The Chinese are Coming

The Chinese are Coming

Ratings: 6.63/10 from 46 users.

The Chinese are ComingTravelling across three continents, Justin Rowlatt investigates the spread of Chinese influence around the planet and asks what the world will be like if China overtakes America as the world's economic superpower. In the first of two films, he embarks on a journey across Southern Africa to chart the extraordinary phenomenon of Chinese migration to Africa, and the huge influence of China on the development of the continent.

While many in the West view Africa as a land of poverty, to the Chinese it is seen as an almost limitless business opportunity. From Angola to Tanzania, Justin meets the fearless Chinese entrepreneurs who have travelled thousands of miles to set up businesses.

Justin Rowlatt crosses Brazil and the United States on an epic journey as he continues to investigate the spread of Chinese influence around the planet.

In Rio, local industries, including bikini factories, are threatened by cheap Chinese imports, and in the Amazon, Justin witnesses the phenomenal impact of the Chinese hunger for resources on the indigenous people and the environment.

In the US, from California to the rust belt, Justin encounters the rising undercurrent of American fury over their own decline in the face of competition from China.

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G Augusto
9 years ago

I attempted to buy the series from BBC; but it is not available in the USA!

10 years ago

Great series, quality and very informative.

Bono Encom
10 years ago

Where is Part 2 of this Documentary? Its mention at the end of this one that Part Two Deals with what the Chinese are doing in South America.. right at the doorstep of USA..

Johnny Hohenzollern
11 years ago

Where the hell has the video above gone? Does anyone know where i can watch it? But anyway, China is now trying to get bigger and bigger not just in business, it's in also in 'taking the lands' from other country like Hoang Sa Island in Vietnam and another island in Philippines. Let's see what gonna be in the future...

11 years ago

China will soon collapse, they have NO resources.

11 years ago

I'm noticing more and more videos being removed because the YouTube account has been terminated due to "multiple third party notifications of copyright infringement". This is internet censorship and only the beginning.
From Wikipedia regarding SOPA it says "Opponents have warned that SOPA would have a negative impact on online communities. Journalist Rebecca MacKinnon argued in an op-ed that making companies liable for users' actions could have a chilling effect on user-generated sites such as YouTube. "The intention is not the same as China's Great Firewall, a nationwide system of Web censorship, but the practical effect could be similar", she says.

11 years ago

we need alien invasion to balance the world from china and any other greed nations

Akira Bergman
11 years ago

What is the surreal sounding piece of music played towards the end when Thomas Friedman was talking?

11 years ago

If the American government were not borrowing trillions of dollars, the Chinese would not have such an economic advantage. It's a sad thing when Communist China has a smaller government, in terms of percentage of GDP, than the "free" United States have.

If you want to understand the Chinese, play the game of Wei Qi - to win, you do not imperil an elite king - you win Wei Qi by a steady accumulation of numerous small advantages.

Wolf Inglewood
12 years ago

The China aren't stupid, they want our resources and by the looks of all the huge industrial loans they are continuously giving us and the apparent economic take over they are pushing for, they will have it. Its disgusting, we had our illustriously beautiful history destroyed and distorted, now we are allowing others to destroy our future.You need to understand that the Chinese are not our friends and that they don't care about us.You think the economical damage the British empire imposed on the majority of our continent was detrimental? You think the slave trade was a big deal? Wait till our future generations are financially indebted to the Chinese in a massive way and most forms of employment within Africa are facilitated by Chinese corporations, Africa's economy will be a massive asset to them and a giant plantation to us, surprise, f***ing surprise. We are treated like s***, told we are useless, that we should go back to Africa and stay there, now we are allowing the same people to take over our continent with a smile on our f***ing faces, disgraceful, despicable, as men we are cowards and should be ashamed of ourselves and ashamed to look our women and children in the eyes.Mark my words, in a few generations time our continent will no longer be called "Africa" it will be called "New Asia" because of our idiotic complacency.

12 years ago

This comment is pre-watching the documentary, and I will post another post-doc..

