World / Opinion

China's pledge to Africa refutes 'neocolonialism' rhetoric

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-07 15:40

BEIJING - China's pledge to continue to support Africa in achieving development and prosperity has once again refuted the rhetoric of "neocolonialism" in the continent.

There have always been critics saying that Beijing's current activities in Africa could be similar to those of the colonialists in the past.

In history, Western colonialists deprived Africa of natural and human resources, one of the important reasons that led to the underdevelopment of Africa.

Those who witness what China is doing in Africa today are best qualified to speak on the issue.

"Western countries had been in Africa for centuries to rob Africa's resources. They should be admitting what they have done. Some (Western countries) are rich because of the resources they took from Africa. They never thought of helping Africa to develop," South African President Jacob Zuma said.

In contrast, China is really helping Africa, Zuma said, adding that since China came to the continent, things have become better.

China is doing what the colonialists failed to do in the past -- help Africa out of poverty, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

"The perception that China is the new colonizer is a complete misrepresentation of Beijing's activities here in Africa. Achievement of mutual benefits is the basis of Sino-African cooperation," Kenyatta said.

Indeed, China, in developing its relations with Africa, adheres to the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, and upholds the values of friendship, justice and shared interests.

At the just-concluded Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to lift the China-Africa relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

To realize the upgrade, Xi proposed to strengthen the five "major pillars" of political equality and mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation, mutually enriching cultural exchanges, mutual assistance in security, and solidarity and coordination in international affairs.

"We should respect each other's choice of development path and not impose our own will on others...China strongly believes Africa belongs to the African people and African problems should be handled by the African people," Xi said.

"Here is a man (Xi) representing a country once called poor. A country which never was our colonizer ... He is doing to us what we expected those who colonized us yesterday to do," said Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who is also chairman of the African Union, to loud applause by the delegates.

Beijing's pledge has shown its greatest determination and sincerity to develop its ties with Africa.

China puts forward 10 major cooperation plans for the next three years in areas covering all the important aspects of Africa's development -- industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure construction, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

The programs will focus on helping African countries break the three development bottlenecks of backward infrastructure, talent shortage and inadequate fund, accelerate industrialization and agricultural modernization, and realize independent and sustainable development.

When conducting cooperation with Africa, China has not only considered its own interests, but also helped African countries realize development.

Compared to some western partners, China has brought Africa more benefits and endogenic impetus to Africa. The claims that China is conducting "neocolonialism" in Africa is groundless and unreasonable.

As China's Africa policy paper stated, China and Africa "have always belonged to a community of shared future" and "have always been good friends who stand together through thick and thin, good partners who share weal and woe, and good brothers who fully trust each other despite changes on the international landscape."

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