China Offers Africa Billions in Aid, Debt Forgiveness

Beijing gives back amid flak over greed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2009 8:09 AM CST
Chinese Prime minister Wen Jiabao talks at a session of the 4th Ministerial Conference of the Sino-African Forum in Egypt''s Sharm el Sheik Resort Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009.   (STR)

(Newser) – Chinese premier Wen Jiabao today pledged $10 billion in low interest loans to African nations over the next three years and said Beijing would cancel the government debts of some of the poorest of those countries. The Asian powerhouse, at the start of a two-day China-Africa summit, looked to deflect criticism that its investments in the continent were motivated purely by greed.

Wen also said China would build 100 new clean energy projects for Africa over the same period to help the continent deal with climate change. China's inroads into Africa, including developing Sudan's oil sector while its government stands accused of atrocities in Darfur, have come at a diplomatic price. Wen also emphasized that China was also prepared to take on a role in the "settlement of issues of peace and security."