The Director of the Centre for African Studies at the Peking University, Professor Anshan Li, has said that there were bound to be challenges as China and Africa seek to deepen their relationship in all endeavours.
He said he had heard about the problem of some Chinese engaged in illegal mining in Ghana for instance and expects the laws of the country to deal with them.
“Any Chinese who goes against the law must be punished”, he emphasised.
Professor Li advised that “both sides also need to sit and find bilateral solutions to the problems “.
Professor Li was speaking at the 2018 seminar for renowned commentators and columnists of major media organisations for African countries in China on Friday.
The lecture was on “The role of the media in China-Africa relations”.
He said that in the same way that there were many biased views about Africans among the Chinese, so were there such views among Africans about the Chinese adding that stereotyping was not healthy for relationships and called on the media to help the situation through positive reportage.
He explained that the bias had been mainly caused by ethnocentrism and ignorance.
“We must make use of the media to achieve our goal, guard our sovereignty, keep a stable social environment, promote our economic development and maintain our value system and cultural heritage”, he recommended.
According to him, China and Africa had similar historical experiences and that had aided the fast development of their relationship with a trade volume with Africa of $220 billion as of 2014.
He noted that the impact of affordable Chinese goods had resulted in mutual benefits as some Africans are now able to afford new shoes and clothing instead of second hand ones from the west.
On the perception that Chinese goods were inferior, Prof Li said “we have different quality to meet different demands and you get what you are ready to pay for, the choice is yours”.