A Chinese diplomat says he has observed with concern how some Namibian media is being influenced by the western media when it comes to reporting on Namibia – China relations, which dates back to the liberation period.
Speaking at a recent dinner with 34 African journalists under the China-Africa Press Center, Xiao Han, who is the Deputy Director-General of the Department of African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the basis of the engagement between the two countries is not as it is sometimes being painting in the media.
“The friendship between China and Namibia comes a long way from the time of founding President Sam Nujoma. We were involved in helping our Namibian brothers and sisters in gaining their independence and self-determination,” Xiao explained.
“We have seen some reporting that are seemingly casting doubt and suspicions on this friendship and it seems as if it is being influenced by western media.”
Xiao continued: “But this friendship will not be broken by anything. It will continue between our two countries.”
Dai Bing, the director-general in the same department told journalists that China does not want to exploit African nations and will never do so.
The African journalists are in China on a 10-month intensive training programme on China and Media Development Studies.
“In the past, we supported African countries during the fight for liberation and China will never exploit Africa. Our relations are based on a win-win basis and we will never impose ourselves and our ways on Africa,” Dai noted.
“We want African nations to find their own statuses and together we can help each other in a win-win situation. Africa belongs to Africans. Africa is not the backyard of any country.”
According to him, it is for these reasons that China wants all Chinese business people operating in African countries to obey and observe the laws of those countries including those on environmental and wildlife protection.
“That is why we recently passed a law to ban the trade of ivory in China. We do not want anyone to trade in this type of business in order to prevent the poaching of animals.”
Earlier that day, former President of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano officiated at the inauguration of the China-Africa Research Institute in Beijing where he stressed that it is an important structure within the Sino-Africa relations.
He said the ultimate goal of these relations is realising the aspirations of the people of China and Africa.
“We are meeting at a very important historical juncture in multilateral diplomacy and stratification in the global configuration of power,” Chissano said
“In a period of unsettled global order, with powerful challenges affecting peace, stability, development and the well-being of the people around the world, countries have to combine synergies and efforts to counter these threats.”
He stressed that through the Belt and Road Initiative, China is helping Africa become a stronger trading partner and strengthening the continent’s capacity to be more relevant in global development and in peace and security affairs.
In a message read on his behalf, Chinese President Xi Jinping indicated that the world is undergoing dramatic changes and China and Africa need to strengthen inter-civilisation mutual learning.
President Xi added that these will not only benefit the people in China and Africa, but also contribute to world peace and development.
“China and African countries decided to implement eight major initiatives and agreed to build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.”
Namibian Ambassador to China Elia Kaiyamo said he echoes the words of Xi and Chissano regarding the China-Africa relations subsequently, Namibia.
The belt and road initiative also known as BRI is China’s investment and infrastructure development blueprint covering over 152 countries across the world and international organisations introduced by Xi in 2013. China is expected to host the 2nd belt and road conference in Beijing towards the end of this month.