CAPE TOWN, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- China sees South Africa as equal, particularly in doing business, President Jacob Zuma said in an interview broadcast on Thursday.
China is unlike former Western colonial powers who still act like Africa's master, Zuma told CNBC Africa.
"The countries that have been dealing with us before, particularly old economies, they've dealt with us as former subjects, as former colonial subjects," Zuma said.
"The Chinese don't deal with us from that point of view. They deal with us as people that you must do business (with), at an equal level so to speak. It's not the Chinese only, there are many other countries," Zuma said. "China has come to do business, not to try to tell you what to do, what not to do. Others do."
"Part of the reason Africa, as much as it (was) decolonized many years ago, has never developed is because the relationships are not equal," Zuma said.
He called the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) as a new partner with Africa.
South Africa can lobby the grouping to base a planned development bank on the continent, which would be impossible with Western partners, Zuma said.
China has become Africa's largest trade partner, and Africa is now China's major import source, second largest overseas construction project contract market and fourth largest investment destination.
In 2009, China became Africa's No. 1 trade partner. In the following two years, the scale of China-Africa trade expanded rapidly. In 2012, the total volume of China-Africa trade reached 198.49 billion U.S. dollars, with a year-on-year growth of 19.3 percent, according to official statistics.