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This article appears in the February 17, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

Dr. Fred M’membe

Africans Have a Duty To Stand By China

Dr. Fred M’membe is President of the Socialist Party of Zambia, former editor of the Zambia Post, and a former Presidential candidate.

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Schiller Institute
Dr. Fred M’membe

Shared past experiences and similar ends and goals have brought China and Africa close together. In our fight for national liberation and independence, China and African countries supported each other and expanded mutual and political trust in the process. On major international and regional issues, China and Africa have coordinated their positions and jointly safeguarded international equality and justice.

China-Africa friendship has not been an overnight achievement. It is something that has been built over a long period of time. China and Africa have been through a lot together. China was there for us, when we can say, nobody or very few were there for us. Our cooperation started with our forefathers. Chairman Mao and leading leaders of our countries and the national liberation movements studied together, shared common agendas, common ideals on which this relationship has been built. Ours is not a happenstance relationship. It’s a strategic alliance or coming together.

Africa has a lot to learn from China. The path of development that China has opened for countries of the South, can benefit Africa a lot. The path of development that western Europe took is no longer open for us. It was development built on the exploitation of other countries, of other peoples. The Chinese path is one of win-win relationships.

Africa has no other countries to exploit, to colonize, to oppress, so it means it has to deal with development in a totally different way, and that way is the way China has shown us. China has never had colonies. China cannot be said to have exploited any country. China has been seeking win-win economic and political relationships. This is what Africa needs. Without that we can’t develop.

Politically, on key international issues, we have been standing together. China has supported the oppositions, and we Africans have got a duty to also stand by China, when its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and other achievements are threatened. Today, China is target number one of those countries who feel only they have the right to develop, only they have the right to peace, only they have the right to a secure future. There are countries, there are politicians today in this world, choking with envy over the achievements of China. China threatens no one. China provokes no one. If anything, China is the country that has been threatened all the time, that has been provoked all the time, but with the exceptional, the outstanding leadership China has been able to construct over the decades, they’re able to cope, they’re able to deal with all these provocations in the most mature way we have ever seen. To stand for China, to support China, is to stand for ourselves, is to support ourselves, is to stand for our future, is to support our future.

If China today was to be defeated, was to be destroyed, the future of us all who live in the poor world would be threatened. In short, we would have no future. So it is our collective duty to defend the progress China has made and is still making. And China is showing us that a more fair, a more just and humane world is possible. Win-win relationships are possible. Relations with best and honest humility, equality, mutual respect are possible. What does that entail? This entails spending more time studying, discussing, and trying to understand China more and more. China needs to understand us, but we also need to understand China, better and better. We need more meetings, we need more exchanges on our relations with China, on Africa’s cooperation with China.

It shouldn’t be something we get into blindly. In short, all our leaders and all our people need to understand what we are doing, what we want to do with China. We need to interact with China more than we have ever done before. We need to visit China more, especially institutions in China that deal with the battle of ideas. Chinese think tanks need to interact more and more with African thinkers as well.

There is more to do, there is more to be said, there is more to reflect over, so that we started to see things for ourselves, we started to analyze things for ourselves and come to our own conclusions. I say that, because there’s so much lies, there’s so much deceit, there’s so much propaganda against China; this propaganda, this deceit, these lies have to be exposed. The truth needs to be known. Africa-China relationship, Africa-China cooperation is the only thing that can secure us a peaceful world and some prosperity for our people. Thank you very much.

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