U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was critical of foreign assistance and trade by the People’s Republic of China. Mrs. Clinton made the comments in Africa where she was asked about the country that has overtaken the United States as Africa’s top trading partner.
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,” she 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.
“It is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave,” Mrs. Clinton said. “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.”
An editorial in the state-run English-language China Daily newspaper, responding to Mrs. 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 state-run newspaper says the African people are wise enough to be able to identify who are their true friends.
“They don’t need lectures in this regard,” it said.