British scholar: China's trade, investment in Africa benefit all

2008-07-14 16:37:55 GMT       2008-07-15 00:37:55 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

LONDON, July 14 (Xinhua) -- China's trade and investment in Africa benefits not only Africans, but the European and the United States as well, a British researcher has said.

Bill Durodie, associate fellow with the Royal Institute of International Affairs, made the remarks on Saturday in his speech at a one-day conference entitled "Battle for China," which aims to present a balanced portrayal of China in the West.

China provides financing to Africa in the form of direct investment or loans which the West is not too keen on.

African countries that have been growing at 5-6 percent a year for a decade need new roads, power stations and manufactured goods. Investment from China helps these African countries to build roads, railways, hospitals and schools, he said.

Unlike others in the region, he pointed out, the Chinese have a reputation for paying promptly and well. The Chinese, "with their no-strings-attached investment policies, have been so welcomed across the continent. Chinese loans come with few demands, benchmark conditions, requirements for risk audits and environmental impact assessments. But they do get things done."

While acknowledging problems in the course of China's trade and investment in Africa as other countries may also have, he stressed that Western countries' criticizing on China's new role and impact on Africa is a sign of the Western imagination's inability to view Africans as capable of dealing with their own problems and the West's obsession with viewing China as malign.

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