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Information Counsellor Zhou Pingjian: to label equal members of AU, UN as 'Africa's contemptibles' imprudent

(Ask the Embassy)


Themba, from Ormonde, Johannesburg writes:

Did you notice the article, Beijing woos Africa's contemptibles (July 18, Business Day)? Any comment?


Information Counsellor Zhou Pingjian

Thanks for reminding us, Themba. In my view, Mr. Alec Wescott's article was crying wolf.

To begin with, I don't think it is prudent to label some countries as 'Africa's contemptilbes'. All the countries referred in the article, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Angola, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Nigeria, are equal members of the African family and the international community. All members of the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) should be treated equally and fairly.

Furthermore, China has all along been handling state-to-state affairs in accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as well as the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the acknowledged norms governing international relations. China develops friendly cooperation with all countries in the world on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, be they 'Africa's contemptilbes' as Mr. Wescott inconsiderately labeled or not.

Moreover, business is business. To develop trade and economic cooperation and normal relations with one country does not necessarily mean the support of any policy of that country. With every major western powers enjoying strong economic ties with China, is each of them happy about every policy of China? Or, while making loud noises about some polices of China, is any of them pursuing a policy of disengaging China? That's crystal clear to all.

More than 2500 years ago, the great Chinese philosopher Confucius set the Golden Rule, 'What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others', which applys even today. We will never allow others to interfere in China's internal affairs. So we sincerely adhere to the principle of non-interference. We Chinese don't think that we outsmart the people in any African country.

To get the problems in so called 'Africa's contemptibles' solved by disengagement or even sanction is wishful thinking. In its own way, China fully supports Africa's strenuous efforts to make this beautiful continent of hope more stable, democratic and prosperous.

Time will tell the good faith of the Chinese people.

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