China’s president has pledged $60bn worth of financing for developing African nationals but warned against “vanity projects”.
President Xi Jinping said the money should be used for green and sustainable projects, and where it was needed most, speaking to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation today.
“China-Africa cooperation must give Chinese and African people tangible benefits and successes that can be seen, that can be felt,” Xi said.
Bloomberg reported him saying, in a preview to his speech before the event in Beijing: “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 major vanity projects, but in places where they count the most.”
He added that the additional financing would be granted to Africa’s poorest and most indebted countries.
Xi said that China has “full respect for Africa’s own will” and that the investment “comes with no political strings attached”.
The Chinese offer comes after a pledge of another $60bn at the previous summit in South Africa three years ago.
The latest package includes $20bn of credit lines, $15bn of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, $10bn for a special fund and $5bn fund to finance imports from Africa, it was reported.
The president also said that Chinese companies will be encouraged to invest no less than $10bn in the continent in the next three years.
Xi also defended the Chinese government’s global programme to develop roads, railways, ports, pipelines and other trade lines at the summit.
The Chinese government has been criticised in the past for its flagship ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, which aims to link China by sea and land through an infrastructure network across the globe.
This has been said to help the major economy’s power status but may leave some countries in debt, unable to pay back the money they owe to China.