Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his visit to Russia Sunday and started his African tour. It is evident that China attaches more importance to Africa than any other major power.
The rapid growth in Sino-African ties over the past two decades has stirred up jealousy among some countries. In addition to friendship, common practical interests between the two sides in both economics and politics have driven them closer.
Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi recently warned that Africa must get rid of its romantic view of China and see Beijing as a competitor which is capable of exploitative practices, in the same manner as the old colonial powers. Public opinion over Sino-African relations is growing increasingly complex.
In terms of values, mutual understanding and respect between China and Africa are improving. But the West, which fails to vigorously boost African development, still has a big influence on Africa when it comes to values. It is of utmost importance that China and Africa collaborate further on significant global issues.
The African continent, which has witnessed centuries of poverty and chaos, has accumulated astonishing potential for development. Those who can help Africa out of poverty and chaos will certainly be rewarded.
Western colonists, who plundered the continent, still haven't repaid their historical debts and haven't found a way to boost the healthy development of African countries.
The strategic importance that Chinese decision-makers attach to Africa should extend to all of society. There is still shortsightedness at the grass-roots level. Some ordinary Chinese focus on short-term interests and even question China's aid to Africa.
As world powers adjust their Africa policy, they inevitably face competition with China on this continent, which complicates the Sino-African relationship. But generally, the international community is gradually recognizing China's positive role in Africa's rapid development, despite continuous criticism by Western media.
It is increasingly apparent that Sino-African cooperation has long-term strategic meanings. China's peaceful development should benefit the world, especially the developing world. Only when developing regions, including Africa, share dividends from China's growth, can China firmly hold its foothold at the center of the global stage.
China needs Africa's energy and resources, and there is nothing to hide in this regard. But we can offer more besides economic aid. China can make greater contributions in helping African countries develop through their own initiatives.
It can be predicted that Xi's visit will further consolidate Sino-African relations.
The grand framework of Sino-African relations has already been created, and there is a long way ahead in terms of refining it. However, we have reasons to be optimistic.