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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 10:50 GMT
Mbeki warns on China-Africa ties
Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, and South African President Thabo Mbeki
Thabo Mbeki and Hu Jintao met at China's recent African summit
Africa must guard against falling into a "colonial relationship" with China, South African President Thabo Mbeki has warned the continent.

His comments come as fast-growing China is continuing to increase its push for raw materials across Africa.

Mr Mbeki said African nations must strive for their relationship with China to be based on equal trade.

Last month, China hosted an Africa summit attended by 50 African leaders including Mr Mbeki.

His warning about the risk of a colonial relationship with China was given to a student congress in Cape Town.

'Condemned'

Mr Mbeki said that if Africa just exported raw materials to China while importing Chinese manufactured goods, the African continent could be "condemned to underdevelopment".

He said that this would simply mean "a replication" of Africa's historical relationship with its former colonial powers.

China, which expects annual trade with Africa to total $100bn (53bn) by 2010, has long said that it wants its growing trade relationship with Africa to equally benefit both sides.

In addition to its growing trade with Africa, China has promised $5bn (2.5bn) in loans and credit for African nations.

However, critics have said China is too happy to support repressive African regimes.

Mr Mbeki's latest comments appear to be a hardening of his position on the subject.

On a recent visit to Beijing he said he understood that the Chinese leadership recognised Africa's concerns about its increasing trade relationship with China, and wanted to help lift the continent out of poverty.


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