China will provide US $20 billion in credit to African countries over the 3 three years, doubling its earlier loan commitment in a move to strengthen fast deepening economic ties with the continent.
Chinese President Hu Jintao announced the credit pledge while addressing a gathering of heads of state and representatives from 50 African countries, at the opening session of the fifth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
China had pledged US$ 10 billion in soft loans at the previous China-Africa summit in 2009. Hu Jintao said that China and developing countries in Africa should work better together in response to ‘ the big bullying the small, the strong domineering over the weak and the rich oppressing the poor ‘ in international affairs.
Reflecting fast-growing economic ties – trade between two big countries China and Africa rose to over US$ 160 billion last year, up by 83% from 2009. Chinese president Hu Jintao has announced the opening of a 20 billion dollars credit line to assist African countries in developing infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and small and medium enterprises.
China pledges 20 billion dollars in credit to African Nations / Beijing summit 2012
The pledge is likely to boost China’s good relations with Africa, a supplier of oil and raw materials like copper and uranium to the world’s most populous country and second-largest economy.
But the loans could add to discomfort in the West, which criticizes China for overlooking human rights abuses in its business dealings with Africa, especially in Beijing’s desire to feed its booming resource-hungry economy.
Hu Jintao has promised training and scholarships for African professionals and students, assistance with healthcare and customs and financial support for the African Union. Jintao said : ‘ China and Africa’s destinies are closely linked, Chinese and African friendship is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people on both sides. China sincerely supports African countries as they pursue their own development paths, and will sincerely assist African countries in strengthening their ability to develop independently. ‘
Better cooperation with African countries / China pledges $20 billion in credit for Africa
The European Union has rejected what they call China’s ‘ cheque book ‘ approach to doing business with Africa, saying it would continue to demand good governance and the transparent use of funds from its trading partners.
Chinese and African officials have hit out at criticism from the West on the growing trade relationship. Some Western countries have described the resource-driven commerce as exploitative, while also hitting out at China for engaging with governments that give short shrift to human rights concerns.
The conference of African leaders held at the Great Hall of the People seemed a lower key event than in the past when Beijing was decorated with banners announcing ‘ Amazing Africa. ‘