Monday, March 08, 2010

China defends deals with Africa

China fired back on Western concerns over their energy for infrastructure trades with the African continent. In order to keep up with rising demand within it's borders, China has imported more oil and other resources from Africa. In exchange, China pledges to build infrastructure for the African countries it trades with.

One of the major concerns is that China does some of these deals with oppressive regimes such as the Sudan and Zimbabwe. Western diplomats also say that China has "colonial' interests in mind in making such deals.

From this AFP article that we found at Google News, we read the spin from China's Foreign Minister.

"I have noticed that in the international community there are some who do not want to see the development of Sino-African relations and always make an issue of China-Africa energy cooperation," Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said.

"The fact is that China's oil imports from Africa account for only 13 percent of Africa's total exports, while Europe and the United States account for more than 30 percent," he told reporters.

Speaking at a press briefing on the sidelines of China's annual parliament session, Yang added Chinese investment in the African petroleum industry was just one-sixteenth of the world total, behind US and European investment.

"We support other countries cooperating with Africa on the basis of equality and mutual benefit in the energy sector. There is no reason for them to oppose our equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa," he said.

China has steadily built up trade and economic ties with Africa in recent years, prompting critics in the West to accuse it of taking a "neo-colonialist" attitude toward the continent.

1 comment:

Adam Bilodeau said...

I guess the question becomes; Is "neo-colonialism" necessarily bad? I mean, if I had to characterize it I would say that it is economic colonialism, as opposed to military and/or political colonialism, but at least these African nations have the choice in whether or not they want to do business with the Chinese, so in that sense their sovereignty is respected.

Now that I think about it, why is it such an alien concept that a nation would want to submit to the rule of another nation, if that other nation was significantly better in some way or another? I mean, I remember hearing some chatter about the Turks & Caicos Islands talking about possibly joining Canada; has there ever been any other instances of a country simply joining another?