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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

China strongly refutes United States claims of 'debt diplomacy'

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday refuted the U.S. allegation that China uses so-called "dept diplomacy" to expand its influence globally, and urged the U.S. side to correctly view China’s cooperation with developing countries.

In a recent speech, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence charged China with using so-called "debt diplomacy" to expand its influence around the world. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, during his visit to Vietnam, said China adopted "predatory economic behavior" and piled massive debt on smaller countries that is difficult to repay.

"The United States, presented with multiple facts and statistics, repeatedly fabricated lies and made irresponsible remarks out of its own political needs.

"This is disappointing," spokesperson Lu Kang told a routine press briefing.

China understands the difficulties faced by developing countries and cooperates with them using its own development experience and within its own capabilities, and China assists them without any political conditions, Lu said.

He said such cooperation has strongly promoted the economic and social development of relevant countries and improved the wellbeing of the people.

"For example, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway, which was financed and built by China, has created nearly 50,000 jobs for Kenya.

"The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor contributed 2.5 percentage points to Pakistan’s GDP growth in 2016," Lu said, adding that such cooperation is welcomed in many developing countries.

In fact, China-related cooperation projects only account for a very small part of the debt of the related regions and countries that the U.S. side has been hyping up recently, and not a single country is caught in the "debt trap" due to cooperation with China, Lu said.

"By the end of 2017, China’s loans accounted for only about 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt.

China’s total loans to the Philippines are less than 1 percent of its foreign debt."

"The Sri Lankan ambassador to China recently said the allegation that the Chinese government had dragged Sri Lanka into the ‘debt trap’ was completely wrong.

"The Pakistani finance minister also refuted the U.S. statement that the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor triggered a debt crisis in Pakistan.

"I think these countries have the most say," Lu said.

At the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, many African leaders also voiced their objections to the fallacy that China-Africa cooperation has worsened the debt burdens of the continent, Lu said, noting that they had expressed their desire for development, financing and cooperation.

The United States will not receive support by indiscreetly pinning labels on China, he said.

"We urge the U.S. side to correctly view China’s cooperation with developing countries, and hope it does more practical things for the development of those countries, rather than stand idle and stir up troubles."

It is unethical for some country to serve its own political needs at the expense of the wellbeing of the people in developing countries, Lu added.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Africa-China relationship is mutually beneficial: South African academics

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The relationship between Africa and China is mutually beneficial and China has great experiences to share with Africa in areas such as poverty alleviation and fight against corruption, according to South African academics.

The co-director of the University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI), David Monyae made the remarks during a speech on Tuesday about China-Africa relations at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"The Africa-China partnership is far from a zero-sum relationship, as both parties have gained from it.

"It is important to have relations with China, which accounts for 15 percent of the global economy and 37 percent of all developing markets," said Monyae.

He said that China wants to alleviate poverty and create a new world order which is not dominated by one single country.

"Don’t listen to the debt trap noise.

"The Chinese debt is less than most Western countries." said Monyae.

He said Africa’s future lies in the strategic relations with China.

According to him, China has contributed to Africa’s infrastructure development, citing the notable example of Chinese-built Mombasa-Nairobi railway line in Kenya.

"Let us not point fingers on China but at ourselves for some problems.

"Our leaders should negotiate with China to advance our interest.

"Our leaders should raise issues with China in a fair and factual way and not in a propaganda one." he said.

China has also provided scholarships for African students, and Monyae challenged other countries to compete with China in providing scholarships and critical job skills to Africans.

Monyae further called on Africa to learn from China’s war against corruption and its experience in alleviating poverty, saying that African government officials and party leaders go to China for trainings, and they should learn how to lock up those people involved in corruption.

Bob Wekesa, journalism lecturer with University of Witwatersrand, also said that China’s partnership is crucial for Africa to achieve the sustainable development goals.
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XINHUA COMMENTARY:

Expansionism not in China’s blood, nor on its agenda

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- In a recent systematic smear campaign against China, the United States has been attempting to pin all kinds of tags on the Asian country, including labelling Beijing’s foreign policy as expansionist.

Apparently, Washington is either in need of taking history lessons, or has chosen to ignore the historical facts that do not fit into its China-bashing narrative.

The cultural values that have sustained the millennia-old Chinese civilization treasure peace, harmony and commitment to the common good, and reject the pursuit of hegemony.

Expansionism is not in the Chinese nation’s blood, and thus has never been on its policy agenda.

That tradition has continued since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949 and it has been deeply embedded in Beijing’s diplomatic guidelines of promoting peace, development and win-win cooperation.

And it has helped put China on a path of peaceful development and opening-up, undergirding Beijing’s commitment not to interfering in other countries’ internal affairs but to working with the rest of the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The concrete efforts and outstanding contributions China has made to global peace and development should not be ignored, misinterpreted or distorted.

As a responsible major country, China is now the second largest source of funding for UN peacekeeping missions in the world, as well as the largest contributor to peacekeeping troops among UN Security Council permanent members.

Its role has proved conducive and irreplaceable in the international efforts to resolve the nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula and in Iran, as well as the problems in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Syria and South Sudan, among others.

With a peaceful approach, China has settled its land border disputes with most of its neighbors and stabilized the situation in the South China Sea.

Also notably, the five-year-old Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has been joined by over 130 countries and organizations, has yielded enormous results, boosting local growth and improving people’s livelihood. African leaders have refuted as groundless such accusations as "resources predation" or "debt trap" against the initiative.

Facts always speak louder. It is fair to say that, while pointing an accusing finger at China, the United States has failed to see that the "America First" policy and the zero-sum mentality behind it have reduced itself to an egoist state.

As far as the international community is concerned, it is certainly more disruptive than constructive to the global order and governance that such a superpower as the United States is bent on quitting international institutions and agreements, among which are the Paris climate deal, UNESCO and the Iran nuclear agreement.

In addition, it is not hard to find that many global and regional troubles, including political instability, terrorism and immigrant crises, are rooted in the U.S. egoism, arrogance and irresponsibility.

Meddling and bullying have largely featured in the U.S. maneuvers to maintain its political, economic and military dominance worldwide.

Washington’s slander against China, no matter how nobly-worded it is, can never fool sober minds.

With China and the United States being the world’s top two economies and UN Security Council permanent members, a soured relationship between them does no good to global peace, stability and prosperity.

At the critical juncture of their relations, only by stepping toward each other and joining hands can they overcome difficulties and lead the world to a better tomorrow. It is time for Washington to make a sensible decision.

             

 

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