By Zhang Hong
China and Africa are walking closer to each other. With the fruitful results from their decades of friendly exchanges, both sides are striding forward along the track of win-win cooperation.
But there are always someone who discredit the brotherly friendship between China and Africa, and blacken China with vicious but groundless accusations like the so-called “neo-colonialism” and that “China’s financing increases Africa’s debt burden”.
It is the blinkered view that restrains their imagination, since they, when facing the African countries lagging behind themselves, cannot treat the latter as equals, cannot resist the temptation of holding the latter’s economic arteries, cannot reject the desire to impose their own ideas on Africa, and cannot truly realize win-win cooperation together with Africa.
Their persistent hegemonic mentality also pushes them away from African countries. After China has achieved what those self-righteous people considered as impossible, they smear it with “sour grape” psychology and inspected China-Africa cooperation with prejudice .
They turn a blind eye to the millions of jobs and technical training provided by Chinese companies to African countries, ignore the improved skills of African workers brought by Chinese investment and business, and neglect the irreplaceable role China, as the biggest investor and financing source of infrastructure of Africa, has played in African economic growth.
Instead, they have been exaggerating the profits China gained from African investment, and played up the so-called “threats” of China on their own hegemonic position.
Peter Kagwanja, chief executive of Africa Policy Institute (API) in Kenya, attributed the censure of Western countries on China to their hegemonic mentality, saying that they blackened China as “neo-colonial power” in Africa, but it was themselves in history who traded slaves and colonized the continent. In the history of centuries, China never pillaged Africa, he stressed.
As a Chinese saying goes: only the feet know if the shoes fit, African countries are the best qualified to speak about their cooperation with China.
A proverb in Africa goes as “those who have no debts are poor”. The loan is not a monster, and the key is what the loan is used for: to buy cattle and sheep for increasing production or buy wine for temporary pleasure. Africans refute the so-called accusations that “China’s financing increases Africa’s debt burden” with their answers.
The loans China offered to Africa were important, as they were used to develop the continent and benefit the current and the next generations, they added.
Africans never forget what happened in its history. “China never colonized Africa in history, and instead, it was China who stood out to support Africa’s liberation movement,” Africans denying the baseless blames of “neo-colonialism”.
“We are grateful to China for their contribution to the economic growth of African continent, and are willing to cooperate with China sincerely,” they added.
There is another Chinese saying that people have a sense of natural justice. The African people are in the best position to decide who is Africa’s true friend and most reliable partner.
We advise those who maliciously slander China not to treat China-Africa cooperation with sordid mindset.
(By Zhang Hong, associate senior editor of People’s Daily Overseas Edition.)