China defends multi-billion dollar investments in Africa

China has often been accused of debt trap diplomacy with African countries having accumulated over $100 billion in debt from the second powerful economy in the world.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and China's Xi Jinping during the welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in the People’s Republic of China. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

BEIJING – China has defended its multi-billion dollar investments and loans to Africa, with President Xi Jinping saying there are no strings attached.

Xi was speaking at the Forum on China Africa Trade Cooperation (Focac) in Beijing on Monday where he announced that China would invest over $60 billion in Africa over the next three years and cancel debt from the least developing countries that have relations with China.

China has often been accused of debt trap diplomacy, with African countries having accumulated over $100 billion in debt from the second powerful economy in the world.

But speaking through a translator, Jinping says that his government is not trying to trap the continent.

He says that China is not trying to impose on the will of African countries through aid or pursuing political gains.

CHINA NOT RE-COLONISING AFRICA

There has been scepticism by some to China's continued billion-rand investments in Africa, with some people claiming the second powerful economy in the world is trying to colonise countries on the continent.

Ramaphosa said this is not true.

“Focac refutes the view that a new colonialism is taking hold in Africa as our detractors would have us believe.”

He said cooperation between China and Africa has brought about many fruits.

“The progress that has been made in the last 18 years clearly demonstrated the tangible and lasting benefits of Focac to the people of Africa and indeed to the people of the People’s Republic of China as well.”

The president said the relationship between China and Africa is premised on the fundamental right of the African people to determine their own future.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)