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China offers Africa $10 billion in loans

November 09, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered $10 billion in loans to African nations over the next three years, saying China was a "true and trusted friend" of the continent and its people.

The aid offer is double that unveiled by President Hu Jintao at a 2006 summit in Beijing, as China aims to boost a relationship that politically goes back decades and is now economically booming, to the discomfort of some in the West.

Wen brushed aside concerns that China was interested only in Africa's natural resources to feed its booming economy.

"China's support for Africa's development is real and solid and, in the future, no matter what turbulence the world undergoes, our friendship with the people of Africa will not change," he said at a summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheik.

Wen said China would also help Africa develop clean energy and cope with climate change, encourage Chinese loans to smaller African firms and expand market access for African products. He also called for greater international help for the continent.

"Africa's development is an essential part of achieving global development, and as the sincere and dependable friend of Africa, China deeply feels the difficulties and challenges faced by Africa," Wen said. "China calls on the international community to enhance its sense of urgency, and support Africa's development."

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