South Africa: Engaging China – Business Day editorial

From an editorial in ’s Business Day:

It is only recently that China and SA have sought to broaden their relationship. Wen’s visit, the first official one to SA by a Chinese prime minister, holds out prospects as well as challenges. It will help build ties and perhaps give impetus to, among other things, greater Chinese investment in SA, the start of talks on a free-trade agreement, and the implementation of an accord for China to restrict its textile exports to SA. But we hope the visit will also mark the start of SA talking more forthrightly to China about some of the thornier issues — such as violations of intellectual property rights, China’s export of arms to Africa, and its human rights violations. China wants a deeper engagement with SA and there is no reason not to have plain talk as part of this. [Full text]

See also Xinhua’s June 9 story “China defends economic co-op with Africa“:

China’s Foreign Ministry on Friday refuted reports suggesting China’s economic cooperation with Africa is prompted by the continent’s oil resources, calling the criticism “one-sided”.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei made the remarks at a press briefing for home and overseas journalists on Premier Wen Jiabao’s upcoming official visits to seven African countries…

“Some people think that energy, the import of oil, is China’s sole purpose in developing economic ties with Africa. This view is erroneous and one-sided,” He said.



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