Chinese investment in Africa not only benefits the continent, but also reduces the number of illegal immigrates to the European Union (EU), Maltese ambassador to China Joseph Cassar said Tuesday.
Located close to the coastlines of North Africa, Malta has been plagued over the past years with a massive influx of illegal immigrants, who are now reaching the Maltese shores at an alarming rate.
The huge influx of illegal immigrants is causing serious problems for the island country, which has one of the highest population densities in the world.
According to Cassar, among the illegal immigrants are some "political refugees" seeking asylum due to turmoil and conflicts at their homeland, but most of them are "economic refugees" who left home countries to get rid of poverty.
"People won't leave their own countries unless they are forced," Cassar said. "The Chinese investment to Africa expands the local employment and improves the living conditions there, which could significantly reduce the number of 'economic refugees', and eventually it can help the European countries to solve the perennial 'economic refugee' problem from the source."
Cassar added that EU member sates and China should strengthen dialogues and exchanges to tap the full potential for cooperation in various fields such as politics, economy and culture. He also stressed that both sides should make efforts to eliminate misunderstanding and bias.