World Bulletin / News Desk
China's official news agency hit back on Friday at suggestions by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Beijing is only interested in Africa for its natural resources, adding a further layer of tension to already testy Sino-U.S. ties.
Speaking in Senegal earlier this week, Clinton did not name China, but said Washington wanted a "partnership that adds value, rather than extracts it", adding the days of outsiders taking Africa's wealth for themselves should be over.
Xinhua news agency hit back at Clinton's comments, saying her Africa trip was a "plot to sow discord between China (and) Africa".
"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," it wrote in an English-language commentary.
"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."
Clinton's trip is partly aimed at promoting United States trade and political ties to African nations as an alternative to China, whose influence has been growing fast as Beijing works to win access to the continent's rich cache of minerals, timber and oil.
Chinese President Hu Jintao last month offered $20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years.
But critics say China supports African governments with a no strings approach to aid despite dubious human rights records as a means to get access to resources, a charge denied by Beijing.
Xinhua said Clinton's "hidden agenda" in Africa was plain to see.
"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."
While such commentaries are not official statements, they may be read as a reflection of Chinese government thinking on important issues.
- Victim's father says approves of son's decision not to file charges as may have to leave village
At least 27 cadets killed and 40 more wounded in attack near capital
No group has claimed responsibility for blasts on highway near Zamboanga City
Parliament that usually gathers in April convened in follow-up to rare Workers' Party of Korea congress held in May
Communist Party of China decides deputy, regarded as key ally of president, to replace Lu Wei
Exiled Communist Party leader says government, rebels, to accelerate negotiations
Of 15 safety inspectors underground during accident, 8 managed to escape but 2 remain missing
Police say insurgents suspected in latest fatal attack to hit troubled region
UN says progress slow on Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation
Over 3,800 turn themselves in to police in southern Mindanao alone ahead of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration
North Korea responds aggressively to 'military provocation,' as major parliamentary gathering gets underway in Pyongyang
55 Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers boycotting assembly since police failed attempt to arrest their deputy leader
7 Indonesians among 13 crew travelling on tugboat when attacked by Filipino gunmen last week
PM Abe’s gov’t discusses how to lessen UK referendum’s fallout on Japanese economy as Tokyo prepares for July 10 polls
Junta leader insists won’t follow example of UK’s Cameron by resigning if Thais reject draft charter in Aug. 7 referendum
- Police believe suspects behind Sunday’s car bombing in Muslim south were involved in blast at mall car park last year