China requires its businesses to respect the legitimate rights of local employees and local cultures in Africa, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu Thursday.
Ma’s remarks came amid reports that Zambia’s main opposition leader, Michael Sata, said Wednesday that Chinese and other Asian mining firms had scant regard for safety and the local culture of Africa’s biggest copper producer.
Sata was quoted by Reuters news agency saying, “We don’t hate the Chinese. We don’t hate the Malaysians, but when they come here, they should treat us like human beings,”
“The Chinese government has always required Chinese firms to obey local laws and regulations, respect customs, get along with local people, fulfill due social responsibilities and guarantee the legitimate rights of local employees,” said Ma at a regular news briefing in Beijing, China.
“A great majority of Chinese enterprises do business in line with those principles,” said Ma.
Ma said many Chinese enterprises had done a lot to improve local people’s lives in their investments in Africa and the world at large.
“This is undeniable,” said Ma.