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Accusations against China-Africa cooperation doomed to fail: Namibian President

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Namibia’s President Hage G. Geingob (L) after a signing ceremony at The Great Hall Of The People on March 29, 2018 in Beijing, China. Image courtesy: Lintao Zhang/Pool, Reuters

Elevated ties between China and Namibia prove that China-Africa cooperation is win-win and comments smearing bilateral cooperation are doomed to fail, Namibian President Hage Geingob said on Friday.

“I didn’t come to beg. I’m talking to friends, and to make a win-win situation created,” Geingob said during an exclusive interview with Xinhua, rebutting some media reports attacking him personally and the China-Africa cooperation as a whole.

Geingob said those making irresponsible remarks should feel “ashamed” when they see the buildings, factories and roads being built across the African continent, which bring tangible benefits to the people.

Geingob is on a state visit to China from March 28 to April 3. During his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, the two heads of state agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.

“China has been our all-weather friend, and now we are moving upward into a second phase,” Geingob said while commenting on the elevation of ties.

He stressed that China’s investment in Namibia is not just “digging out resources,” but also includes building industrial parks for technology transfer.

“No country in the world has added so much value to our products as China has. China has done a lot of technology transfer and job creation,” he said.

Geingob also said the country will take the opportunity provided by the Belt and Road Initiative to train Namibia’s youth and strengthen his country’s technological and innovation development.

“We will get benefits, witness changes, and create win-win situations with China,” he said.

During the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Johannesburg in 2015, ten cooperation projects covering a wide range of fields from industrialisation to public health were announced.

Geingob said that those projects have led to a boom in infrastructure development in Africa, and many landlocked countries like Botswana and Zambia now have access to the sea. “The idea is regional integration,” he said.

Geingob also rebutted comments accusing China of being a neo-colonialist in Africa. “China never colonises any African country, China never treats us as second-class citizens,” he said.

There are no strings attached to China-funded projects, and China-Africa cooperation is on an equal footing, according to Geingob. “They are doing under our terms […] they don’t come and say like ‘don’t behave like that.'”

“We are mature, we can choose our friends, we can choose what we want for, and what’s good for us,” Geingob said. “Let’s go ahead to create a new partnership at a higher level to show them that they are wrong.”

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