Monday, November 09, 2009

China pledges to go 'all out' to help Africa

Over the weekend, China pledged another 10 billion dollars in conditional loan money to governments across the African continent. China says they are making the pledge to help Africa's agriculture and infrastructure.

However, many say the Chinese are only making the loans to improve their power within the continent. Human rights advocates are concerned that China may give the loans to corrupt officials.

From this AFP story that we found at Google News, writer Samer al-Atrush attended the Chinese announcement of the loans.

Wen said the new measures would focus on reducing poverty and assistance in infrastructure and agriculture, while China is also vowing to remove tariffs on most goods from the least developed African countries.

China's assistant commerce minister, Fu Ziying, said on Sunday that China would build a permanent exhibition centre for African products.

It will also set up "three to five modern logistical centres to help African entrepreneurs to increase logistical capacity to ship out African products," Fu said.

The pledges have been received with enthusiasm by African delegations, but China is fighting off accusations that it is only interested in Africa for its resources.

An assistant foreign minister, Zhai Jun, insisted that China was not seeking to impose its "hegemony" in the continent.

China "will not treat Africa in an imperialist way. China will not be pointing fingers or bullying African countries," he said on Sunday, adding that his country would not "practice colonialism in African countries."

Ahead of the launch of a more robust diplomatic involvement in African conflicts, he denied that China throws a lifeline to leaders accused of human rights violations such as Sudan President Omar al-Beshir.

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