Commentary: The West’s green eyes on China-Africa win-win cooperation [Xinhua]
by Xinhua Writer Zhu Junqing
BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) — China-Africa cooperation has long been subjected to vile slanders from the West, even as its nature of mutual benefit has been repeatedly proved and widely acclaimed.
In the latest evidence of the win-win feature, the African Union and China signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to boost cooperation on Africa’s infrastructure, which has become a bottleneck hindering the development of the promising continent.
Yet the deal, which like numerous others is conducive to Africa’s sustainable development, did not stop the mud-slinging by biased Western media, which resorted to such terms as “neocolonialism” to smear China’s goodwill.
Such claims, sensational as they sound, are pure calumny and have no market both in Africa and across the world. And behind the slanders — at least some of them — are a pair of green eyes full of selfishness-born jealousy and frustration.
Deeply aware that poor infrastructure is its short slab, African countries have long decided to prioritize infrastructure development to speed up its modernization drive.
According to the World Bank, an extra 93 billion U.S. dollars is needed every year over the next decade to bridge the infrastructure deficit alone in Africa.
Yet the rich Western world has not been particularly helpful, partly because of its capital restrictions. As the Economist magazine has pointed out, new rules for insurance firms and pension funds in Europe penalize long-term illiquid investments, such as roads, ports and railways. But such projects are exactly what Africa desperately needs.
On the other hand, decades after the independence of African countries, the West still has not disabused itself of the anachronistic, parochial intention to keep Africa as its backyard.
Thus when China, a time-honored friend of Africa which used to be poor and backward but has now grown into a giant with deep pockets, rich experience and mature technologies, came out with a truly helping hand, many in the West had their eyes glow green.
Up to now, China has completed 1,046 projects in Africa, helping build 2,233 kilometers of railways and 3,530 kilometers of roads, among others. These projects have substantially improved the African people’s daily life and facilitated the African countries’ socioeconomic development.
The West, however, does not have to only sit on the side sulking and throwing muck. China alone is not enough to meet the development needs of Africa, which needs all the help it can get.
Yet in their dealings with Africa, Western countries should learn both from history and from China. Only by treating Africa with respect and equality and bearing in mind the interests of the African people can they go far on the land of hope.