China says it is offering $60 billion in financing for Africa, whilst the Asia country’s companies will be encouraged to invest at least $10 billion over the next three years, Chinese President Xi Jumping said on Monday.
Mr. Jinping who speaking at the opening of a summit with African leaders in Beijing, denied engaging in “debt trap” diplomacy, but warned against “vanity projects.”
Mr. Jinping further promised funds will go to support development that people on the continent could see and touch, but that would also be green and sustainable.
The new offer of more money comes after a pledge of another $60 billion at the previous summit in South Africa three years ago.
The new $60 billion, he explained, include $15 billion of aid, interest-free loans and concessional loans, a credit line of $20 billion, a $10 billion special fund for China-Africa development, and a $5 billion special fund for imports from Africa.
“China-Africa cooperation must give Chinese and African people tangible benefits and successes that can be seen, that can be felt,” he indicated.
Chinese officials have vowed to be more cautious to ensure projects are sustainable. China defends continued lending to Africa on the grounds that the continent still needs debt-funded infrastructure development.
“China’s cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development. Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects but in places where they count the most,” he said.
Mr. Jinping told business leaders Chinese firms in Africa had to be aware of their social responsibilities and make sure their investments served the community and improved their wellbeing.
He added: “I hope that our entrepreneurs will act to fulfil social responsibilities and respect local culture and tradition.”
“I also hope you will do more in staff training and bettering lives for the local people and will put more emphasis on the environment and resources.”