Chinese president: Our funds to Africa not for vanity projects

Chinese funds are not to be spent on “vanity projects” in Africa but in places that count the most. 

President Xi Jinping said this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing summit of the forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

He said China’s friendship with Africa was time-honoured, adding that the country’s investments on the continent have no political strings attached.

“China does not interfere in Africa’s internal affairs and does not impose its own will on Africa,” he said.

“What we value is the sharing of development experience and the support we can offer to Africa’s national rejuvenation and prosperity.

“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.”

Jinping added that Chinese firms in Africa need to respect local tradition as well as ensuring that they fulfill their social responsibilities to the communities.

“I hope that our entrepreneurs will act to fulfil social responsibilities and respect local culture and tradition,” he said.

“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.”

According to Chinese officials, this year’s summit will strengthen Africa’s role in Xi’s Belt and Road initiative to link China by sea and land with Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa through an infrastructure network modelled on the old Silk Road.

Jinping said the plan, for which Beijing has pledged $126 billion, would help provide more resources and facilities for Africa and would expand shared markets.

African presidents in attendance include President Muhammadu Buhari, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa; Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, president of Egypt, Edgar Lungu, president of Zambia and Ali Bongo, president of Gabon.