Africa's freedom to choose partners, friends should be respected: Chinese FM

08:23, March 08, 2010      

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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Sunday African countries' inclinations and freedom of choosing cooperative partners and friends should be respected.

He made the comments when answering a question concerning criticism on China-Africa energy cooperation at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

"I notice that some people in the world are not happy to see the development of China-Africa relations, and so they are always trying to find fault in energy cooperation between China and Africa," Yang said.

"We support other countries in the world to carry out cooperation with Africa in the energy sector on a basis of equality and mutual benefit," Yang said. "But I don't see any reason for them to oppose China's equal and mutual beneficial cooperation with Africa."

Yang said China's cooperation with Africa covers both resources-rich countries and resources-poor countries.

China's imports of oil from Africa account for 13 percent of the continent's oil exports while those of the United States and European Union both have reached more than 30 percent, Yang said.

China contributes only one sixteenth of the total investment in oil in Africa, while the U.S. and EU investments are far more than that, according to Yang.

"I want to point out that Africa belongs to the African people and African people are the master of the African continent and other people are all just guests," Yang said. "We as guests should all respect the host's inclinations and freedom to choose cooperative partners and friends."

"I believe the basic to become African people's friends and cooperative partners is to make concrete efforts for their good, rather than offer lip service," Yang said.

China cooperates with African countries on one hand to help them turn their rich resources and energy into real advantages for development, while at the same time to help them build railways, roads to improve the infrastructure there and benefit African people, Yang said.

Source:Xinhua
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