As an African, I can safely say that we are very much aware that we are being exploited. However, we have very few options, those companies and charities that emphasise fair trade rarely actually trade fairly, and charities and aid work have been working in this continent for centuries now - to no avail.. (people don't need food and handouts, they need AFRICAN education that will teach them how to succeed with the environment but most of all they need good governance). For many African countries we CAN do it all by ourselves, that is the physical stuff, we have the resources, and man power we can build our own roads, schools, hospitals, and we do build the majority of them ourselves - BUT we don't have good governance!! You might think that colonialism is the big excuse, but it is no less than the truth. The way Africans govern typically is a tribal matter, our land was divided and different tribes with different outlooks on life were put together, we are very spirtual people and our beliefs do matter to us. All of these traditions that our ancestors held were discouraged, unrewarded and almost abolished after colonialism, so we were forced to adopt a false 'democracy' or government, and the 'colonials' took all of this with them after decades of reigning our countries.

My point is: (sorry to have rambled) :

The Chinese are not in any way contributing to the governance of our countries, and so they are not improving our situation.

They are merely tapping resources back to their homeland.

It may seem selfish to bite the hand that feeds you, but this is the truth, we did it once before, we celebrated in an quick union with the British Empire and when they left, which the Chinese will also ultimately end up doing (as I doubt that they will ever see themselves as Africans), they took it all with them.

Visiting my home country in Africa, I see all of these cheap Chinese products, cheap scratchy plastic bowls, weaning out our bamboo or calabash wooden bowls? We are now in the age of sustainability and renewable resources, these plastic bowls do nothing but litter our land..

It's really sad that my nation is looking for quick fixes.

Also, the Chinese immigrants and companies often offer labour at ridiculously competitive prices, and out compete local trade, which can't afford to compromise on costs, many have gone out of business, this is definitely not sustainable - like I mentioned, what will happen when the Chinese leave?? Where will our own tradesmen and women go?

Another point is that the Chinese respect their culture, but to the extreme that they rarely integrate into other cultures or partake. There will be Chinatowns within these African countries, and they will live segragated from the citizens. I have read reports that some of these Chinese businessmen and women only buy from Chinese stores, and only eat Chinese food etc.. talk about integrating.

Also one more point is that many smart Chinese entrepreneurs have purchased land in the African countries, so that they can inherit when they self brought-on boost occurs in the cost of land.

As an African, it's very uncomforting to know that the land your ancestors were buried on may be owned by a person who is not willing to engage with your culture, who might build a skyscraper, or some strip joint (exaggeration), but may not respect the site, or might be only interested in selling it back to you for as high a price as possible.

These are all my fears for my nation.

I do see one major positive with the Chinese though; they have increased the interest in the endless possibilities available in African countries - Yes India and China are booming, but along with Mumbai, Mexico City, Lagos in Nigeria, West Africa is also one of the world's MEGACITIES, the Chinese are VERY VERY smart, they will increase competition for Westerners who have been ever to comfortable with trading with Africans.

12 years ago

The days of American dominance are numbered, and almost at an end. As the inventor of a new product, I tried to have my invention manufactured in America. You simply cannot compete with the Chinese. It is because of America's laws (some good, some bad) that will end America as an economic superpower. The cost to make my product in America: $400.00. The cost in China? $85.00. How can anyone manufacture anything in America again?

It is not possible. America will descend into a lowly third world nation within 40 years is my prediction, and we will be at the mercy of the Chinese. Got help us all.

12 years ago

the anti-Christ will surely come from China..

12 years ago

Brazil: another country going down the drain environmentaly. :-(

12 years ago

Another war in the making.

Bob Gray
12 years ago

Referring to the part about that school teaching "Chinese". "Chinese" is not a language, mandarin is. I've nothing against them teaching mandarin, but they should at least use correct terms.

12 years ago

they need to play this in every college and high school. we need to open our eyes now!

12 years ago

LonG live China. They Deserves to be the Super Power.
America Russia don`t deserves that place

12 years ago

I'm sad that China is resorting to corporate privatization and allowing this to happen. God damn capitalism. Of course they are nowhere near to what the US is doing...

Judan Fang
12 years ago

Has anybody realized that China is a third world country and they don't give jack s*** about politics.
The most important thing for Chinese politicians is for you to shut up and bring food to the table.
This results in oppression of disturbances of public order, like Tibetan demonstrators.
Political rights in this point of view is luxury, compared to essential needs like food.

Hence the criticism of wealthy countries, crying and s*** about the political rights of a minority.
If the western countries would be deprived of their fundamental needs, I doubt if they would choose human rights and political s*** first.

This is a testimony of a Chinese person born in Holland AKA western Europe. After 18 years of living in Europe, I figured out that politics and democracy is a western thing, Chinese society has been a authoritarian society for straight 5000 years. Even communism is imported from the west, the west imposes their destructive influence on other cultures. Both capitalism and communism is a western invention, so all is to blame the west.

