Date
11 December 2018
Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured before his speech during the opening ceremony of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on Monday. Credit: Reuters/Pool photo
Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured before his speech during the opening ceremony of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on Monday. Credit: Reuters/Pool photo

Xi offers another US$60 bln to Africa, says no ‘vanity’ projects

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered another US$60 billion in financing for Africa on Monday and wrote off some debt for poorer African nations, while warning against funds going toward “vanity projects”.

Speaking at the opening of a major summit with African leaders, Xi promised development that people on the continent could see and touch, but that would also be green and sustainable, Reuters reports.

The offer of more money comes after a pledge of another US$60 billion at the previous summit in South Africa three years ago.

The new US$60 billion will include US$15 billion of aid, interest-free loans and concessional loans, a credit line of US$20 billion, a US$10 billion special fund for China-Africa development, and a US$5 billion special fund for imports from Africa.

Meanwhile, Chinese companies will be encouraged to invest at least US$10 billion in the continent in the next three years, Xi said, addressing leaders at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People,.

Government debt from China’s interest free loans due by the end of 2018 will be written off for indebted poor African countries, as well as for developing nations in the continent’s interior and small island nations.

“China-Africa cooperation must give Chinese and African people tangible benefits and successes that can be seen, that can be felt,” Xi said.

China will carry out 50 projects on green development and environmental protection in Africa, focusing on fighting climate change, desertification and wildlife protection.

Speaking earlier at a business forum, Xi said China had to be careful about where money was spent.

“China’s cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development. Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects but in places where they count the most,” he said.

Chinese officials say this year’s summit will strengthen Africa’s role in Xi’s Belt and Road initiative to link China by sea and land with Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa through an infrastructure network modeled on the old Silk Road.

Xi said the plan, for which Beijing has pledged US$126 billion, would help provide more resources and facilities for Africa and would expand shared markets.

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RC

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