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  • On this episode of China Uncensored,

  • all aboard the Chinese train line in Kenya

  • everyone loves!

  • Uh...almost everyone.

  • Hi, welcome to China Uncensored,

  • I’m your host Chris Chappell.

  • Well folks,

  • great news!

  • China has built

  • a new railroad line in Kenya!

  • Hooray! Fireworks!

  • It’s a freight and passenger line

  • that connects Kenya’s capital Nairobi

  • to the coastal port of Mombasa.

  • It’s called the Standard Gauge Railway,

  • also known as the Madaraka Express.

  • With a top speed of 75 miles per hour,

  • it’s not exactly a high-speed rail,

  • but it is three times faster

  • than old British train line it’s replacing,

  • which was finished in 1901.

  • The one nicknamed theLunatic Express

  • because of the huge costs

  • and the thousands of people

  • who died constructing it,

  • including being eaten by lions.

  • It was also subject to

  • constant delays and breakdowns.

  • But it did profusely apologize for each delay.

  • "Oh dear.

  • Terribly, terribly sorry.

  • My apologies.

  • Does anybody fancy a spot of tea?"

  • My apologies.

  • Anyway, this new Madaraka Express

  • is supposed to speed up travel,

  • reduce transportation costs,

  • and transform Kenya

  • into an economic powerhouse.

  • The rail was built by China Road and Bridge Corporation,

  • a Chinese state-owned company.

  • Which explains the awkward slogan,

  • Connecting Nations,

  • Prospering People.”

  • Yes,

  • may you live long and prospering, people.

  • The train line is part of China’s

  • One Belt, One RoadInitiative.

  • In a nutshell:

  • One Belt, One Road is China’s plan

  • for global domination.

  • It involves building huge infrastructure projects

  • around the world

  • like seaports, train lines, and bridges.

  • Theyre supposed to help with trade,

  • which, in China’s view,

  • means extracting raw materials

  • from poor countries

  • at low prices,

  • and selling finished made-in-China goods

  • back to them.

  • Oh, and putting everyone in debt to China.

  • Kind of like colonialism,

  • but with less guns.

  • So the Chinese regime

  • has big plans for Kenya.

  • The new Madaraka Express

  • created thousands of jobs in Kenya.

  • Let’s check in with the locals

  • and see how happy they are.

  • The youth stormed the Chinese rail camp site,

  • attacking and driving away workers indiscriminately.”

  • So, pretty happy.

  • That footage was from a riot last August.

  • You see, the railway did create

  • thousands of new jobs.

  • But not for Kenyan locals.

  • According to Quartz,

  • One of the biggest gripes

  • is that Chinese companies in Kenya

  • import  their own labor.”

  • So a lot of jobs just go to Chinese workers.

  • As for the Kenyans who do get work,

  • well, those protests happened

  • because workers wanted a raise

  • from two dollars fifty cents

  • to five dollars...

  • a day.

  • People who asked for a raise

  • were allegedly fired.

  • But paying low wages

  • is not the biggest problem.

  • Since China Road and Bridge Corporation

  • began construction of the railway

  • a few years ago,

  • it’s been accused of firing workers

  • without cause,

  • dredging sand from Kenyan beaches

  • for construction material,

  • and even stealing water

  • from local communities.

  • To be fair though,

  • they have organized basketball games

  • for local employees,

  • a point they're very proud of.

  • Why, just look at all of these proud Kenyans!

  • And China Road and Bridge Corporation’s

  • treatment of workers

  • is not an isolated incident.

  • This article by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa

  • talks about the horrible conditions

  • in Chinese-owned firms across Africa.

  • One Chinese mine had to be

  • closed down five times,

  • largely because of non-conformity

  • to mine safety rules and poor sanitation.”

  • There wasan outbreak of cholera.”

  • And at one construction company,

  • Almost all workers lacked

  • individual protection items

  • such as helmets, boots, and gloves.”

  • But back to the rail line in Kenya.

  • It cost 3.2 billion dollars to build,

  • and there are more rail line extensions

  • with even bigger price tags

  • in the works.

  • But the Kenyan government is only paying

  • for 10 percent of it in cash.

  • The other 90 percent is financed

  • with a loan from China’s ExportImport Bank.

  • Basically, it buries Kenya in debt.

  • According to the South China Morning Post,

  • Kenya’s external debt now amounts to

  • seven times its annual budget,

  • with China accounting for nearly

  • 60 per cent of those loans.

  • Loans from China have grown by 54%

  • between 2010 and 2014.”

  • And as this Kenyan commentator points out,

  • That’s our tax money.

  • These are loans

  • that our children will pay.”

  • Oh, and there are concerns about corruption.

  • Now I’m no expert in how much

  • large scale railway projects cost.

  • The most I ever owned

  • was Reading Railroad and B. & O.

  • One day, Short Line,

  • you will be mine!

  • But this railway in Kenya

  • is apparently way more expensive

  • than it should have been.

  • Al Jazeera reports that

  • ‘‘Kenya’s railway costs [per kilometre]

  • are almost 40 to 50 percent higher

  • than some of Kenya’s neighbouring countries.”

  • To be fair,

  • part of the higher costs

  • are related to technology,

  • but that doesn't account for all of

  • the large price tag.

  • Where did the rest of the money go?

  • There are also environmental concerns

  • that many critics feel weren’t addressed.

  • Phase two of the railway

  • will cut right through an important national park.

  • And some are concerned construction was rushed

  • so that the current president

  • could have his flagship project completed

  • just in time for elections in August.

  • So all aboard the Madaraka Express!

  • The price is just decades of debt

  • to a new colonial power.

  • So what do you think about this stunning example

  • of the One Belt, One Road Initiative?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • Thanks for watching his episode

  • of China Uncensored.

  • Once again, I’m your host, Chris Chappell.

  • See you next time.

  • Good news, everyone!

  • Today were launching the China Uncensored

  • Mystery Crate!

  • Subscribe, and every month youll receive

  • a mystery box that contains

  • an assortment of items related to topics

  • we've talked about on the show,

  • personally curated by me!

  • Let’s see what’s in this month’s box.

  • Oh, a bottle of China’s sacred territorial waters.

  • A facemask designed to protect against Beijing smog.

  • A slightly used suicide net from Shenzhen

  • don’t ask.

  • A handwritten note...

  • "Help, I'm stuck in a Chinese labor camp

  • making cardboard boxes."

  • Hmm, wonder how that got in there.

  • And finally,

  • powdered rhino horn

  • from the extremely rare silverback rhino,

  • the last of which was killed to make

  • this potent male vitality powder.

  • What’s that Shelley?

  • Ok, the powdered rhino horn

  • is extremely illegal.

  • The box was made by Chinese slave labor.

  • And no one wants a used suicide net.

  • What do you mean,

  • I'm terrible at picking things to go in boxes?

  • Fine.

  • You know what?

  • It's time for Plan B.

  • I’m going to leave this mystery box stuff

  • to the professionals,

  • by partnering with Loot Crate!

  • It is also a monthly mystery box,

  • but it will contain actually cool

  • and totally legal stuff like collectibles,

  • apparel, gadgets, art,

  • and epic gear.

  • It’s basically Comic-Con in a box.

  • And theyve agreed to give China Uncensored fans

  • a 10% discount.

  • Just enter promo code, BRIDGE10.

  • Click here now to check out Loot Crate.

  • Click here.

  • And I'll throw in some powdered rhino horn.

  • Just kidding.

  • Because that would be illegal.

On this episode of China Uncensored,

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New Chinese Rail Line Buries Kenya in Debt | China Uncensored

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    zijun su に公開 2021 年 06 月 11 日
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