China has called upon Chinese companies and individuals who have invested or established businesses in Africa to respect regulations and laws found in the respective countries they work and fulfill their cooperate social responsibilities professionally.
The call was made here recently by the Director General of the Department of African Affairs, Lu Shaye, in a meeting with journalists from Africa.
The DG was referring to the report released this year by Amnesty International, which among other things, showed that some mining firms owned by Chinese in Africa were not respecting human rights, citing a mining company in Zambia where some workers were killed in a production accident.
“It is true there was such an incident in a factory owned by Chinese where local workers died, but the company involved gave a detailed report on the incident. It was sad that the report released by Amnesty International did not base its arguments on the facts,” he said.
Shaye said: “The Chinese government strongly criticised companies or individuals, who fail to treat Africans with the dignity they deserve and their interests…such acts seriously tarnish the China image on Africa and in the world and undermine the foundation of the relations between China and African countries”.
He said his government was handling such cases seriously and it was working on measures the country could adopt to improve the situation.
“We call upon companies or individuals who have invested or established business in Africa to respect local regulations and laws, customers and ensure that they fulfill their co-operate social responsibilities,” Shaye noted.
Chinese investors must live in harmony with the local community and integrate in them and respect the local people, he added.
“These incidents are totally not acceptable and they cannot be allowed to ruin the entire picture of Africa – China relations nor can they be allowed to undermine or do away with the achievements made by China and African countries,” he said.
Shaye further said that some improper deeds by Chinese individuals or companies also affect how Africans see the Chinese because the African people can have the image of China through those Chinese individuals although they are only isolated personages.
“This problem needs attention from the Chinese government ….it has taken a number of initiatives to educate Chinese people in Africa so that they can behave well and reflect and demonstrate the fine tradition of Chinese culture.
He however said that since there were many Chinese doing business in African countries his government has also invited African people to come to China either for the purpose of studying, doing business, tourism or do any other activities as long as those chores comply with the laws and regulations of China.
Explaining about the reforms and the opening up policy, Shaye said that there is no country in this globalised world which can close its doors and at the same time achieve development.
“Countries need to exchange and co-operate with each other, thus China needs to learn from advanced technologies and managerial expertise from other countries. We co-operate and provide assistance to other developing countries but also get support from other developing countries,” he said.
He said the opening up policy does not target any specific country but it applies to all countries to weigh development opportunities.
Shaye said China adopted the open up policy because it wants to catch up with the trend of global developments.