Chinese president Xi promises cooperation with African nations

26 Mar 2013


Chinese president Xi Jinping has promised cooperation with African nations on the basis of equality, a pledge that seeks to ease the concerns of African nations about Beijing's growing influence on the continent.

Xi said in a keynote speech to Africans in Tanzania's economic hub of Dar es Salaam on Monday, that China insisted on "equality among all countries irrespective of their size and strength."

He also expressed opposition to what he termed as the practice of "the big bullying the small and the strong lording over the weak."

Xi arrived in Tanzania on Sunday to kick off a three-nation African tour, which formed part of his first overseas trip after assumption of Chinese presidency earlier this month. He started the trip in Russia before heading to Africa.

In the speech to prominent Tanzanians, the Chinese premier vowed to boost relations with African nations, renewing a Chinese offer to provide them with $20 billion in loans over the next two years at the same time downplaying China's role in Africa, saying the continent belonged to the African people.

Xi has had earlier made five trips to Africa. He left Tanzania later for South Africa, where he would attend a summit of emerging economies known as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Xi said China-Africa relations had entered "a fast-track of all-round development," as he gave the credit to the concerted efforts from both sides.

Recent years had seen, bilateral cooperation between China and the continent produce notable results, with the two-way trade, in 2012 approaching $200 billion. China's accumulated direct investment to Africa topped $15 billion dollars by the end of last year.

According to Xi, history had shown that China and Africa had always been a community of shared destinies, and similar historical experiences, common development tasks, as also shared strategic interests had bound the two sides together.

Summing up the defining feature of China-Africa relations as sincerity, friendship, mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development, he said, China had done its best to help Africa's development.

''Yet China is always grateful to African countries and peoples for the firm support and selfless help given to China over the years," he said.

The Chinese leader pointed out that China-Africa relations had reached a new historic starting point, with Africa emerging as one of fastest-growing regions and forging ahead like a "galloping African lion," and China continuing to enjoy good momentum of development.

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