I don't think other people have better explanations for the disinterest of China for human rights as I have knowledge from both the east and the west. There are many ignorant americans, believing the allegations of leaders, depicting China as agressive. The only times Chinese being aggresive is in Kung Fu movies and losing money with gambling.

12 years ago

It amuses to see how people know the new super power is emerging who will eventually take over the US to be the worlds No.1 and totally freaked out about it.

I do however feel disgusted by the people who uses political and environmental reasons to justify their views against China where the true motive behind these justifications is AMERICANS CANNOT ACCEPT OTHER POWERFUL NATIONS TO EXIST and not the well being of the common people nor the environment. If you do, there wont be such distinctive inequality of wealth and western firms will not be the leading cause of global pollution. You don't need to be political and you don't need to deny this 'evil' thought. I know how you people think because I grew up with people like you!

Like it or not China is striving to become the worlds most powerful nation. So that dirty little tricks on supporting Ürümchi and Tibet independence or even provoking the war between North and South Korea with the hopes of China involving will not stop them. The longest lasting nation with the highest population in the world is unstoppable.

All I'm saying is don't use lame excuses and 'concerns' because lets face it, you really don't care that much. What you do care is that you are seeing and knowing this nation will eventually replace US so that you will lose your sense of superiority. Period.

12 years ago

I really liked both parts of this documentary, but I think the subject was too much analysed from a western perspective. China is rising as many other countries has done before. Are we afraid? I don't think we should. Would it be better if it was western companies doing the same thing?

12 years ago

The Chinese have been trading and working all over the world for centuries now. They have kept true to their ways and have always been the hardest working most driven of business-men. This documentary focuses on china for obvious reasons of our current context, but the fact is that markets like Africa are open to any company or business person that is willing to get a little dirty and think outside the box for a bit. And yes, you can think as one of the boxes that big container of Chinese goods to be sold at Wal-Mart and keep that illusion of USA comfort.

12 years ago

The truth is that this earth simply doesn't posess the resources for other countries to live as the west has, and to a great extent still does. I am not saying China should not be allowed to prosper, they have the same rights as anyone else. I do think they have manipulated their currency. And I also think that if we give them access to our markets they should have to follow all the same guide lines as us, otherwise they have an unfair advantage and will definitely put other companies out of business. They should have to meet all safety, environmental, and other standards before being granted access to American markets. We should have access to the manufacturing facilities that send products here and should be able to deny them entry to our markets if they violate labor laws, environmental laws, ethical standards, etc. They should also have to give us the same level of access to thier markets as we give them to ours. Once you put us on a fair and level playing field if we can't hold our own we deserve to lose.

We should also tell American companies that leave to go over seas that they will face the same scrutiny and will still have to pay their employees the same rates as if they were in America. If they don't want to do that, then we can charge them import tax and treat them as if they were any other Chinese company. Right now they get the best of both worlds, they get cheap foriegn labor and relaxed regulation but still get to bring their products in to the US tax free.

12 years ago

Don't see how they can do any worse with China vs. the relationship they had with the U.S. and Europe. I would be concerned with China's ecology record ... you think that they would skip the mistakes that other industrialized nations have made. I think this is a good documentary if you take it for face value ... that it is from the British (western) point of view.

12 years ago

The Chineese have yet to experience the uprising that has been inevitival in every major power's expansion.
They are enjoying the honeymoon phase of expansion. Eventually, they will have bore "children" and become responsible for the effect. History, no matter which way you think you play it, will catch up.

Rodrigo Muñoz
12 years ago

Almost everything I own is made in China.

12 years ago

Err, I think everyone is forgetting about the Africans here. They are the ones who will suffer in the long run, I mean they are yet to recover from the scars left behind by the US and European nations.

12 years ago

China is going through raw vicious capitalism and consumerism phase, that America already went through in the 20's and 30's. Good for them, but we are moving forward still into post-consumerism, a world where people start to care and support each other, instead of money hungry exploitation.

12 years ago

This "documentary" is absolute bogus and biased view of the whole China-Africa relationship. It is simply laughable how the writers have squeezed so much negative cherry picked realities, and occasionally throwing out few insignificant positive facts to appear balanced.

This guy and his audience represent sour Westerners, slowly watching their standing in the world slowly wither, no need to be picky with words here; just call it plain old JEALOUS!

