23 June 2006
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has reassured African states that China’s generosity towards poor countries has no hidden agendas and comes with “no strings attached”.
“Our cooperation with African countries is transparent, open and inclusive and we will always promote a win-win situation,” he said at the opening of the China-South Africa Business Cooperation Forum in Cape Town on Thursday, during his two-day visit to South Africa.
“China has endeavored to provide assistance without any political strings attached to our brothers and sisters in Africa to the best of our ability,” he said.
Wen cited the almost one thousand social and economic projects China had initiated in and for the benefit of African countries over the years as evidence that his country had no negative intentions.
“We respect the social system and development strategy pursued by African countries in light of their particular national conditions. We do not seek to export our own values and developmental models to Africa.”
With Africa calling for equitable representation at the UN Security Council, Wen said his country would not hesitate to lend its support to the positions adopted by the continent internationally and domestically.
“We will continue to speak out for the interests of Africa at international forums and support African countries in their efforts to safeguard sovereignty, independence and promote regional peace and stability,” he said.
Also at the forum, Deputy President Mlambo-Ngcuka said China and South Africa had a lot in common, and the two countries had much to gain by working together.
“Both countries are currently under pressure to deliver on Millennium Development goals, we both face energy challenges and our economies are characterised by the huge gap between the first and second economy,” she said.
She said working together would allow the two countries to learn from each other’s experiences.
Thursday’s forum is likely to result in more investment between China and South Africa in the areas of infrastructure development, tourism and minerals beneficiation. Both countries are currently exploring pebble-bed nuclear reactor technology to increase energy outputs.
“This is one of the areas where we will be cooperating in,” Mlambo-Ngcuka confirmed.