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China needs fair assessment of cooperation with Africa

China has expressed the hope that other countries would do more good for Africa’s development and treat China-Africa cooperation in a fair and objective manner.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, was responding to the accusation of U.S. that low interest loans from China and other countries have driven some sub-Saharan African countries deeper into debt.

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“Such remarks are totally out of line with the truth,” Geng told a news conference.

“The debt of some African countries is the result of long-term accumulation instead of a recent appearance.

“China is not the main creditor of African countries,” he said.

In the initial stage of industrialisation, any country needs financing support.

The spokesman said it is hard for Africa to realise industrialisation and modernisation without financial guarantees.

Geng said China’s financing support to Africa is mainly in infrastructure and production areas.

“Chinese companies have built a lot of highways, railways, ports, airports and communication facilities, greatly improving Africa’s economic development environment and helping Africa attract foreign investment.”

The Chinese government has also encouraged and supported its companies to increase direct investment in Africa and explore new cooperative modes of investment such as public-private partnership, he said.

“I emphasise that the Chinese side attaches great importance to the sustainability of Africa’s debt,” Geng said.

He said China insists that large-scale infrastructure and industrial development in Africa go hand-in-hand, and that attention be paid to both the economic and social benefits of projects and increasing African countries’ ability for independent and sustainable development.

“We have done our best to avoid increasing Africa’s debt burden,” he said.

The spokesman said China is ready to work together with the international community to support Africa in its pursuit of peace, stability and development.

Newsmen report that China has invested heavily in infrastructure in many major African countries, including Nigeria.

In some cases, China committed as much as 80 per cent through soft loans to funding of projects.

China has also boosted its trade with Nigeria and other countries.

The volume of trade between China and Nigeria in 2017 stood at $12.3 billion.

NAN


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