Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beijing Finds the Chink in Africa's Armour.

What are they up to now?

Image: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif

China promises billions in aid, loans to Africa

Pledges, part of China's growing push in continent, watched warily by West

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, right, waves beside Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif before a summit between China and African nations held in Egypt on Friday. China on Sunday pledged billions in aid and loans to Africa, part of the country's increasing push into the continent.

SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - China's premier on Sunday pledged $10 billion in concessional loans to African nations over the next three years and said Beijing would cancel the government debts of some of the poorest of those countries, as the Asian powerhouse looked to deflect criticism that its investments in the continent were motivated purely by greed.

At a two-day China-Africa summit that began on Sunday, Wen Jiabao also said China would build 100 new clean energy projects for Africa over the same period as part of an effort to help the continent deal with climate change issues.

'We will help Africa build up financing capacity," Wen said at the start of the two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit. "We will provide $10 billion in concessional loans to African countries."

The pledges are part of China's increasing push into Africa, a drive that has drawn criticism from some who argue that Beijing's quest for natural resources to fuel its growing economy is ignoring the troubling human rights record of many of Africa's governments.

'Mutually beneficial cooperation'

But Wen said while many in the world have only now begun to take note of China's role in Africa, it was a relationship that dates back five decades and included helping the countries throw off the yoke of colonialism.

"The Chinese people cherish sincere friendship toward the African people, and China's support to Africa's development is concrete and real," Wen said at a forum that attracted leaders such as Sudan's Omar el-Bashir and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe — heads of state out-of-favor with the West.

"Whatever change that may take place in the world, our friendship with African people will not change," Wen said.

"Our commitment to deepening mutually beneficial cooperation ... will not change, and our policy of supporting Africa's economic and social development will not change."

Wen said that as part of its support for Africa and growing trade ties with China, Beijing would take eight new measures over the next three years, including helping Africa build up its financing capacity.

Along with the loans — double the amount pledged two years earlier at a similar summit in Beijing — Wen also said that for the most heavily indebted and least developed African nations, China would cancel their debts associated with interest free government loans set to mature at the end of this year.

The caveat was that the debt forgiveness was restricted to those nations that have diplomatic relations with China — a condition likely to rankle critics who argue that China has made its support conditional on countries backing it fully, including by renouncing ties with Taiwan. The overwhelming majority of African nations have diplomatic ties with China.

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4 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Africa is being re-colonised and they are too stupid to understand it.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have the chinese than the blacks...


The Chinese will rip the guts out from the Blacks in Africa. I can see interesting times approaching for Philemon and Co.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for the blacks, they do not understand the Asians. While Charles and Koos looked on them as childlike and in need of care, Xingpan looks on them as savage brutes worthy only of slave status, beasts of burden to be worked to death for a bowl of rice a day.

Black Africa has a VERY rude awakening coming if they think the Chinese are their friends.