How convenient that the show touched on so much of African history, even showing ruins of European glory days, but purposefully avoided drawing any parallels between China's engagement of Africans versus those who came before them. Chinese have a long way to go before they top the likes of "King" Leopold or all other similar and brutal Western colonials.

When they finally left the continent, only driven by their own greed to share its resources peacefully, they found pleasure in repainting this greed as "White man's burden".... I am sure it was in the interest of Leopold or Ian Smith to educate and better the African population (drowning in sarcasm, please throw a buoy of straight talk) .

To call this a documentary is an insult to all other wonderful work in is uninformed/ignorant and tabloid view of the reality.

China please come exploit us!!

12 years ago

BTW I was a recon soldier who helped people escape commie countires - you have NO idea what communism is.

12 years ago

HEY dont blame THE PEOPLE of America its the friggin government mostly - I myself am an activist working to change our American "culture" from what it has become. Sure the people are partly culpable but I never murdered anyone - yet.

12 years ago

China is NOTHING like the U.S. in the early 20th century, because China is an oppressive communist regime that treats people like animals. America never ran any of there own citizens over with tanks. All you China lovers are in store for a very rude awakening when the communists take over YOUR country. At the heart of communism is the drive to expand. This is all part of the plan for the communists. They are fast approaching the point where they can start conquering. Be wary, and stop bashing America, because even though our corporations pillage the resources of smaller countries, be sure that the american PEOPLE don't like it, and have genuine compassion for poor coutries. A trait the communists do NOT possess.

12 years ago

omfg zatarra your the reason me and most of the people in the world look upon america with disgust and hatred, infact I hope china takes over, there influence is already morphing my country, new zealand, in fifty years we will be nothing more then a chinese enclave, sure this pisses me off, but its all worth it if the obese murderer called america falls.

12 years ago

Yeah, that blind arrogance is what has lead America to the brink of being #2....

12 years ago

At least this Chinesse people are getting their oil by bulding Angolia not getting their oil like USA bombing countries for oil like middle east....

12 years ago

@ gary v no one mess's with america and lives long enough to write any history about it. There is a reason why america and russia made 1700 tons of HEU, so if we gona divey up the world we would not have to share any of the loot. We let china play on the world stage while we rob the world printing worthless dollars and rubles to buy oil from us with. The time will come for those debts to be paid in gold, blood or oil. When the time comes remember america owns the sky we let everyone else rent a flight path at america's wim. Anyhow the world knows america does not like war its really hard to get the american people to wave flags and fight for just about any reason lol. As long as the chinese keep our tribute coming we allow them to slave/live for now...........

12 years ago

Excellent documentary!

12 years ago

What gives us the right tell any other country what to do? The horrible thing is that politicians (with the help of Mass Media) claim to speak on our behalf as the insult other countries and peoples and then have the people's children fight their wars.

And we are so stupid that we willingly comply... "In the name of our country"

We are starting to come to the realization that "leaders" like Roosvelt, Napoleon, Clinton, Nixon, Obama, Kim Yung Il, Hitler, Bush, Stalin, etc. don't really care about us or our children.


12 years ago

so funny this.... really great superficial information, kind of made me happy in a way because the chinese of today are like the americans of the early 20th century. But nothing was as much fun as the admition by a BBC employee that what the chinese are doing is unfair (yet natural): to refurbish a railroad in exchange for petrol and millions in contracts... AKA the africans still get nothing and that is what seemingly makes the world go round.

12 years ago

China will not wage war against the US if not provoked by that awful cow Hillary Clinton and Obama. Why should they? All they want is to trade and not having US interfering with their domestic issues, like situation with Taiwan.
But Obama administration is eager to kick the hornets nest it seems.
But if they are foolish enough to start a war with China, they will face adversary unlike any before.

12 years ago

China will not wage war against the US if it isn't provoked by that damn cow Hillary Clinton and fu*king Obama.
All they do is trade. But Obama administration is eager to kick the hornets nest.

12 years ago

LoL they can rise as much as they want as long as they pay america tribute (buy greenback dollars)! CHINA will need those dollars to buy oil from us if they want to make war anyhow. Remember what we did to the far east twice last time they miss step'd their boarders.... oppsy did we do that twice lol can u say crisppy critters. If you feel we dont have our best intentions in mind please go to you tube and check out "korn-all my hate usaf" its what you will get if u dont buy into QES4 friends. IF your feelin lucky how can u refuse such a sweet deal, but remember Its our game, the rules are our own win or lose.