any case, the Chinese company disputed by the Malagasy finally decided to withdraw.
The spokesman Jiuxing Star Adriamamonjy said: "The company has the right to stay but preferred to withdraw to calm things down. We hope to return on a new basis and rectify past mistakes. " Today, China is the largest trading partner of Madagascar. There are more than 800 companies and about 60 thousand Chinese citizens in the country. So far Beijing has invested in more than 740 million dollars Madagascar but despite this, over 90% of the population lives below the poverty line.