Chinese President Xi Jinping told African leaders and business representatives at a business forum that Chinese funds are not meant for “vanity projects” in Africa, but are intended to remove developmental bottlenecks. Xi also said Chinese companies should respect local people and the environment.
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“China’s cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development. Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects but in places where they count the most,” he said.
China surpassed the United States to become the African continent’s largest trading partner in 2009, according to non-profit think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations.
Beijing defended itself against criticism, including that its projects are too resource-extraction oriented, don’t lack appropriate environmental safeguards, and don’t use enough local labor.
In July 2016, academics at the Oxford Review of Economic Policy published a study that found that “China’s infrastructure investment model is not one to follow for other countries but one to avoid.”
Xi delivered his comments at the High-level Dialogue between Chinese and African Leaders and Business and Industry Representatives at the sixth China-Africa Entrepreneur Conference in Beijing, China.
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