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Sino-African cooperation, what’s the next step? (3)

By Chen Lidan, Zhu Rui (People's Daily Online)

16:43, July 19, 2012

PD Online: Some Western countries criticize China for its investment in Africa as neo-colonialism, claiming that China’s interest in Africa is to grab natural resources. How do you think of the criticism?

Ren: Most Africans believe that the China-Africa trade brings them benefits. They hope the trade can be expanded. The criticism of “neo-colonialism” comes from Western nations, who were colonialist powers of Africa in the past. At present, European nations suffer economic downturns so they fear that their positions in Africa will be replaced by China.

The accusation is unfair. China is not the only buyer of Africa’s natural resources. The Untied States and the European countries also import natural resources from Africa. For example, the United States bought 33 percent of the aggregate African oil exports in 2006, Europe bought 36 percent while China just 8.7 percent. China’s trade with Africa is normal international trade activity and complies with market rules and the principle of fair trade. It’s nonsense to label China as “resources plunderer”.

Africa is abundant in natural resources but we must recognize that there are technology, capital and infrastructure shortages in African countries. They need to trade not all but part of natural resources for technology and capital in the international market.

Chinese workers are hard-working, skilled and less expensive and are willing to help African people to develop technical talent, so Chinese people are very welcome.

When I was serving the post of ambassador to Namibia from 2007 to 2010, the Speaker of Namibia's National Assembly had stated in a public occasion, “China is Namibia’s old friend. We know each other well and trust each other deeply. We don’t need the West to tell us how to deal with China.”

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