China, Africa to avoid falling into zero-sum trap

NAIROBI. – The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s recent virtual trip to Africa turned out to be another Washington’s political trick to drive a wedge between China and Africa.

What is quite interesting about the virtual trip is that Blinken, never stops telling the cliches of so-called China threat or debt trap to smear China, said that the United States is not asking anyone to choose between the United States and China.

The real intention behind Washington’s words and deeds is too obvious. It is attempting to put on a zero-sum game, disrupt China-Africa cooperation, and exclusively advance American interests in Africa. 

However, China and Africa would not fall into that trap of zero-sum thinking. History tells the most trustworthy facts that China and Africa enjoy a long-lasting friendship. 

Historical records have shown that renowned ancient Chinese navigator Zheng He had travelled to Africa around 600 years ago. The fleet he led had traded porcelain, tea, and silk with locals’ ivory and ambergris, in a fair and friendly manner.

Zheng’s voyages were an open chapter of the friendly exchanges between China and Africa. The China-aided Tanzania-Zambia Railway built more than half a century ago, and today’s growing China-Africa cooperation are also good results of China-Africa friendly relationship.

However, in stark contrast, the exchange history between the Western countries and Africa is full of misdeeds of invasion and colonization. Therefore, those groundless accusations that attempted to provoke anti-China sentiment are merely futile.

Moreover, China-Africa relations continue to develop strongly. Over the past 20 more years since the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China-Africa trade has increased by 20 times. 

Meanwhile, China’s investment in Africa surged by more than 100 times in value from 2000 to 2017.

Flagship projects constructed with China’s support have largely promoted Africa’s prosperity and development, and have created an enormous number of jobs for local people while also guaranteeing their access to basic services such as water, electricity, transport, and skill learning. China is the largest developing country, and has gained great experience in poverty reduction. It is willing to share its development experience with its African friends and other developing countries that uphold the same aspiration to let their people live better lives. 

A recent survey conducted in 18 African countries by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research organisation, showed that up to 60 percent of Africans believe China’s economic and political influence in Africa is positive.

Nowadays, China-Africa cultural and people-to-people exchanges are booming. Many young Africans dream of going to China for further study and then coming back to help build their home countries. As more African people come to China, they get the chance to see the real China with their own eyes, and get to know what the Western world has portrayed is untrue and distorted.

In Africa, numerous words of wisdom tell how mankind should cooperate rather than going against each other. “Wisdom is like a baobab tree, one individual cannot embrace it.” Such words are ringing truer in today’s world as no single country alone can tackle global crises such as climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and terrorism.

In this fast changing world, China and Africa will surely continue to work together and stride forward along the path of building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future. Those who have been addicting to the zero-sum game and attempting to drive a wedge between China and Africa could well save their strength. – Xinhua.

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