After European Parliament President Antonio Tajani's warning that Africa "risks becoming a Chinese colony," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang slammed Tajani's statement, saying that Chinese diplomacy does not include "the concept of colonialism," while voicing the view that European countries are the ones that imposed colonialism around the world.
Lu Kang pointed out that problems such as poverty and chaos, which are still ongoing today, are rooted in European colonialism. Lu underlined that China's cooperation with Africa had begun through aid and investment in the continent, during its poor and underdeveloped periods. China has given support to African countries toward political and economic independence, he also stated.
As cooperation between China and African states improved gradually, China became Africa's biggest trading partner in 2009, and Sino-African trade jumped 20-fold to nearly $200 billion in 2012, as reported by China's official Xinhua news agency. In an interview with German Die Welt newspaper, newly appointed president of the parliament Tajani stated the need for a "long-term strategy" and billions worth of investments to Africa.
Otherwise, "Africa risks becoming a Chinese colony, but the Chinese need only natural resources, they're not interested in stability." His statements came during the so-called "migration summit" held between European and North African interior ministers in Rome.
European Union leaders have struggled to endorse plans they hope can forestall a new wave spring of migrants sailing for Italy from Africa, but are aware that the current anarchy in Libya means any quick fix is a long shot. The risks that those people run in the seas around Malta after crossing the Sahara - more than 4,500 drowned last year - was highlighted when leaders renewed vows to help Africans live better without leaving home.