Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-04-22-Speech-2-465"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, when I think of Africa, I very often ask myself: is Africa a somewhat forgotten continent from our European perspective or do we as Europeans see opportunities in Africa? I often have the impression that we Europeans still see Africa much too much as a problem case and that we do not recognise the opportunities. The Chinese approach to Africa is very different. To the Chinese, Africa is first and foremost an opportunity and they are concentrating on utilising this opportunity. They have been doing this relatively unnoticed in recent years. Only in recent months have they been noticed much, and for this reason, they are pursuing a policy of purely economic interests. Issues such as human rights, the rule of law and good governance, which some of our fellow Members have already addressed today, do not hold any sway at the moment for the Chinese in Africa. Their only concern is investments in infrastructure in Africa so that they can gain unlimited access to the raw materials markets. It is about covering China’s growing need for raw materials. It is definitely not about helping the African nations and the African people on their way to truly sustainable economic development. I am of the firm conviction that we must place greater emphasis on anchoring the African nations in the world economy so that they are able to benefit from globalisation on the world markets with their raw materials, with their resources, with everything they have to offer, and not become unilaterally dependent on Chinese monopolies. We must enter into a dialogue with the African nations here better than we have so far. We must also assimilate competition with the Chinese here more intensively than in the past and really do all that we can to persuade Africans about good governance and the advantage of free markets. Only then will we succeed in promoting the rule of law, democracy and human rights in Africa and thereafter succeed in not allowing the African nations to drift off in China’s direction, because Africa will certainly learn nothing from China – we have learnt this the hard way in recent weeks – about how democracy and the social market economy operate."@en1

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