China pledges to double Africa aid

At the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese President Hu Jintao committed to double aid to Africa by 2009. Beijing, according to Hu, also earmarked $3 billion in preferential loans and $2 billion in export credits over the next three years. “China will forever be a good friend, good partner, good brother of Africa,” Hu told delegates from 48 African countries. “Common development is the shared aspiration of the Chinese and African peoples… We are committed to pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation to bring the benefits of development to our peoples,” he continued.

The World Bank has criticized China’s lending, which the agency fears could promote further corruption and aggravate Africa’s debt situation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao rejected this view. “When China is building roads and schools and providing health infrastructure and agricultural technology to African countries, are we damaging human rights in Africa? Are we hurting good governance in those countries? African people are benefiting from China’s projects,” Liu remarked.

China makes fresh pledges of loans and aid to Africa at summit (Agence France-Presse)
China to double its aid to Africa (British Broadcasting Corp.)
China pledges to double aid to Africa (The Associated Press)
China’s Hu pledges loans, aid to Africa (Reuters)

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