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China Says Interests In Africa Are No Threat To The United States

Beijing (AFP) Dec 06, 2005
China said Tuesday its activities in Africa are no threat to the United States, rejecting a US study claiming Beijing challenges its interests in the continent.

"The Chinese government has consistently attached importance to Africa. China and Africa share a traditional friendship," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a regular briefing.

"To step up friendship and cooperation with African people has been consistently part and parcel of China's independent foreign policy of peace."

"This is not targeted at any third party. This benefits Africa as well as China," Qin said.

"Some people drum up the so-called threat of China's activities in Africa to American interests, this is groundless and does not hold water."

The study by a non-partisan task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations concluded China was challenging US interests and values in Africa, shielding "rogue states," harming the environment and thwarting anti-corruption drives.

Beijing and the United States are on opposite sides in a new struggle for influence and resources in the new "playing field" of Africa, the study, released this month, said.

The communist giant has wielded its veto to frustrate United Nations Security Council sanctions against Sudan over Darfur, and is the "principal supporter" of vilified Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, the report said.

Beijing was able to use its growing economic might to undermine US and Western efforts to use aid and investments to lever African governments to flush out corruption and embrace good governance, it said.

The task force also warned that Chinese textiles exports to Africa were undermining local industry, and it hinted that China could become a key competitor as the US seeks to extract more oil from Africa, as other world supplies dwindle.

Beijing is also accused of contributing to serious environmental damage by importing timber through unlicensed loggers who deprive governments of much-needed revenue.

Qin argued Tuesday that areas of cooperation between China and Africa contribute to peace, stability and development in African countries.

A senior US official, who recently returned from Beijing, disputed the idea of a Sino-US race for influence in Africa. The taskforce's report said it would be wrong to describe Beijing as an "adversary" in Africa.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Indian And Russian Leaders Seal Defence Deal In Moscow
Moscow (AFP) Dec 06, 2005
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