Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 6 News List

ANALYSIS: Chinese officials, media defend actions in Africa

Reuters, BEIJING

African nations say China generally offers better terms and is more willing to provide money than the US or Europe.

Bureau of Coordination and Planning for an Emerging Gabon general coordinator Liban Soleman said on the summit’s sidelines the idea that China is saddling African nations with debt they cannot repay is “unfair.”

“I think that what the Chinese system has offered Africa is something that is ... probably the most flexible, specifically with the system between the grace periods and the very low interest rates,” he said. “I think that the main element that people misunderstand is the competitiveness of the infrastructure prices that the Chinese companies are giving to African countries.”

China has acknowledged there are some problems it is working to fix.

Xi on Monday told a business summit that Chinese funds are not for “vanity projects,” and Chinese firms must respect local people and the environment in Africa.

By the end of this year, China would have provided technical training for more than 200,000 Africans, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan (鐘山) told the forum on Sunday.

As Africans became increasingly technologically able, there would be less need for Chinese workers to be flown in, said Jiang Zengwei (姜增偉), chairman of the government-run China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

“This is what we must do or we cannot foster a long-term cooperative relationship,” he told reporters.

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