9 May 2014

Africa: China to Earmark Over Half of Foreign Aid for Africa - Premier Li

Abuja — China will earmark more than half of its foreign aid for Africa and attach no preconditions, visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Thursday.

"China will, as always, continue to increase its assistance to Africa in both quantity and quality to the extent of its ability, ensuring that more than half of its foreign aid will go to Africa," Li told a World Economic Forum on Africa in the Nigerian capital.

Hailing Africa as an important pole in world politics, a new pole in global economic growth and a colorful pole in human civilization, Li said that the development of Africa will make the world more democratic, stable, dynamic and colorful, and is conducive to world peace, development and progress.

"It would be better to have more poles than less in the world political and economic landscape," he said.

The Chinese premier pledged that Beijing will help Africa develop the networks of high-speed railways, expressways and regional airports, saying infrastructure construction, transportation in particular, should be a priority in achieving inclusive growth.

Referring to an African "dream of the century" depicted by African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to connect African capitals with high-speed railways, Li said China stands ready to help with the mega project.

China is ready to carry out all-dimensional cooperation with Africa on high-speed railways, including their planning, designing, construction and management, Li said.

China is also willing to set up a high-speed railway research and development center in Africa, he added.

Li stressed that cooperation between China and African countries is based on good faith and openness, saying his country is willing to share its advanced and applicable technologies and management expertise without reservation.

China is also ready to step up collaboration with international organizations and relevant countries to make a joint contribution to Africa's development, he added.

Li also pledged to strengthen China-Africa cooperation in green and low carbon development and make sure the Chinese enterprises operating in Africa fulfill their social responsibilities.

He stressed that China will never attach political conditions to its assistance to Africa and will never use its aid programs to interfere in the internal affairs of African countries.

Li also assured the audience that China continues to enjoy solid foundation for sustained economic growth despite recent slowdown.

China will give more attention to the quality and efficiency of growth and make growth more inclusive and sustainable, the premier said.

"We have the confidence and capability to meet the expected growth target of around 7.5 percent for this year and maintain a medium-high growth for a fairly long period of time to come," he said.

This is good news for African countries and the global economy at large, he said.

The Chinese premier, currently in Angola for a visit, started on Sunday his first Africa tour since taking office in March last year. He had visited Ethiopia and Nigeria, and will travel to Kenya.

Li had made a speech at the headquarters of the AU in the Ethiopian capital on Monday, proposing that China and Africa join hands to bring forth an upgraded version of their all-round cooperation.

The Chinese premier had also expounded China's Africa policy and reaffirmed Beijing's commitment to further deepening the China-Africa comprehensive cooperative partnership.

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