Cape Times

Sino-African pros

- From: China Daily

NO MATTER how many roads, schools and hospitals it has built on the continent, and how much it has contribute­d to African economies, in the eyes of some people in the West China can never do anything right in Africa.

These people spread the fallacy that China is simply a neocolonia­list country plundering Africa’s resources. They claim the money that China pumps into Africa, with no political strings attached, enriches only a few corrupt officials.

Now they are again pointing an accusing finger at China, saying its financing has only added to the heavy debt burden of African countries. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was right to refute this as a “false claim” during his visit to Angola on Sunday.

The claim is also vicious, as it aims to alienate African countries from China and denigrate the country’s internatio­nal reputation. China is now Africa’s largest trading partner, with two-way trade expanding 22 times, and nonfinanci­al investment rising sixtyfold between 2000 and 2014.

The debt problems that some African countries are facing have been a cumulative result of complex factors, both internal and external, such as failed government policies, spanning decades.

Actually such ills can be fixed only through sustainabl­e economic and social developmen­t, which is what China’s massive projects aim to achieve.

Unlike the United States, whose condescend­ing approach to Africa was summed up by President Donald Trump in September, when, addressing African leaders at a UN luncheon, he said: “I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratula­te you.”

According to a 2016 poll conducted in 36 African countries by a Pan-African research network, almost two-thirds of Africans surveyed had a “generally favourable” view of China’s role in Africa.

That is because the long-standing close relationsh­ip between China and Africa has been built on political equality and mutual trust, and led to results that have benefited both sides.

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