China hosts African leaders amid aid criticism

Xi Jinping Offers Another $60Bn in Aid to Africa Warns Against 'Vanity Projects'

President Cyril Ramaphosa engages with South African business leaders at a business breakfast in Beijing ahead of the state visit and the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

"Since its establishment, the FOCAC has upheld the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and become a forum featuring equality, practicality and efficiency, President Xi Jinping, will deliver a keynote speech, comprehensively expounding on China's new ideas and proposals for enhancing its relations with Africa, as well as announce China's new actions and measures for its practical cooperation with Africa".

Xi told African counterparts and business leaders Monday that China's investments on the continent have "no political strings attached", even as Beijing is increasingly criticised over its debt-heavy projects overseas.

The massive scheme is aimed at improving Chinese access to foreign markets and resources, and boosting Beijing's influence overseas.

China has poured billions in loans for roads, railways, ports and other major infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa. That has provided lucrative opportunities for Chinese businesses, while African nations are often happy to accept China's offers that come without demands for safeguards against corruption, waste and environmental damage. "China-Africa cooperation under the BRI is a way to common prosperity that brings benefits to both our peoples". "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects, but in places where they count the most", Xi said.

"Western media deliberately portray Africans in misery for collaborating with China and they appear to have discovered big news by finding occasional complaints in the African media about Sino-Africa cooperation".

Nevertheless, he received a warm greeting from Xi, who told him he "welcomes Sudan's participation in the Belt and Road" and "opposes foreign interference in Sudan's internal affairs", Xinhua reported Sunday.

"This means that China is likely to even get a larger share of Kenya's market once we enter into a free trade arrangement", Mr Kiptoo said, explaining Nairobi's opposition of the deal.

A study by the Center for Global Development, a United States think-tank, found "serious concerns" about the sustainability of sovereign debt in eight Asian, European and African countries receiving Belt and Road funds.

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With all these developments, Africa Beyond Aid crusader Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, maintains that "Africa is not a zero sum game".

Chinese companies will be encouraged to invest no less than £7.7 billion ($10 billion) in the continent in the next three years, he said.

He announced another financial support of $60b to the African continent for various sectors emphasising the need to help the youth whom he described as the future of a blossoming relationship between China and Africa.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will oversee the signing of a telecommunications deal backed by a $328-million loan facility from China's Exim bank during his visit, his office said.

Such concerns have grown as Xi extended his Belt and Road plan across much of the globe and tied it to his ambition of completing his country's return to great power status.

"The rapid growth in Sino-African trade made China Africa's largest trading partner, he said".

He also voiced hope that Chinese and African companies could find new ways to cooperate in the field of technology.

On health care, Xi said China will upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, with a focus on flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals.

The cooperation between China and Africa was "a forward looking partnership" not concerned only with the current - but also the future - challenges, he said.