Directions for next fifteen questions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
The Prime Ministerâ€™ s recent trip to Nigeria, the first bilateral prime ministerial visit to Africa since Jawaharlal Nehruâ€™s 45 years ago, recalls a long neglected Indian obligation. â€œIt is up to Asia to help Africa to the best of her ability,â€ Nehru told the Bandung Conference in 1955, â€œbecause we are sister continents.â€ The Prime Ministerâ€™s proposed strategic partnership with African nations might at last make good that 52 years old promise and also, perhaps, challenge Chinaâ€™s expedient diplomacy.
In the intervening years, the Westâ€™s sanctimonious boycott of many African regimes â€“ after nearly a century of extreme colonial exploitation â€“ left the continent in the grip of oppressive rulers looking for new political sponsors, arms-sellers and trading partners. Not only was it an abdication of the developed worldâ€™s responsibility to the worldâ€™s least developed region, sanctions actually compounded the sufferings of poorer Africans. The Darfur killings continue and there is not mellowing of Robert Mugabeâ€™s repression in Zimbabwe.
Abandoned by the West, Africa looked elsewhere. Beijing filled the vacuum by eagerly embracing dangerous and unsavoury regimes in its search for oil and other minerals. China demonstrated its influence by playing host to 48 out of 53 African leaders a year ago in a jamboree that was historic as well as historical. Historical because China has succeeded in becoming the pre-eminent outside power in Africa and its second biggest trading partner. Historical because modern Chinese diplomacy draws on the Middle Kingdomâ€™s ancient formula : the tribute system. It was how the Son of Heaven brought those nations whom the Celestial Empire called â€œbarbariansâ€ into his imperial trading and, through it, cultural and political system.
Contemporary Chinaâ€™s economic penetration of Africa also heralds a new era of cultural and political ties though the Chinese foreign ministry repeatedly assures the world that â€œour cooperation is not designed to be against or preclude any third party. â€œThis is untrue in a world of finite resources. Once the Chinese are established in a country, no one else gets a foothold. Myanmar, where India failed to obtain the desired gas concessions, is a prime example. Aware that the hunt for energy is a zero-sum game, Chinaâ€™s leadership courts African leaders with regular visits and substantial grants.
After decades of neglect-Vajpayeeâ€™s Africa visit over a decade ago was to attend a Commonwealth Summit â€“ India will have to move cautiously but quickly if it is to break Chinaâ€™s monopoly. Along with investing in Africaâ€™s human capital, China has outlined a strategic investment plan to build three to five trade economic cooperation zones in Africa by 2009 to boost trade, which is expected to tap $40 billion this year. That could double to $30 billion by 2010 on the back of an insatiable demand for natural resources to feed Chinaâ€™s booming economy.
What was Jawaharlal Nehruâ€™s consideration for helping African nations?