Cat fight over Africa mounts between U.S. and China

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(NNPA)—The daggers are starting to come out between the U.S. and China as the Asian giant displaces the U.S. as Africa’s number one trading partner.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at a recent forum on trade in Zambia, made slighting references to China’s growing African role.

“We are concerned that China’s foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance,” she said.  “(China) has not always utilized the talents of the African people in pursuing its business interests.”

“It is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave.  And, when you leave, you don’t leave much behind for the people who are there,” Clinton continued.

“You don’t improve the standard of living.  You don’t create a ladder of opportunity.  We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa.”

But an editorial in the state-run English-language China Daily newspaper took issue with Secretary Clinton, pointing out that China had never colonized any nation in Africa.  “On the contrary, it is well known to African people and the world that China has helped Africa build many schools, hospitals and other infrastructure, which has benefited many African people.

“China has also been regularly reducing and canceling the debt of poor African countries and continues to provide preferential loans and credit support for them,” the piece titled “Africa Ties Benefit Both” said.

In a final one-two punch, the state-run newspaper added that African people were wise enough to be able to identify their true friends, writing: “They don’t need lectures in this regard.”

(Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network.)

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