BEIJING, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- An opinion of the People's Daily Wednesday rebutted U.S. President Barack Obama's labeling China as a "free rider" in Iraq.
Obama, in an interview with the New York Times earlier this month, implied that China has profited through others' efforts in Iraq, saying Chinese developers in the war-torn country have been "free riders for the last 30 years, and it's worked really well for them."
The remarks came "out of nowhere" and laid bare the "confused logic" of the U.S. administrations, which have made a string of mistakes in Iraq and had to face with growing threat from extremism, said the opinion in the leading newspaper in China.
Attributing the turmoil Iraqi people have suffered over the past 11 years to the U.S.-led war against Iraq, the article said the United States is "embarrassing itself" by comparing the role it played in Iraq with that of China.
The United States is obviously the "invader" and "deserter" of Iraq, whereas China has been a "partner" and "builder," the opinion said, listing China's efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Iraqi people and to reinvigorate its economy, and citing Chinese contractors engaged in oil and telecommunications projects for reconstruction in Iraq.
A Chinese Middle East envoy pledged in July that China would firmly stand with the Iraqis in their efforts to preserve sovereignty and independence as well as combat terrorism, the opinion said.
"The U.S. assertion that China is a 'free rider' in Iraq is ridiculous," it said.