China media: Ties with Africa

Premier Li's visit is likely to boost China's ties with African nations, papers say Image copyright AP
Image caption Premier Li's visit is likely to boost China's ties with African nations, papers say

Media discuss China-Africa ties as Premier Li Keqiang concludes his four-nation tour to the continent.

Mr Li visited Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya in a week-long trip that ended on Saturday.

While in Kenya, he signed formal agreements to build a new railway line in East Africa, which would run from Mombasa to Nairobi and and possibly be extended to Rwanda and South Sudan via Uganda.

China has promised to finance 90% of the cost of the first stage that is being estimated at $3.8bn (£2.25bn), reports say.

Welcoming the deal, papers and experts say China has "reinforced its old friendship" with the continent and aims to "jointly achieve prosperity with Africa".

Zhou Zunnan, professor at China Foreign Affairs University, tells the International Finance News that the US is envious of China's growing clout in Africa.

The paper further highlights the different diplomatic strategies used by the US and China in Africa.

"In various official documents that we have seen, we realise that the US emphasises wording such as 'more support' and 'help', whereas China prefers to use words such as 'co-operation' and 'mutual benefit'," the newspaper comments.

An article in the Guangzhou Daily points out that the rapid growth of the African economy has brought new opportunities for China and says the country's firms need to raise the quality of their work.

"When facing the sour grapes attitude of the West, the Chinese enterprises should polish their brands and concentrate on building good infrastructure in Africa," it says.

Meanwhile, media say the Philippines "hijacked" the Asean Summit to suit its own "agenda".

Tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan all have overlapping claims with China, have escalated in recent days.

The Philippines detained 11 Chinese fishermen in disputed waters last week, prompting a protest from China. Vietnamese and Chinese ships also collided in disputed waters as China tried to bring in an oil drilling rig.

During the summit held in Myanmar (also known as Burma) over the weekend, both Manila and Hanoi urged stronger action against what they called China's "provocative behaviour" in the region.

Commenting on Manila's actions, an article in the People's Daily overseas edition warns Asean against getting "hijacked" by "some countries".

"The territorial row is a dispute between China and some Asean countries and it should be peacefully resolved through direct negotiations. Asean meetings are not suitable occasions for discussion on this issue. Individual countries should not make use of the meeting to jeopardise the friendly China-Asean relationship," it says.

A report in the Dongfang Daily points out that the Philippines' intention to "upset" the summit was carried out "in vain" because the member nations made no mention of the dispute in the joint statement issued after the meeting.

Li Jinming, an expert on territorial disputes at Xiamen University, tells the daily that ensuring peace in the region should be Asean's main agenda.

"The Philippines has the right to put its point across, but maintaining regional peace and stability is still the mainstream voice of Asean," he concludes.

Waste plant protest

And finally, media discuss violent protests in Hangzhou on Saturday over a planned waste incinerator.

The violence broke out in Yuhang district of Hangzhou city, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, when people came out to protest against the project.

At least 39 people suffered injuries and dozens of vehicles were damaged during the protest, state media report.

The China Youth Daily quotes protestors as saying that they are not worried about the construction of the plant, but "concerned about the lack of proper management of it".

An article in the Beijing Times comments that the protestors might be dissatisfied with the decision-making process and urges authorities to adopt a more "democratic approach".

"Conflicts will be reduced to the minimum if we reverse the decision-making process to allow the public to express their views... This approach is necessary in a scientific democratic decision-making process," it adds.

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