Are Accusation of a ‘New Colonialism’ by China in Africa Unfair?

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China has steadily grow its influence in Africa

The so-called “new colonialism” allegation that China has exploited Africa’s resources is unfair, given that China has made great efforts to help the continent’s development and benefit its people, a Chinese official said Thursday.

“Some countries spread the rumour that China has conducted colonialist resource-grabbing in Africa, or the so called ‘new colonialism.’ It is an unfair accusation,” Sun Zhenyu, chairman of China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said at the second China Overseas Investment Summit (COIS).

“Oil export to China accounted for 13 percent of Africa’s total over the past century and more, while the figures for the United States, and the European Union was 30 percent and 37 percent, respectively,” said Sun, adding that China has helped the continent build more than 2,000 km of railway, over 3,000 km of roads, over 100 schools and more than 60 hospitals.

Sun meanwhile said that Chinese enterprises must abide by relevant laws and regulations in their overseas investment, as irregular practices will have negative consequences and deteriorate the overall investment environment.

Chinese companies also need to pay attention to ecological environment protection and handle properly local labor relations, he said.

China pledged 20 billion U.S. dollars of credit line to African countries in July, which will assist the development of infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, and small and medium- sized enterprises in the continent.

Africa has become one of China’s top investment destinations, with more than 2,000 Chinese enterprises investing in the continent. Accumulated investment from China has surpassed 40 billion dollars by the end of 2011.