US 'not threatened' by China - Obama

2013-06-29 20:30
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - The US does not feel threatened by the growth of trade and investment in Africa by China and other emerging powers, US President Barack Obama said on Saturday.

"I don't feel threatened by it. I feel it's a good thing," Obama told a news conference during a visit to South Africa.

He said the more countries invested in Africa the more the world's least developed continent could be integrated into the global economy.

"I want everybody playing in Africa. The more the merrier," Obama said.

Obama is embarked on an eight-day trip through Africa to promote trade and business ties between the US and the continent.

However, he has had to defend his administration against charges it has lagged its predecessors in the level of engagement with Africa, leaving countries like China to reap the economic benefits of a more aggressive approach.

The president's aides have argued that Obama has had two wars and a deep economic crisis to deal with since he took office in 2009.

Obama has also said that US interactions with Africa have included goals of social and political development, unlike those of China, which he said were more narrowly focused on commercial benefits.

"A lot of people are pleased that China is involved in Africa," he told reporters travelling with him on Friday.

"On the other hand, they recognise that China's primary interest is being able to obtain access for natural resources in Africa to feed the manufacturers in export-driven policies of the Chinese economy."

That relationship makes Africa an exporter of raw materials but does not create jobs in Africa and is not a sustainable model over the long-term, he added.

China surpassed the US as Africa's largest trading partner in 2009, a US government report released in February said.

The US does not feel threatened by the growth of trade and investment in Africa by China and other emerging powers, US President Barack Obama says.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  johannesburg  |  us  |  china  |  obama in africa

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