China, U.S. need to cooperate on key issues in Africa to ensure “win-win situation”: expertPosted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 by Ncube, Ntandoyenkosi (Xinhua, Johannesburg) in News
China and the United States need to work together on key issues in Africa and break barriers to intra-Africa trade to ensure a “win-win situation”, a expert at South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) said on Tuesday.
Scott Firsing said in an interview with Xinhua that cooperation between China and the United States in Africa will benefit the continent and both American and Chinese companies.
“The U.S. and China together need to find ways to break down barriers to intra-Africa trade, especially in the SADC region, and integrate its economies fully into the global economy. Again this is good for Africa, as well as American and Chinese companies,” Firsing said.
Based at Wits University in Johannesburg, SAIIA is South Africa’ s premier research institute on international issues.
“Just imagine the possibilities of the U.S. and China working together on key issues such as energy, infrastructure and education. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it, how much good can be achieved,” said Firsing, who is also senior lecturer of International Studies at Monash in South Africa.
“Cooperation between USA and China creates a win-win situation. China, the U.S., African countries will all win. That is what we want to see,” he added.
Firsing made the remarks as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was visiting South Africa to promote bilateral ties.
When asked if Clinton’s Africa journey was aimed at countering China’s influence in Africa, Firsing said there might have been “some subtle remarks made by Clinton possibly aimed at China, but no, I don’t think it is specifically to counter China’s influence. “
During a speech in Senegal, at the start of the 11-day African trip, Clinton advocated partnerships with the United States, which “will stand up for democracy and universal human rights, even when it might be easier or more profitable to look the other way.”
Her remarks were seen as an attack on China’s cooperation with Africa.
Referring to Clinton’s remarks, Firsing said: “I do feel America wants African development and job creation and ultimately prospering African countries of which the U.S. can export their goods to.”
He said for China to strengthen its cooperation with Africa, it needs to address issues including low labor standards, a lack of transparency and environmental issues when operating in the continent.
While urging Chinese companies to deal with undercutting prices and monopolizing markets, ultimately putting local African merchants out of business, Firsing lauded Chinese President Hu Jintao for promising to increase science, technology and innovation (STI) assistance to Africa.
“China is helping to build infrastructure. China is building roads, ports, hospitals and schools. China needs to invest in other crucial development areas,” Firsing said.