By: Abdulkadir M. Abow
Sunday - November 7, 2021
I read the article published on Hiiraan Online on November 2, 2021 by the ambassador of Peoples Republic of China to Somalia Fei Chengchao titled “Distance, time no barrier to China-Somalia tie” chronicling the long and mutually respectful relationship between the two countries and subsequent opinion article warning the Somalis about the future risks of Chinese aid to African countries named “China’s Renewed Interest in Somalia: A Cautionary Tale” written by a brother named Mohamed A. Suleiman. I, As a Somali citizen who followed China’s aid to Africa and it’s growing global influence, have few important points to share in this short article.
Ambassador Fei, Chengchao’s remarks about the relationship of China and Somalia from the famous Chinese sailor Zheng He’s visit to Somalia to the Somalia’s efforts to bring China back to the United Nations are facts and the base of mutually respectful diplomatic relationship between the two brotherly nations and not a renewed interest of China as claimed by Mr. Mohamed A. Suleiman.
It is definitely true that countries have their own interest and would probably try to advance it.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that China contributes in any way to the emergence of corrupt leadership in Africa. On the contrary, they try to not involve themselves in the internal politics of African countries.
Africa has resources needed both by the Western countries and China and it is very important that Africans get the best deal possible for their resources.
Mr. Mohamed cited two well known western media sources to warn Africans about China’s real intention in Africa while attacking indiscreetly Chinese political system and the internal affairs of that country.
I don’t think it is the best interest of Somalia to be part of what seems to be a cold war that is brewing between global powers. We all know how Somalia had suffered greatly in the previous cold war between US and Soviet Union and it can not afford to be part of a new cold war.
At this juncture Somalia is struggling with its internal challenges and needs to have great relationship with all the countries specially great powers for her benefit. Therefore, it is diplomatically wise to refrain anything that would be seen as interference of internal affairs of other countries.
In conclusion, ambassador Fei Chengchao’s article was timely and contributes greatly for the benefit of the youth in both countries about the history of the relationship between the two countries and I totally agree with his following remarks: “With the Chinese and Somali people joining hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind, the ship of our friendship will hopefully break the waves ahead and sail toward another dawn to the benefit of our two countries and peoples”