Beijing, July 14 (IANS) China is not “jealous” of India’s efforts to boost its ties with Africa, and both countries must abandon the mindset of confrontation and strategic completion, a state-run newspaper said on Thursday, referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s just-concluded four-nation tour of the continent.
In an in-house op-ed, Global Times said some observers thought that Modi’s four-nation trip was to check China’s increasing economic influence in Africa but the competition would do the continent good.
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent trip to Africa has attracted a lot of attention worldwide, and some observers have labelled the visit a check against China’s increasing economic influence in Africa.
“Modi’s visit to Africa has once again given India-Africa ties a pronounced leg up, but China has no reason to be jealous. If India’s economic interaction with African countries can bring new momentum to local development, China can also benefit from such moves,” the tabloid said.
The editorial mentioned a commentary in an Indian daily which said Modi’s tour must also be seen in the context of China’s all-out bid to woo Africa.
Modi visited Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania during the five-day tour.
The state-run daily, known for not mincing words, also said Beijing was a “latecomer” in reaching out to African countries.
“Indians established a presence in African markets much earlier than the Chinese, but recent years have witnessed the rapid development of economic cooperation between China and Africa, allowing China’s economic presence and influence in the continent to surpass that of India to some extent.”
“But China and Africa’s economic cooperation is not exclusive. We believe that China, which is a latecomer among big powers in terms of developing economic ties with Africa, has no intention of restricting the rights of African countries to select their business partners,” the tabloid said.
“India and China must abandon the mindset of confrontation and strategic competition. In fairness, the two nations can cooperate with each other in many fields in Africa, particularly oil.
“India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) have set a successful precedent for cooperation in a third country, and this experience can be used as a reference for deepening cooperation in Africa.” the newspaper said.