China’s Hu Pledges $20 Billion in Loans to African Nations
Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged $20 billion in new loans to Africa for infrastructure and manufacturing, promising to expand the relationship between the continent and its largest trading partner.
China will also offer 18,000 government scholarships and send 1,500 medical staff to the continent, Hu said in a speech yesterday at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. He promised China will play a “positive and constructive role in African affairs.”
Hu’s speech underscored China’s push both to tap Africa’s natural resources to fuel its economic growth and deliver its goods to African markets. The country has put itself forward as an alternative to western partners, offering trade deals and infrastructure loans without preconditions involving human rights or governance reform.
“We will continue to stand firm with the African people and forever be a good friend, good partner and good brother of the African people,” Hu said. “We should oppose the practices of the big bullying the small, the strong domineering over the weak, and the rich oppressing the poor.”
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