News / Asia

Clinton 'Concerned' by Chinese Trade Practices in Africa

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Zambia's President Rupiah Banda share a laugh following their press availability at the State House in Lusaka, Zambia, Friday, June 10, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Zambia's President Rupiah Banda share a laugh following their press availability at the State House in Lusaka, Zambia, Friday, June 10, 2011

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she is concerned by Chinese aid and investment policies in Africa.

Trade was a centerpiece of Secretary Clinton's trip to Africa this week as she met with business leaders to discuss continuing duty-free access to U.S. markets under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

So it is no surprise that everywhere she went - in Zambia, in Tanzania and in Ethiopia - Clinton was asked about the country that has overtaken the United States as Africa's top trading partner:  China.

"China's presence in Africa reflects the reality that it has important and growing interests here on the continent including access to resources and markets as well as developing closer diplomatic ties. The United States does not see these Chinese interests as inherently incompatible with our own interests,” she said.

Chinese-African trade rose more than 40 percent, last year, to nearly $127 billion.  Much of that was centered on mineral and oil exports, as Beijing looks to fuel its massive economy.

Secretary Clinton says the Obama administration hopes that China will be successful in its economic efforts on behalf of the Chinese people and that it will assume a greater, and more responsible role in addressing challenges in Africa.

"We are, however, 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.  And, that it has not always utilized the talents of the African people in pursuing its business interests,” he said.

Large Chinese construction projects in Africa often employ Chinese workers housed at the site.  African trade unions have complained that those projects do not create jobs or job training for local workers.

Clinton says U.S. diplomats in Africa are reaching out to Chinese colleagues to explore potential areas of cooperation while assessing China's overall role in Africa.

"We want to work more closely with China and other countries to make sure that when we are engaged with Africa, we are doing it in a sustainable manner that will benefit the nations and people of Africa,” she said.

Although Washington has been replaced as Africa's top trading partner, it is still Africa's largest aid donor.  Clinton says U.S. investment and assistance programs in Africa are based on partnership, not patronage, unlike those who deal only with Africa's elites and often undermine good governance.

"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.  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,” said Clinton.

An editorial in the state-run English-language China Daily newspaper, responding to Clinton's comments, says China has never colonized any nation in Africa.  The editorial says, on the contrary, it is well known to African people and the world that China has helped Africa build many schools and hospitals.

The editorial says many African governments regard Chinese investment as an opportunity and welcome Beijing's consistent policy of noninterference in domestic affairs.  It says the strategic partnership with Africa has nothing to do with neocolonialism and is instead based on principles of sincerity, friendship and mutual benefit on an equal footing.

The state-run newspaper says the African people are wise enough to be able to identify who are their true friends.  It says, “They don't need lectures in this regard.”


You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid