China announces $3 billion loan plan for Africa

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China will lend African nations $3 billion in preferential credit over three years and double aid and interest-free loans over the same time, Beijing said on Monday ahead of President Hu Jintao’s tour to woo the continent.

The announcement by China’s Ministry of Commerce stressed the offer came with none of the strictures that Western countries often demand – and which irk many African leaders.

“The preferential loans provided by China carry no political conditions,” said the announcement on the Ministry’s Web site ( The loans would be mostly steered to basic infrastructure, power projects and joint enterprises, it said.

China defends its growing trade with , whose energy and mineral wealth it covets to fuel its booming economy, and rejects criticism in the West that it fails to require accountability for aid, loans and investment, encouraging corruption. [Full Text]



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