US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s recent remarks about China’s role in Africa detach from reality, and the attempt to smear China is quite self-embarrassing, Chinese ambassador to South Africa lashed out the bizarre allegation on March 12.
The US top diplomat “has obviously chosen the wrong place, wrong topic against the wrong target. Sorry to say this is quite self-embarrassing,” Lin Songtian said as Tillerson wrapped up his eight-day African trip on March 13.
Also on the same day Tillerson finished his trip in Africa, US President Donald Trump announced he was replacing Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The abrupt replacement drew a defective conclusion to Tillerson’s maiden official visit to Africa, during which he lodged a series of groundless accusations against China-Africa cooperation, which have been resisted by both Chinese and African political heavyweights and media.
African people know best and are in the best position to say whether the China-Africa cooperation is good or not, Lin highlighted, adding that as a veteran diplomat that has long been engaged in China-Africa ties, he knows well China’s diplomatic policy towards Africa and what China really did in the continent.
China’s growing popularity in Africa not only comes from empty lectures or condescending attitudes to tell what to do or not, but from a great deal of sincere and concrete actions to help Africa realize durable peace and self-sustainable development, said the ambassador, who has visited over 30 African countries up to now.
With concerted efforts of both sides, China has been not only Africa’s largest trading partner for nine years in a row, but also its most important source of investment and tourists, Lin noted, stressing that the grateful African people appreciated all of what the Chinese government and people did for them.
Refuting the slander that Chinese investment leads to mounting debts in Africa, the Chinese diplomat explained that adopting a philosophy of intensive development, the Chinese government is helping Africa propel infrastructure construction and industrial development in a synchronized way, so that the railway, roads and other facilities could spur the industrial growth, and the latter can ensure the former’s sustained operation.
In this way, China can make sure that all the China-funded projects can generate social and economic benefits for local community, and equip them with debt-paying ability, Lin furthered.
Lin also described the blames that China endangered Africa’s natural resources as nonsense, saying that the accuser turned a blind eye to the facts, and forgot to see what themselves did.
“China is a newcomer in Africa. Africa’s oil and mineral resources have long been explored and exploited, most of which have been controlled and monopolized by Western countries,” he rebuked the ill-grounded accusations.
An increasing number of Chinese enterprises have established business in Africa, bringing over $100 billion of investment to and creating millions of jobs for the continent, Lin pointed out.
China and its enterprises have transferred skills and technology, and ensured the basic human rights of hundreds of thousands of African people, he added.
“Africa is mature and wise enough to identify who is a cooperation partner it really needs, and we hope relevant countries never drag themselves to embarrassment once again,” he underlined.
Tillerson said on March 13 he was delegating his official duties to Deputy State Secretary John Sullivan, and his tenure would terminate on March 31.
By Li Zhiwei, Li Yingyan