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MFA Spokesperson Lu Kang's Comments over the Remarks of the President of European Parliament on China's African Policy

Q: According to media reports, President of the European Parliament Tajani said on March 29 that Africa risks becoming a Chinese colony. He called on the EU to pour billions of investments and develop a long-term strategy, so as to lay the ground for strategic development. What is your comment?

A: What Mr. President of the European Parliament said was astonishing. I have no clue about what logic led him to that conclusion. I would suggest that he learn some basic facts before making comments, maybe that will make his words sound more serious. At least he should first know the following.

First, there is no concept of colonizing others in China's foreign policies and diplomatic philosophy. It seems that most of the countries that have pursued colonial policies worldwide since modern times are European countries.

Second, there is no stain of colonialism in China's diplomatic practices. When we look at the history of Africa, it seems that the countries that colonized the African continent by force were all European countries. And the origin of poverty, turbulence and quite some conflicts in today's Africa are rooted in European colonialism.

Third, I guess when Mr. President criticized and speculated about the hidden strategic intentions of China's investment in Africa and our cooperation with African countries, he might have forgotten the fact that China's assistance to Africa, China's investment with Africa, and China's cooperation in Africa, does not start today, but were already in existence  in the early years of the People's Republic of China, when China itself was still a very poor and underdeveloped country. The very thing that bonded the Chinese and African people together was the fight of the African continent against European colonialism. As time passes, China's support for Africa has expanded from Africa's political independence to its economic independence. No matter what others might think of that, the African people have applauded this support. As you can see, the Johannesburg summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2015 introduced ten major plans for China-Africa cooperation, which involve nearly US$60 billion. These plans have already yielded early results.

From this perspective, I would agree with Mr. President of the European Parliament on one point. We hope the EU can truly increase its investment in Africa and take concrete steps to help African countries get rid of poverty and achieve independent development. It is our hope, and also the hope of the African people, only that their help should not be attached with any political conditions.

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