In the spirit of challenges of securing energy sources and "hearts and minds" comes an article in the People’s Daily Online:
The 12 young volunteers from places such as Beijing, Sichuan and Yunnanwere going to Ethiopia in Africa to begin a six-month service work in
methane exploitation, Chinese-language teaching, physical education,
health care and information technology.
This Chinese Peace Corps is now in competition to win the hearts and minds with a Peace Corps perceived to be co-opted by the Defense Department. The long term goal for China is clearly cultural and technological imperialism as they seek to recreate a multi-polar world.
From the recent UNOCAL take-over attempt by CNOOC to competition for African energy resources, the Ethiopian service project is one of the many subtle salvos a patient China will fire.