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

Devin Lawrence
September 3, 2018

The offer of more funds comes after a pledge of a similar amount at the previous Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa three years ago. "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects but in places where they count the most", he said.

"It is not a China club", Mr Xi said in a speech on Monday to mark the project's anniversary, describing Belt and Road as an "open and inclusive" project.

It is expected that the summit will adopt the new Beijing Action Plan (2019 to 2021), which will chart a new course of China-Africa friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation across various fields in the next three years. learnt that Buhari and his Chinese host will also witness the signing of the memorandum of understanding on One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR).

When FOCAC last met in 2015, African leaders and those in China set a goal to double trade to $400 billion by 2020.

Chinese and African leaders will have close interchanges, create stronger strategic guidance for cooperation as well as add new substance to the community considering new circumstances, which will also contribute to the building of a community with shared future for mankind.

In the recent five years, China-Africa relations have gained practical results, bringing tangible benefits to both peoples, including unprecedentedly frequent high-level exchanges and strengthened political guidance.

Nations across Africa are hoping that China's enthusiasm for infrastructure investment will help promote industrialisation on the continent.

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China has established 54 Confucius Institutes and 27 Confucius classrooms in 41 African countries.

Chinese state-owned companies have aggressively pursued large investments in Africa, whose vast resources have helped fuel China's transformation into an economic powerhouse.

So far, almost 10 African countries have signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China, and a few more are in negotiations.

"Given the complex and changing worldwide situation and the development of individual countries, China-Africa wisdom and solutions that can be helpful to global governance are expected from the summit", Li Dan said. Deeply indebted Pakistan is also reportedly reconsidering some projects in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that is a key link in the BRI.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the relationship between China and Africa is premised on the fundamental right of the African people to determine their own future.

"We urge Chinese investors to take advantages of the great opportunities created by the African continental free trade area, which created a single market of more than 1 billion people".

"China's cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development". Once signed, the deal would be the first of its kind between China and an African country.

"We believe African people, instead of Western observers, know best what is most needed by the continent", the paper, which often reflects official thinking, said.

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