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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 8, 2011

Q: We have noted that recently some western media imply through the words of a South African official that China imposes "neocolonialism" on Africa by purchasing large swaths of land. What is China's response?

A: African countries have reached a broad consensus that there is indeed "neocolonialism" in Africa, but it is by no means imposed by China. South African President Zuma once said that China's relationship with Africa is not colonial at all. The criticism that characterises China's engagement with Africa as 'neocolonialism' is untruthful. As an important strategic cooperative partner of South Africa, China has made great contribution to the economic development and the betterment of people's livelihood there.

China always relies on domestic output for grain self-sufficiency. Instead of buying up bulks of land in Africa, China has been providing agricultural technological assistance to African countries as its capacity allows and helping them develop agricultural production in a bid to enhance their capacity of independently tapping natural resources and tackling climate change and food security issues. These have been well-received by vast African countries. Some Chinese enterprises conduct small-scale agricultural cooperation with African countries in line with internationally recognized business models, providing their products mainly to the local markets and bringing abundant supplies of grain and vegetables to the African people. This year, China has also provided countries in the Horn of Africa as well as other countries in need with the largest ever food aid since the founding of new China.

Africa falls victim to "agricultural neocolonialism". It is the common responsibility of the international community to promote the sustainable development of agriculture in Africa. We urge those countries who are de facto large land owners in Africa and resort to predatory means of development to listen attentively to the voice of Africa and make concrete contribution to a long-term settlement of the African food security issue.

Q: The Yemeni National Reconciliation Government announced its establishment on December 7. What is China's comment?

A: China welcomes the establishment of the Yemeni National Reconciliation Government and hopes that all relevant parties there will continue to put into practice the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and relevant implementation mechanism earnestly, resolve differences through dialogue, consultation and other peaceful means so as to restore social order and realize national stability and development as soon as possible.

Q: Has the Philippine drug trafficker been executed in Guilin? Philippine Vice President Binay reportedly planned to come to China to appeal for mercy on the drug trafficker, but was refused by the Chinese side. Please confirm.

A: Drug-related crimes are universally recognized felonies. China is a country under the rule of law. The Chinese judicial authority tried the Philippine drug trafficker in accordance with law, guaranteed his litigation rights and access to due treatment and carried out relevant obligations prescribed in international conventions.

China and the Philippines have been in communication on this case through open channels.

Q: It is reported that the European Commission decided to cut its assistance to 19 emerging economies, including China, India and Brazil from 2014. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report.

China believes that development cooperation constitutes an important part of China-EU relations. Through development cooperation, the two sides have earned mutually beneficial outcomes in constantly expanding exchanges across the board and addressing global challenges together. The EU's active and flexible development assistance policy towards China will be conducive to bilateral cooperation in a broader scope and meet common interests and demand of the two sides.

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