In Zambia on the first leg of a three-nation African tour, Clinton defended US policies that offer trade benefits to countries that meet standards for democracy and free markets, in an apparent reference to China's no-strings trade deals.
"Our view is that over the long run, investments in Africa should be sustainable and for the benefit of the African people," she told South African television.
"When people come to Africa to make investments, we want them to do well, but we also want them to do good. We don't want them to undermine good governance," she said.
"We don't want them to basically deal with just top elites, and frankly too often pay for their concessions of their opportunities to invest."
"We don't want to see a new colonialism in Africa," she said. "The United States is investing in the people of Zambia, not just the elites."
Clinton also said that she thought China's top-down command economy was not a model for other developing nations.