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China rebuffs European Parliament's comment on Sino-African links
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08:43, April 25, 2008

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China's Foreign Ministry called for the European Parliament to stop confrontationist and provocative activities and do more things conducive to the development of Sino-European relations.

Spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a press conference on Thursday that China noticed the "irresponsible" criticism the European Parliament had made recently against China's policy towards Africa.

In a recent resolution, the European Parliament said China's influence in Africa was growing rapidly while the European Union (EU) was losing out.

She said African countries and their people were the best parties to make judgement on China's Africa policy and Sino-African relations.

"They all support China-Africa cooperation because the cooperation is beneficial for the development of both sides," Jiang said.

She pointed out China-Africa cooperation began more than half a century ago, instead of today when oil prices are rising. China has been carrying out cooperation with Africa as true friends on equal footing. It respects African countries' right to choose their own routes of development and will never impose its own value on others or use assistance as a tool of pressure.

Jiang said China had carried out practical and mutually-beneficial cooperation with Africa in a wide range of areas, including agriculture, infrastructure, human resources, education, tourism and sports. China also placed importance on technical cooperation and the training of talents with Africa.

China had put forward a series of measures to further advance the relations at the China-Africa summit in Beijing in 2006. The measures included debt reduction, investment promotion and assistance, among others.

"These new measures have brought about substantial benefits to the African people," Jiang said.

She added the European Parliament's irresponsible comment on energy cooperation between China and Africa was "totally unfounded".

Jiang noted the scale and quality of energy cooperation between China and Africa were a far cry from that between Africa and some countries from the European Union and America. The European Union and the United States, respectively, accounted for 36 percent and 33 percent of Africa's total oil exports. China only accounted for8.7 percent.

She said Chinese companies in Africa had shown a strong sense of social responsibility by helping to develop public facilities on the continent, adding the China-Africa energy cooperation was equal and mutually beneficial and conformed with international practices.

With regard to arms sales from China to African countries mentioned in the resolution, Jiang said it was very clear the Chinese government always strictly abided by UN-relevant resolutions. It never sold weapons to countries and regions embargoed by the UN Security Council. The criticism of the European Parliament was totally "groundless and irresponsible".

Source: Xinhua

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