China Pledges Fresh $60 bln to Africa, says No Political Strings Attached

Cyril Ramaphosa

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, Xi said.

The president noted that all ECOWAS member states are participating in a FOCAC summit.

"China's investment in Africa comes with no political strings attached", Xi told a high-level dialogue with African leaders and business representatives ahead of the summit. Djibouti has become heavily dependent on Chinese financing after China opened its first overseas military base in the Horn of Africa country past year, a powerful signal of the continent's strategic importance to Beijing.

"In terms of cooperation with China, African countries know best", widely read tabloid the Global Times wrote in an editorial on Monday. "China dreams of national renewal and Africa of unity and invigoration and a day will come when both aspirations will be achieved", said Xi.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is of the view that as China expands its grip of the continent, more local partnerships need to be encouraged between Chinese and African entrepreneurs.

He adds that this was not the only reason why the trip has been a success and why Ramaphosa is in China.

On green development, Xi said China will undertake 50 aid projects on green development, and ecological and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection.

"We have benefited a lot from China's support in our social and economic programs, and that has continued to strengthen the partnership between China and Rwanda", Kagame told the Chinese state-run People's Daily. "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects, but in places where they count the most".

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China has poured billions in loans for roads, railways, ports and other major infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa.

He said that his country would support Africa's goal to achieve general food security by 2030, and work together to implement cooperation on agricultural modernisation programme.

"The progress that has been made in the last 18 years clearly demonstrated the tangible and lasting benefits of FOCAC to the people of Africa and indeed to the people of the People's Republic of China as well". The FOCAC follow-up mechanisms are built at the Ministerial Conference, which is held every three years; the Senior Officials Follow-up Meeting and the Senior Officials Preparatory Meeting for the Ministerial Conference are held respectively in the year and a few days before the Ministerial Conference is held; and the consultations between the African Diplomatic Corps in China and the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee are held at least twice a year. A total of 50 security assistance programs will be carried out in the fields including United Nations peacekeeping missions, fighting piracy, and combating terrorism.

Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary for International Trade, said China already accounts for 25 per cent of Kenya's import bill under the current common external tariff structure of zero per cent, 10 per cent and 25 per cent for raw materials, intermediate goods and final goods respectively. A trade facilitation initiative to increase imports from Africa was also on the cards including 50,000 government scholarship and 50,000 training opportunities for seminars and workshops.

China has provided aid to Africa since the Cold War, but Beijing's presence in the region has soared with its emergence as a global trading power.

China and Mauritius also wrapped up negotiations on a bilateral free-trade agreement on Sunday, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

The delegations are largely led by Presidents or Prime Ministers who started arriving in China since late last week.

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