President of China, Xi Jinping, has said that the country’s investments on the African continent have no political strings attached.
He stated this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing summit of the forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
African presidents in attendance include President Muhammadu Buhari, Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa; Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, president of Egypt, Edgar Lungu, president of Zambia and Ali Bongo, president of Gabon.
Jinping, however, cautioned that Chinese funds are not to be spent on “vanity projects” but in places that count the most.
While noting that China’s friendship with Africa was time-honoured, he said: “China does not interfere in Africa’s internal affairs and does not impose its own will on Africa.
“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. Re.s 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 re.s.”
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 re.s and facilities for Africa and would expand shared markets.