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FM rejects criticism of help for Africa

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-16 06:42

Senior officials and experts have dismissed voices demonizing China's helping hands extended to African countries, saying that China is the country that offers real solutions to the growing pains of the developing continent.

The officials made the observation after some recent media comments accused China of adding to African countries' debt burdens by offering financing and of having political motives behind the financing.

The accusations were raised as Foreign Minister Wang Yi was making his first trip abroad for 2018 to Rwanda, Angola, Gabon and Sao Tome and Principe from Friday to Tuesday.

In response, Wang has said China meets Africa's need for development, it has never attached any political conditions to help offered to African countries, and it honors the win-win principle.

"China and African countries share the painful experience of being economically controlled by foreign countries, thus unfairly treated and even exploited and oppressed," Wang said at a news conference in Angola on Sunday.

Wang added that the debt of some African countries will be tackled through their sustainable and diversified economic development, and China's assistance and cooperation toward Africa will never follow the path of Western countries.

Manuel Domingos Augusto, Angola's minister of external relations, has said his country welcomes China's playing an important role in African affairs.

Angola believes that China offers solutions to African issues, and only cooperation with China can help achieve the real independence of Africa, Augusto said when meeting with Wang on Sunday.

Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo told Wang on Saturday that her country speaks highly of China's lasting dedication to developing partnerships with Africa, increasing China-Africa trade more than 20 times in less than two decades.

He Wenping, a researcher in African studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that behind the voices alleging China's so-called neocolonialism in Africa is jealousy over the remarkable progress achieved between China and the continent in the past two decades.

As China has been Africa's largest trade partner for years, the countries and their people there know best what their country needs most, He said.

Li Xinfeng, another African researcher with the CASS, said Wang's trip to Africa-regardless of the strength of the four countries-shows that China treats all African countries on equal footing.

Africa is benefiting from China's experience in developing infrastructure, promoting poverty relief and advancing industrialization and urbanization as it tries to bid farewell to the negative legacy of the colonial era, Li said.

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