BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday launched an 11-day tour of Africa, lobbying African leaders to cooperate with so-called responsible nations rather than countries focusing on exploitation.
Although the U.S. top diplomat did not mention any country by name, her remarks were widely interpreted to be targeting China, which replaced her country as Africa's biggest trading partner three years ago.
Whether Clinton was ignorant of the facts on the ground or chose to disregard them, her implication that China has been extracting Africa's wealth for itself is utterly wide of the truth.
The relationship between China and Africa is rooted in friendship and equality, and their bilateral cooperation is based on mutual benefit and dedicated to the prosperity of their 2.3 billion people.
China-Africa trade ballooned to 166.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, as African exports to China jumped to more than 93 billion dollars.
Cumulative Chinese direct investment in the continent has exceeded 15 billion dollars, with investment projects covering 50 countries.
In addition to transfusing blood to the developing continent, China also attaches great importance to enhancing Africa's own blood-making capacity, such as by helping improve Africa's infrastructure and expand its base of expertise.
China's booming economic relations with Africa have stemmed both from their time-honored friendship and complementary needs of development. Its genuine respect of and support for African countries' development paths are lauded and welcomed across the continent.
The friendly and mutually beneficial interaction between China and Africa gives the lie to Clinton's insinuation.
Ironically, it was the Western colonial powers that were exactly the so-called outsiders, which, in Clinton's words, came and extracted the wealth of Africa for themselves, leaving nothing or very little behind.
And China is a true partner that is committed to forging with Africa what the U.S. top diplomat termed as "a model of sustainable partnership that adds value, rather than extracts it."
Clinton's hidden agenda in Africa is no big secret. As commentators across the world have pointed out, the trip is aimed at least partly at discrediting China's engagement with the continent and curbing China's influence there.
Her remarks betrayed an attempt to drive a wedge between China and Africa for the U.S. selfish gain.
Such cheap shots are uncalled-for and unnecessary. The United States has every right to foster its relationship with Africa, and Africa needs more truly helping hands. But it is unwise for Washington to resort to such a rude means.
Meanwhile, the vicious insinuation was doomed to failure. It ignored the friendly and fruitful cooperation between China and Africa, and would be rejected by sober minds across the continent and the world at large.
China and Africa will continue their concerted and undistracted efforts to further boost their strategic partnership. Their bilateral cooperation has withstood various tests and will continue so in the future.