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Chinese president tells U.S. to stop interference

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AP
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said that strong ties between his country and Russia provide a 'reliable guarantee of an international strategic balance and peace.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping will set out plans for mining and infrastructure development on a trip to Africa this week, as China seeks to reassure leaders on the continent who have voiced unease about its trade relations.

During his eight-day trip Xi, 59, will stop in Tanzania, Congo Republic and South Africa, where he plans to sign business cooperation deals. Trade between Africa and China doubled since 2007 to more than $200 billion and Chinese investment stands at $20 billion, according to Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa's biggest lender.

While African nations welcome the investment and the jobs that come with it, leaders from Botswana's Ian Khama to Nigerian central bank chief Lamido Sanusi are asking whether the relationship has benefited Africa as much as it has China. That's a shift in tone after officials welcomed China for taking a different strategy from the West by offering investment without demanding poverty alleviation, democratic reforms or anti-corruption measures.

“There's a belief that since Africa got a raw deal from the colonial West, then the Chinese must be Africa's best friend,” George Ayittey, a Ghanaian economist and president of the Free Africa Foundation, a Washington-based research institute, said in a phone interview. “But the evidence doesn't show that, and the main criticism is that they are building infrastructure in exchange for Africa's resources in deals that are structured to favor China.”

— Reuters

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By Reuters
Saturday, March 23, 2013, 5:57 p.m.
 

MOSCOW — Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against foreign interference in the affairs of other nations during a speech in Moscow on Saturday, sending a signal to the West and echoing a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Permanent U.N. Security Council members with veto power, Russia and China often teamed up diplomatically to blunt the influence of the United States and its NATO allies. They criticized the NATO bombing that helped rebels overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, stood together in the Security Council in votes on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and blocked three draft resolutions on Syria.

“We must respect the right of each country in the world to independently choose its path of development and oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” Xi told students at an international relations school.

“Strong Chinese-Russian relations ... not only answer to our interests but also serve as an important, reliable guarantee of an international strategic balance and peace.”

Viktor Yaskov, a student who attended Xi's address, said the Chinese leader made “a good impression,” but expressed fears about the neighbor. “We're worried about Chinese economic expansion,” he said.

Both China and Russia have bristled at U.S. and European criticism of their human rights records.

Putin said in a foreign policy decree issued at the start of his new term that Russia would counter attempts to use human rights as a pretext for interference, and his government has cracked down on foreign-funded non-governmental organizations, known as NGOs, which do human and civil rights work abroad.

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