Museveni in Beijing for China-Africa meeting

Daniel Fowler
September 3, 2018

Chinese People's Liberation Army honour guard stands in formation.

The financing will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies, Xi said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Also present at the summit are Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya; Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, among others.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation brings together leaders from China and more than 50 African countries. Trade between Africa and China in 2014 was at $220 billion.

Chinese state-owned companies have aggressively pursued large investments in Africa, whose vast resources have helped fuel China's transformation into an economic powerhouse.

"Is it possible to reach 300 billion dollars in 2020?"

The presidential spokesman recalled that in 2013, the Chinese leader proposed the initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, with a view to integrating the development strategies of partner countries.

Standard & Poor's says Beijing structures the infrastructure projects as long-term concessions, with a Chinese firm operating the facility for a period of 20 to 30 years while splitting the proceeds with the local counterpart or government.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is due to attend it. Xi and Premier Li Keqiang were busy receiving African leaders and holding talks with them.

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"Established 18 years ago, FOCAC has led worldwide cooperation with Africa and has become a significant marker of South-South cooperation", said Li Dan, director of Africa Studies Center of China Foreign Affairs University. China defends continued lending to Africa on the grounds that the continent still needs debt-funded infrastructure development.

A study by the Center for Global Development, a US think-tank, found "serious concerns" about the sustainability of sovereign debt in eight Asian, European and African countries receiving Belt and Road funds.

According to the World Bank, China's rapid growth into an upper middle-income country resulted from the a shift in central planning to a market-based economy.

In many areas, the China-Africa partnership has delivered concrete outcomes that are beneficial to Africa.

The summit will link the Belt and Road Initiative with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the African Union's Agenda 2063 and individual countries' development plans to explore new territory for Africa's revival.

"But thus far, there has not been a systematic and widespread policy addressing this".

Cooperation under the initiative, which certainly goes beyond infrastructure, is expected to be a major topic of the upcoming FOCAC summit.

He said China and Africa's joint development of the Belt and Road completely follows established global rules, noting that China is ready to strengthen third-party cooperation with any country that has the capability and the intent.

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