Mutual benefits and respect distinguish Western colonialists and profiteers from China's presence in Africa. There has been fear that Africa is in danger of being colonised again by the West in the post-Cold War period, and many African countries suspect their former exploiters are coming back for oil and minerals in countries like Sudan, DR Congo and Nigeria.
This reminds us of a word very popular in the Western media - neocolonialism; used in connection with China. Why is Western media so anxious to tag China as neocolonialist in Africa? When accusing China of being neocolonialist, Westerners usually say that China is "plundering Africa's resources" and "dumping goods in Africa"; that Chinese enterprises evade social responsibility in Africa. However, this wild assertion is not only misleading, but wrong.
The development of Sino-African relations has been firmly based on equality, mutual benefit and reciprocity. China has never defrauded Africa of one inch of land or oil, and has never forcibly acquired any resources in Africa. This is a world of difference from the centuries of Western colonialism, which rampantly plundered Africa.
It is clear that the pricing power of Africa's most profitable mineral resources is controlled by Western multinational corporations, and as a result, African countries have benefited little from the exploitation of their resources. This is why African countries welcome China's involvement and insist on cooperation with China. Western media has forgotten the serious environment destruction caused by their oil giants' exploitation in Nigeria.
While for China, they use a variety of channels and resources and put the propaganda machine into high gear to exaggerate individual problems in Sino-African ties and groundlessly accuse the Chinese government of problems in Africa. What is the real purpose of the Western media in doing so? They seek to smear China's image and contain Sino-African cooperation.
Thanks to the rapid advancement in Sino-African relations, some Westerners want to try and disrupt the momentum. In a broader sense, the accusations of neocolonialism are an extension of the West's desire to contain the "China threat".
China has been the largest trade partner of Africa for 13 consecutive years, with bilateral trade volume reaching more than $282 billion in 2022.The mentality and behaviors of neocolonialism still exist in modern international relations, but they have nothing to do with China.
By edging out China, which is one of Africa's most important partners, the West would be better able to control Africa. Intelligent citizens in Africa, China and Western countries are fully aware of the scheme.
Though Sino-African cooperation is not perfect, I believe that as long as China and African countries can constantly strengthen and improve cooperation, and genuinely benefit people on both governments, Sino-African cooperation will continue to proceed on a more solid and broader perspective.
Mr Onyango is an advocate of High Court of Kenya