The Foreign Ministry yesterday refuted reports suggesting China's economic cooperation with Africa is prompted by the continent's oil resources, calling the criticism "one-sided."
Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei made the remarks at a press briefing for home and overseas journalists on Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming visits to seven African countries.
Wen will visit Egypt, Ghana, the Republic of Congo, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda from June 17 to 24.
"Some people think that the import of oil is China's sole purpose in developing economic ties with Africa. This view is erroneous and one-sided," He said.
China and Africa have very comprehensive economic and trade ties. "We've even taken some political measures to help the African nations, including subsidies for imports to balance bilateral trade," He said.
"It fully reflects China's sincerity," he added.
China's cooperation with African countries has helped improve their people's living standards, and brought benefits to both sides, He said.
This will be Wen's second visit to Africa since he attended the Second Ministerial Conference of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Ethiopia in December 2003.
China published many African policy documents earlier this year and President Hu Jintao visited three African nations in April.
Wen will hold talks with leaders of the seven countries and exchange views on promoting bilateral relations, He said. A series of cooperative agreements will be signed between China and these countries in various fields including politics, economy, education and culture.
During his stay in Egypt, Wen will join Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Mahmoud Mohamed Nazef at the Pyramids Plateau to mark the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries, He said.
Wen will hold a press conference before winding up his visit to Egypt, and fully expound China's policies and measures to be taken toward Africa, he added.
Wen will also join a China-South Africa business forum and deliver a keynote speech during his visit to the country, he said.
During his stay in Tanzania, Wen will visit the China-aided Tanzania-Zambia railway and pay respect to the Chinese experts who died in the process of its construction, He said.
During Wen's visit to Uganda, he will visit an AIDS prevention and treatment center, and provide assistance to the center on behalf of the Chinese government.
China's trade volume with Africa totaled US$39.7 billion in 2005, and the country's direct investment in Africa reached US$1.18 billion. China has about 900 assistance projects in Africa.
(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2006)