Beijing — Bilateral cooperation between China and Africa has benefited both sides for half a century and disproves the accusation that China pursues neocolonialism in Africa.
According to Longman Dictionary, "neocolonialism" means "when a powerful country uses its economic and political influence to control another country."
The accusation against China is groundless as China has never been condescending, has never interfered in the internal affairs of African countries and has never made empty promises in its cooperation with Africa.
The accusation is untenable as China has in fact helped African countries build more than 1,000 projects without attaching any conditions.
The accusation is false as Confucius-influenced China, which had suffered colonial and semi-colonial rule in modern times, has never intended to "control" African countries as it believes "Do not do onto others what you do not want others do onto you."
China and Africa are good brothers who share weal and woe. Their long-standing friendship can be traced back to 50 years ago when late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai paid his first visit to Africa.
During the visit, Zhou put forward the Five Principles for relations between China and African and Arab countries as well as the Eight Principles for China's aid to foreign countries.
Zhou clearly stated that China supported African countries and peoples in their just struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neocolonialism, and for national independence and safeguarding national sovereignty.
He also said China would provide assistance within its capacity and with no conditions attached in support of African countries' efforts to develop their national economy.
The principles raised by Zhou were highly commended by African countries and laid a solid foundation for the development of friendship and cooperation between China and Africa. From them China has never deviated.
"In its cooperation with Africa, China has always upheld the principles of equality, mutual benefit, real results, efficiency, sincerity and credibility and never attached any political strings to its assistance to Africa," Premier Li Keqiang said before starting his four-nation tour in Africa, adding that this has been China's decades-long practice without any deviation.
Nowadays, China and Africa are good friends engaged in equal cooperation and good partners committed to common development.
Those who point fingers at China may only notice that China has benefited from its investment in Africa, but ignore the fact that China-Africa cooperation has helped improve Africa's investment environment and its people's livelihood.
They should not turn a blind eye to the fact that African people's living and working conditions have bettered thanks to the numerous infrastructure projects built with Chinese assistance, including schools, hospitals, stadiums and urban water and power supply systems.
Moreover, to lessen Africa's burden, China had altogether canceled 20 billion yuan (about 3.2 billion U.S. dollars) worth of debts owed by African countries by the end of 2013.
Africa, once a victim of bitter colonialism, knows the true meaning of neocolonialism. That's why when African officials refute the accusation that China is a "neocolonialist" in Africa, it is very convincing.
"China offers unconditional donations while asking us for nothing, which few countries do. Countries that never helped us but point fingers at China's cooperation with us might just be jealous," said Kassim Issak Osman, Djibouti's health minister. - Xinhua