Best columns: International
Best international columns
Teaching our children black pride
Zimbabweans have internalized racism so much that we no longer recognize it, said Joram Nyathi. Howls of outrage have greeted the introduction of a new school curriculum by Education Minister Lazarus Dokora of the ruling ZANU-PF party. Critics are calling it jingoistic because it requires students to join in “mass displays” and to take a pledge of allegiance to the state. Apparently these critics want to keep us forever as “Little England,” our students mindlessly parroting the history of our former colonial master. Zimbabwean history, included in the new curriculum, is not just “ZANUPF propaganda,” as the opposition claims. It is the story of our land, our people, our uprising. Children must be taught the importance of the great land reform, which reclaimed Zimbabwean farmland from the white usurpers. They must learn to “appreciate the dignity of labor and honesty, to use their brains and hands to produce rather than buy.” The old, colonialist curriculum told them they should want jobs, not land—that they should be satisfied with being paid servants to others rather than their own masters. Shouldn’t we give up “our urge to be white,” not least because “it will never be requited”? It’s time for Zimbabweans to start feeling proud of their black, African heritage.
A good sign from Trump on Taiwan
Donald Trump is growing into his role as U.S. president, said Shen Dingli. His overtures toward Taiwan, which China claims as its own, and his irresponsible threats to use Taiwanese independence as a bargaining chip in trade talks with Beijing, are now at an end. In a cordial phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, Trump at last admitted that “he was wrong.” He conceded what six previous U.S. presidents also acknowledged: that the island of Taiwan is an integral part of China and the one-China policy is a prerequisite for U.S.-Chinese relations. It is encouraging that Trump has demonstrated that “he is willing to learn and adjust his stance when necessary.”
Now he knows that China “will not bargain on its core legitimate interests”—but that doesn’t mean it won’t negotiate at all. Cooperation with China can help Trump achieve his dream of making America great. The “growing Chinese middle class” wants to buy “high-quality U.S. goods,” so mutual trade will help both economies. The only thing that could prevent a happy outcome would be Trump’s failure to apply his newfound wisdom “to other contentious issues between the two countries,” such as Chinese sovereignty over much of the South China Sea. If he follows “a constructive, not obstructive approach,” both of our countries can prosper.