Uhuru defends China against neo-colonialism allegations
06 December 2015, 10:20
Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday lambasted allegations by certain Western countries that China was imposing "new colonialism" on Africa.
There have been detractors who constantly insinuate that China's intentions in Africa could be similar to those of the colonialists, the president told reporters on the sidelines of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
It is "a big wrong misconception" to allege that China comes to Africa to colonize the continent, he noted.
"The perception that China is the new colonizer is a complete misrepresentation of Beijing's activities here in Africa. Achievement of mutual benefits is the basis of Sino-Africa cooperation," Kenyatta remarked.
He added that Kenya has realized great strides like infrastructure development and skills transfer thanks to the partnership with China.
"I don't think that a partner who is helping us fight poverty and other development challenges can be called a colonizer. China is asking us how we can partner to achieve our development priorities," said Kenyatta.
China's presence in Africa "is focused on our needs and not on what they can get from us", Kenyatta said.
What China is doing in Africa is good for the sustainable development of the continent, he said, adding that Africa and China are partners working on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits.
"China is ready to help us develop and meet our socio-economic objectives without imposing its agenda on us. This is the outstanding aspect of our cooperation with China," Kenyatta remarked.
China is doing what the colonialists failed to do in the past: help Africa out of poverty, the president said.
This marked a strong contrast with what colonialists were doing before, he stressed.
Relations between African countries and China are entering a critical phase as both sides focus attention on areas that generate real benefits to citizens, Kenyatta said.
The African and Chinese leaders will pursue a partnership that is sincere and mutually beneficial, he said.
The president was upbeat that the resolutions to be adopted at the sixth FOCAC summit will reflect the needs and aspirations of the African people.
"I'm optimistic that the outcomes of the summit will be in line with our goal to strengthen future cooperation with China. The new focus on China-Africa cooperation centers on industrialization, modernization of agriculture and training," said Kenyatta.
Sino-Africa cooperation is set to be enhanced as it has stood out due to its focus on practical results, mutual benefits and sincerity from both sides, he said.
Kenyatta was among dozens of African leaders who were attending the first FOCAC summit held in the African continent on Friday and Saturday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his African counterparts are expected to adopt new resolutions to revitalize bilateral cooperation between China and African states when the summit ends on Saturday afternoon.