China should work more closely with the European Union to boost development and stability in Africa, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday said, reported dpa.
Both the EU and China play a growing role in Africa, and "in this new context, it would seem advantageous to coordinate the EU's and China's efforts more closely around priorities which reflect Africa's needs," a statement from the ministers said.
A regular dialogue between the EU, China and the African Union would allow "common interests and areas for cooperation to be identified" and "support the efforts undertaken by Africa ... to promote democratization, political and economic integration, good governance and respect for human rights," the statement said.
"Particular attention should be given to cooperation in the area of peace and security," it said.
Over the last 18 months, EU officials have expressed increasing concern at China's rapprochement with African states such as Sudan and Angola, warning that this undermines European attempts to build democracy and stability across the continent.
At a summit with African leaders in December 2007, EU leaders contrasted their own approach to Africa with that of China, saying that while Beijing seeks commercial deals, the EU remains Africa's biggest donor of development aid.