US only damages Africa's interests by seeking exclusivity on the continent: FM
People's Daily Online
By Global Times Published: Apr 28, 2021 05:43 PM
The US should take practical actions to help African countries that are facing COVID-19 challenges and refrain from seeking exclusivity and competition with China on the continent, which would only sabotage the interests of African countries, China 's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"If the US seeks to force African countries to choose one out of two in exclusive terms, it would damage Africa's interest. African countries and their people would not allow it," Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the ministry, told a press conference in Beijing.
On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken started his virtual trip to Africa, positioning the US as a better alternative to China for cooperation with the continent. Robert Godec, a senior US official on African affairs, said that the US would provide a "meaningful alternative to China's economic approach" on the continent, one that will be "most attractive."
Zhao reiterated that it is a fundamental component of China's foreign policy to maintain friendly relationship with Africa. For 31 years, China's Foreign Minister has been choosing African countries as the destination for their New Year trips.
China's economic cooperation with African countries has also borne significant fruit. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been held for 20 years, and the total trade volume between China and Africa also rose 20-fold over the past two decades. China's direct foreign investment in the continent has grown by 100 fold, directly benefiting people in China as well as African countries.
"China's cooperation with Africa has been based on respect for the African people and the needs of African countries," Zhao said, "China and Africa are good friends and companions that share the same destiny."
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