Kenyan Children to Learn Mandarin

Language education: another tool extending Chinese influence

Chinese investment and influence around the world have skyrocketed almost overnight. The nation is gobbling up territory in nation after nation. Its influence is growing to the point that Kenyan students are now learning Chinese.

Kenya has been a key focus for Chinese infrastructure investment for many years. Since Chinese President Xi Jinping announced his Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, Kenya has received approximately $4.9 billion in loans from China.

These loans were used to build a standard gauge railway connecting the port city of Mombasa to Kenya’s capital and largest city, Nairobi. The railroad was built by the China Road and Bridge Corp. However, reported losses of $98 million from the project’s first year of operation have sparked fears that the project is turning into another instance of China’s “debt-trap diplomacy,” a strategy in which it offers loans to countries it knows cannot repay, then takes control of the nation’s infrastructure and gains even greater leverage over the country. (For more information on the Belt and Road Initiative, read “Brave New World (Made in China).”)

This is the threat that Kenya now faces. Kenyan Auditor General Edward Ouko warned that under the terms of the railway deal, if Kenya defaults on the loan, China’s Exim Bank “exercises power over the escrow account security.” African Standard warned on December 20 of the risk of “losing the lucrative Mombasa port to China should the country fail to repay huge loans advanced by Chinese lenders.”

Kenyan and Chinese authorities have denied the reports; however, this precedent has already been set.

Under pressure from the tightening stranglehold, these nations are doing what they can to warm up to China. China’s power throughout this region is growing beyond simple investment.

The Times reported on January 10 that, according to the Kenyan government, next year, students age 10 and older will be offered a course in Mandarin. Director of the Kenyan Institute of Curriculum Development Julius Jwan said, “The place of China in the world economy has grown to be so strong that Kenya stands to benefit if its citizens can understand Mandarin.” Many local children have already picked up a bit of the language through interactions with Chinese laborers working on the many Chinese-funded road projects in Kenya.

An estimated 10,000 Chinese nationals have moved to Kenya, and the government-funded Confucius Institute works to integrate Chinese culture and language into Kenyan life, also offering scholarship and exchange programs. The hope is that these Kenyan students will obtain jobs in Chinese companies, attesting to China’s desire for strong, long-term ties with Kenya.

Teaching Mandarin at the primary school level is just another step. The Times stated, “Education represents an area where China can project ‘soft power’ to enhance its influence and status.”

The number of Mandarin speakers globally is rising. Quartz Africa said Kenyan students learning the language are attempting to “improve job competitiveness and facilitate better trade and connection with China.”

The rise of Mandarin is a reflection of the rise of China. And the rise of China is fulfilling Bible prophecy.

The Bible is filled with prophecies for the end time that warn of worldwide war and suffering such as this world has never seen. In Luke 21:24, Jesus Christ calls this era “the times of the Gentiles.”

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry discussed this subject in his article “What Are the Times of the Gentiles?” In the article, he identified Gentiles as non-Israelites. Christ was referring to a period when power possessed by the modern descendants of ancient Israel (primarily Britain and the United States) shifts to other nations. The era of U.S. and British dominance is coming to an end, and with it the relative peace and stability they brought. (To learn Israel’s modern-day identity, request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)

You can see tangible evidence of this prophecy being fulfilled right now. The U.S. and Britain are in retreat, and Gentile powers such as China are achieving unprecedented global power. Nations around the globe are warming up to China as they recognize that this superpower is rising up to replace the declining U.S. They are actively seeking “better trade and connection with China.” And part of this pivot is the spread of its language. Having an upcoming generation who can speak the language is solidifying China’s dominance.

Mr. Flurry identified the major Gentile powers that Christ’s prophecy refers to as Germany, Russia and China. He wrote:

The big reason these powers are rising today traces back to the power vacuum created by America’s weakness—and the disappearance of America’s will. … In recent years, America has demonstrated its lack of will to use its power in several international arenas. … Recognizing that weakness, China is asserting its power ….

China’s actions prove that Gentiles are rising to power before our eyes! And this is just one of many Gentile nations growing more aggressive on the world scene.

Christ says that this terrifying time would include “[m]en’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (verse 26).

But the very next verse gives incredible hope! “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (verse 27). Mr. Flurry wrote, “These times of the Gentiles lead directly to the return of Jesus Christ! … Now that is good news!”

As we excitedly anticipate this event, we must watch the rise of Gentile powers as they hasten the return of Jesus Christ. To understand more about China’s role in end-time prophecy, please order your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy and read “Why the Trumpet Watches the Rise of China as a Superpower.”