China sought to defend its role in Africa on Monday ahead of this week's G8
summit, saying its long friendship with the continent was a force for good and
shrugging off the threat of criticism at the meeting in Germany.
China's increasing presence as a lender to Africa has troubled some G8
ministers, who are worried Beijing is too willing to lend money without strings
to African countries.
"China and African countries have had a very friendly, brotherly partnership
since the establishment of new China, since the 1950s, and that has continued up
to now," Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai told a news conference.
"It can be said that this has been widely praised around the globe ," he
added. "In this world there will always be people willing to criticize others.
If they want to say something, then that's their business. Whether or not it's
true, is another matter."
The Chinese government also on Monday released its position paper for the G8
meetings in Heiligendamm, Germany, on June 6-8, outlining Beijing's policy on
"China wishes to stress that there is neither an invariable model nor a
one-size-fits-all standard for good governance," the paper said.
"It depends on whether the policy and system can promote a country's economic
and social development and serve the fundamental interests of its people. The
issue of conditionality of aid should be tackled with caution," it added.
China wants the United Nations more involved in preventing conflict, too.
"China maintains that the United Nations has a bigger role to play in
conflict prevention and settlement and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa,"
the paper said.
Beijing says it has been engaging the government on Darfur and encouraging it
to be more flexible about accepting a U.N. force.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised China's "helpful" role
in Sudan. "The Chinese government has been exerting its utmost efforts (on
Darfur), as I understand and appreciate," he said.