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Africa stage for global cooperation not chessboard for geopolitics: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2021-01-11 19:46
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Photo taken on April 9, 2020 shows the Dar es Salaam Port undergoing upgrading of port berths 1 to 7 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. [Photo/Xinhua]

The warm receptions State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi received during his visits to Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Tanzania and Seychelles from Monday to Saturday last week has driven home the message that the friendship between China and Africa remains strong.

Assisting Africa and seeking common development has been one of the endeavors that has remained unchanged on the country's to-do list throughout the years since New China was founded in 1949. And the broad consensus and series of fruits reaped during Wang's visits highlighted the tangible benefits to be gained through their cooperation.

No matter the difficulties, obstacles or disruptions encountered over the years, China and African countries have remained good brothers and partners. China is making joint efforts with African countries to strengthen strategic alignment and expand cooperation in line with their expectations.

That being said, after China has basically solved the problems of food and clothing, it feels more obliged to extend a helping hand to assist African countries to pursue their own economic rise. The complementarity of the two sides has laid a solid foundation to transform their brotherhood assistance to sustainable mutually beneficial projects.

So far, China has built more than 6,000 kilometers of railways, over 6,000 km of road, nearly 20 ports, more than 80 large-scale electricity projects, over 130 hospitals, 45 stadiums and more than 170 schools in African countries, and the Chinese medical team members have paid 21,000 visits to 48 African countries treating about 220 million locals.

As Wang Yi said, to support Africa's development is a shared responsibility of the international community. Noting that China is the largest developing country, while Africa is the continent where developing countries are most concentrated, China neither challenges any other country promoting Africa's development, nor is it intent on playing a zero-sum game with them. Instead, it affirms the national sovereignty and dignity of African countries and respects their choice of development path.

It has been a constant stance of African countries that they are open to all countries offering development assistance. And the cooperation between China and African countries is not exclusive.

The reason why some developed economies are less willing than China to invest in Africa is that they lack the sense of obligation to share their development opportunities with developing countries.

China shares with African countries the common experience of being invaded, colonized and exploited, and the common mission of national rejuvenation. It has joined hands with them to safeguard their legitimate right to development, and cooperates with African countries on a mutually beneficial and equal footing.

In contrast, some developed countries seek to undermine African countries' sovereignty and core national interests with the conditions attached to their investments. And they try to drive a wedge between China and African countries by portraying China-Africa collaboration in a neocolonialist light.

As a continent with the youngest population, huge potential for almost all major industries and great development needs, Africa should serve as a stage for international cooperation. The West should stop making it a chessboard for its geopolitical games.

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