China not practicing neo-colonialism in Africa

Updated: 2006-09-27 09:39

China's cooperation and investment in Africa can not be labeled as "neo-colonialism" because, unlike what European colonists did before, China-Africa cooperation has brought real benefit to African people, said a Cameroonian scholar on Tuesday.

Pierre Essama Essomba, president of Media Council of Cameroon, said in the past three decades, China has helped Cameroon build conference halls, schools, hospitals and highways, and most recently, rapid growth of bilateral trade has brought affordable commodities to people in Cameroon.

"If you compare this with what German, British and French colonists did in Cameroon before, you will find those colonists had left nothing good in our country," Essomba said in an interview with Xinhua.

On the contrary, China's aids and investment in Cameroon are tangible and beneficial to ordinary people.

"China sends doctors to work in Cameroonian hospitals. Cameroonian people appreciate it very much," Essomba said.

"Labeling China as a 'new colonist' in Africa is not fair. It is merely bias in some Western media," he said.

Essomba made the remarks in response to a view among some critics who accuse China of "colonizing Africa" as it exports cheap manufactured products to African market while taking away the continent's natural resources.

He said it is true that more and more Chinese business people come to Cameroon and other African countries, bringing large amount of goods to local markets.

"But in general we African people welcome Chinese goods because they are both affordable and reliable," he said.

"We hope more small and medium-sized Chinese enterprises come to invest in Cameroon so that more people can be benefited," he said.

"We hope such cooperation will not only bring the investment, but also technical expertise so that African people can learn to rely on themselves eventually," he said.

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