SOUTH AFRICA – The Chinese Ambassador to South Africa H.E Lin Songtian has recently hit back at the claims of China spying on the African Union Headquarters. In a article published by the French newspaper Le Monde, the writer falsely accused China of transmitting sensitive data back to a server in Shanghai using computers that the nation has supplied to the AU in 2012. These claims have been denounced by the Chinese government due to their slanderous and malicious nature.
In a media briefing held by Ambassador Lin on 4 February, he stated that China’s aid to Africa played a unique and important role in supporting the continent to realize self sustainable development. Among the many projects conducted by the Chinese, the African Union Headquarters building complex in Addis Ababa was a major effort of China to support African integration and unity for strength. It is the most modern building on the African continent and was requested to be built by the AU itself, thus, it is a symbol of China-Africa friendship in the new century. Therefore, these shocking allegations made by Western media is preposterous and does not even deserve a response.
Since taking office, Chinese President Xi Jinping has clearly given instructions that China’s relations with Africa must be dealt with principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, as well as to uphold the values of friendship, justice and shared interests. The essence of this instruction is to closely combine China’s self-development and Africa’s realization of self-sustainable development, so as to realize win-win cooperation for common development.
During the 2015 FOCAC Johannesburg Summit, President Xi Jinping announced China Africa Ten Major Cooperative Plans with a commitment of 60 billion US dollars of financial support to help Africa accelerate industrialization and agricultural modernization. Currently, China stands as Africa’s largest trading partner and the most important investor in infrastructure development. The China Africa production capacity cooperation is also moving forward rapidly with four pilot African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Republic of Congo.
It is a strong belief of China that without economic independence, there will never be true political independence. It is, therefore, the Chinese government’s political commitment to sincerely help African countries to realize this economic independence. The pursuit of equality, mutual trust, and mutually beneficial cooperation is the fundamental characteristics and the unique strength of China’s policy towards Africa.
Ambassador Lin further stated that during the cooperation with Africa, China has never attached any political strings and has never made others do things against their will. Neither has China interfered with other nations’ domestic affairs or made an empty promise to any African country. Therefore, there is absolutely no need for China to resort to such despicable and disgraceful moves to gather information, like other nations have done. It is worth mentioning that the AU building’s computers all carry chips that are controlled by the West, out of China’s ability to maneuver.
China, Africa, and the cooperation between the two regions have always been viewed by the West through a colored lens. Through their political bias, it is unrealistic to expect Western media to portray real and truthful stories behind the China Africa cooperation and friendship. At the end of the day, false reports such as this one does not only hurt China’s image, but also Africa’s fundamental and long term development interests. Ambassador Lin ended in saying that as Africa’s reliable development partner, China will never do anything against the interest of the African countries and their people.