China has signed a deal to loan the Congo (DRC) some USD 5 billion to develop infrastructure and mining. Infrastructure Minister Pierre Lumbi said the money will be spent on building roads, hospitals, health centers, housing and universities. In exchange, China will get rights to DRC’s extensive natural resources, including timber, cobalt and copper. A recent study concluded that China’s main interest in Africa is to guarantee supplies of raw materials. Meanwhile, China went on a charm offensive Sept. 19 to convince a skeptical world its products are safe, as a new poll in the U.S. found 78 percent of Americans were worried about the safety of Chinese goods. (BBC, Reuters)

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