Ignore US carping about Africa: FM

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/7 23:38:39

American concerns about container port ‘pointless,’ says Chinese expert

China doesn't need to pay too much attention to US accusations about Sino-African relations, Chinese analysts said in response to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's criticisms of Chinese economic engagement on the continent.

Relevant countries should not make carping comments on African countries' efforts to seek self-development and conduct foreign cooperation, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily press conference Wednesday.

"African countries and people are the most qualified to evaluate China-Africa cooperation," Geng said answering a question regarding Tillerson's criticisms made ahead of the US envoy's visit to Africa.

China's investment had the potential to improve Africa's infrastructure, but Tillerson "added that its approach had led to mounting debt while creating few jobs," the BBC reported.

China encouraged African dependency on it, using corrupt deals that endangered Africa's natural resources, he was quoted as saying by BBC.

"This shows that the US is losing confidence in healthy competition with China," said Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University  of China in Beijing on Wednesday.

"China has never opposed the US and other countries boosting cooperation with Africa, but whether in his trip to Africa or previously to Latin America, Tillerson always slammed China," he said.

China needs not worry overly about what the US is saying on the topic, Jin asserted.

"Economically, China and Africa have very strong complementarities. We have capital and powerful export capacity, while Africa has resources and a huge potential market," he said. "But the US doesn't have too many products to supply to the African market, so the US competitiveness is weaker than that of China."

Africa's development is "a shared responsibility for the international community," and "China sincerely welcomes other members of the international community to increase input to help Africa, and developed countries in particular should fulfill their promises to Africa," Geng said.

The US also has military and security concerns about China's increasing influence in Africa.

Djibouti announced on February 22 it was ending a contract with the Dubai-based port operator DP World for its container terminal in Doraleh. The US reportedly worries that the contract is moving to China.

China has built a military support base in Djibouti, miles from a critical US military base.

"If China placed restrictions on the use of Doraleh port in Djibouti, it could affect resupplying the US base in Djibouti and the ability of Navy ships to refuel there," Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, top US military commander in Africa, was quoted as saying by Reuters at a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

"In fact, this kind of concern is pointless," said Song Zhongping, a military expert.

"Even if a Chinese company gained the right to operate the port, it would be based on business and economic interests between China and Djibouti, and it has no intention at all to make trouble for the US military."


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