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EU Parliament President Warns against Turning Africa into ‘Chinese Colony’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Chinese worker fixes pipes at a construction site in Sudan in February 2012. AFP

Berlin- President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani has warned that Africa, which is one of Beijing’s top economic partners, “risks becoming a Chinese colony.”

“But the Chinese need only natural resources, they’re not interested in stability,” Tajani told the German Die Welt newspaper.

China overtook the US as Africa’s biggest trading partner in 2009, and Sino-African trade jumped 20-fold from US$10.6 billion in 2000 to nearly US$200 billion in 2012, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in January that cooperation between China and African states could improve gradually.

Asked about the wave of migration and rising demand for asylum by Africans, the EU parliament chief said: “If we fail to resolve the central problems of African nations, 10, 20 or even 30 million migrants will come to the European Union in the next 10 years.”

“To prevent this scenario from happening, Europe must pour billions worth of investments and “develop a long-term strategy,” he added.

Tajani championed an idea of establishing “collecting camps protected by the UN and European military,” which he discussed with Filippo Grandi, the incumbent UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

He claimed that such “makeshift towns with hospitals and facilities for children” would meet basic human rights standards and ensure that migrants “do not fall in the hands of human traffickers or die in the desert or at sea.”