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China's President Xi pledges another $60 billion for Africa

China's President Xi pledges another $60 billion for Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced a $60 billion package of aid, investment and loans to Africa, against a backdrop of growing concern about rising debt distress from Chinese loans to the continent.
The announcement was made during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, a triennial meeting between senior Chinese leaders and their counterparts from across Africa.
The financial package is the same amount Beijing pledged at the previous FOCAC summit in 2015, and is in line with analysts' expectations that Xi would not vastly increase the amount of Chinese money flowing into Africa.
Over the past nearly two decades, the numbers coming out of FOCAC have generally risen with each event. The pledge in 2015 was three times the figure announced at the 2012 forum.
Jeremy Stevens, international economist for the Standard Bank Group, said many felt it would not be "politically appropriate" to pledge huge loans given concern that Africa is becoming overloaded with Chinese debt.
Stevens said Beijing's decision not to hike loans to Africa said it shouldn't be interpreted as a step back in relations.
"In reality is it's not -- it's a maturation and a natural evolution of the relationship," he said.

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