ADDIS ABABA – Chinese Foreign minister has refuted claims that his country has created “debt traps” in Africa.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China has built more than 10,000km railway and nearly 100,000km highway across Africa, hundreds of ports and countless hospitals and schools over the past years.
“These are not ‘debt traps’, but monuments of cooperation,” he told a news conference when responding to the allegations.
Wang stressed China honors its commitments to cooperation with Africa and never makes empty promises, saying China will champion the spirit of friendship and cooperation in the future.
“We will work with African countries to vigorously advance anti-COVID cooperation, further upgrade China-Africa practical cooperation and act on the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa,” he said.
President Xi Jinping announced nine programs for cooperation with Africa at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation late 2021.
‘Three Priority areas’
“This year, we will start implementing the deliverables of the ministerial conference,” he said adding China will work with African countries in three priority areas
First, Wang said Beijing “will vigorously advance” anti-COVID cooperation with Africa.
China will deliver a billion doses of vaccines to Africa and help the continent’s vaccine production capacity as well as goal of vaccinating 60% of its population by the end of 2022.
Second, Wang said his country would accelerate high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and work for early harvests under the nine programs.
“We will… take concrete actions to support the economic recovery and sustainable development of Africa,” he elaborated.
The third priority, he said, is to act on the outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa. China has already appointed a special envoy for the Horn of Africa.
It “is prepared to engage in extensive communication with countries in the region and play a constructive role for the peace and development of the Horn of Africa and the African continent as a whole,” he added.
Featured Image caption: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a news conference via video link during the fifth session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing, March 7, 2022. [Photo Xinhua]