BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- China's trade and economic cooperation with Africa plays a positive role in the continent's development, a Ministry of Commerce (MOC) spokesman said Tuesday.
China's foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa approached 20 billion U.S. dollars by 2012, with 3 billion U.S. dollars added to the total last year, according to MOC data.
Such surging economic activities have aroused suspicions like those recently voiced by Nigerian central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, who wrote in the Financial Times that "Africa must shake off its romantic view of China and accept Beijing is a competitor as much as a partner and capable of the same exploitative practices as the old colonial powers."
Responding to a question concerning the governor's comments, MOC spokesman Shen Danyang said at a press conference that China has been exerting every effort to aid Africa in social and economic development.
"I suggest the governor carefully study the history of colonialism," Shen said. "The trade and economic cooperation between China and Africa has nothing to do with colonialism."
The cooperation between the two sides covers traditional areas like agriculture, mining and modern industries including manufacturing, financing, real estate and tourism.
"It's wrong to consider China's FDI in Africa to be only focusing on mining and agriculture," Shen said.
China has also pumped 1.84 billion U.S. dollars into funding 61 projects in Africa and built six trade zones mainly for the processing industry, moves which have created jobs for over 10,000 Africans.
"China's imports of African primary goods followed the market rule," Shen said, "and more trade in manufactured goods further benefited the region."