Xi announces another $60bn for Africa; dismisses 'debt trap' criticism
Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday announced a whopping $60 billion in new development financing for the African nations as he sought to refute criticism that the massive funding under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is drawing the countries into a debt trap. The funds have been announced on top of $60 billion that China offered to the African nations in 2015. Here's more.
Here are the details about the distribution of funds
The funds will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies. The finances include $15 billion grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, $20 billion credit lines, setting up of a $10 billion special fund for development financing, and a $5 billion special fund for financing imports from Africa.
China has been investing billions of dollars in African nations
Xi was speaking at the two-day Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation attended by the 53 heads of the African states and organizations. China is investing billions of dollars in projects for African nations under the BRI. This is the third time that China is hosting the Africa summit. The inaugural 2006 summit was held in Beijing and another one in 2015 (Johannesburg).
China to implement eight major initiatives with African countries
At the Johannesburg summit, Xi announced $60bn fund for infrastructure development in Africa. "Africa is an extension of the BRI development historically and naturally and an important participant in it," Xi said. Xi said China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.
China to carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs for Africa
A China-Africa economic and trade expo will be set up in China and Chinese companies will be encouraged to increase investment in Africa. Xi said that China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to $147 million to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.
China's overgenerous help is seen as 'debt trap' for Africa
China's growing clout in Africa has drawn criticism that more African nations are getting into Chinese debt trap. The only African country that still remained outside China's fold was the tiny kingdom of Swaziland which is still with Taiwan spurning China's overtures.
Xi says China is following a 'five-no' approach with Africa
Xi has been refuting the "debt trap" claims. He said China followed a "five-no" approach in its relations with Africa - No interference in African countries' pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions, no interference in internal affairs, no imposition of China's will, no attachment of political strings to assistance, and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation.
No one can undermine unity between China and Africa: Xi
"No one can undermine the great unity between the Chinese and African people," Xi said. In a bid to refute criticism that China is importing only raw materials from Africa, Xi said Beijing will increase imports, especially non-resource products, from Africa and support African countries in participating in China International Import Expo being held in November in Shanghai.