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"New colonialism" targeting China-Africa cooperation untenable

(People's Daily Online)

16:57, July 18, 2012

BEIJING, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Long before African foreign ministers head toward Beijing for a biennial cooperation forum starting Thursday, they have been warned against "new colonialism" when expanding ties with China.

China-Africa cooperation has flourished in recent years, catching a great deal of mostly objective press attention worldwide.

A trickle of critics, however, have struck a chord of dissonance, warning of the "new colonialism" looming on the continent in a veiled swipe at Beijing's efforts to forge closer ties with Africa.

A retrospect of the more than a decade of bilateral cooperation would easily defeat such a biased and ill-grounded viewpoint.

The relationship between China and Africa, in its nature, is based on equality and mutual benefit intended for the prosperity of 2.3 billion people, rather than the unilateral "aid" as suggested by some narrow-gauged critics.

In 2011, trade between Africa and China ballooned to 166.3 billion U.S. dollars and African exports to China jumped to more than 93 billion dollars.

For China, Africa's exports of crude oil, minerals, steel and agricultural products have played an active role in lifting the Chinese people's livelihood. Meanwhile, the continent also serves as an indispensable market with great potential for Chinese products.

On the other hand, China also provides Africa with much-needed products and technologies, and a vast market for its commodities.

What's more, Beijing focused on helping build the continent's productive capacity by improving its infrastructure and boosting the manufacturing sector, rather than involving the so-called "resource-grabbing practice."

Take the loans made by the Export-Import Bank of China as an example. Most of the 500 projects it has financed are designed to support local infrastructure construction, including water treatment plants, schools and irrigation systems.

These practices have matched China's commitment to seeking a win-win scenario when cooperating with Africa.

At the upcoming 5th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), government officials are expected to craft an overall plan for their cooperation over the next three years.

Fact is more convincing than rhetoric. For those who disperse distorted accounts of China-Africa relations or bear a distrustful feeling toward China's endeavor, they might as well give a glimpse of the history of the bilateral cooperation to gain an objective judgment.


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