News / Africa

China Says Premier's Africa Visit About More Than Just Oil Deals

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang claps as he attends the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2014 in Boao, Hainan province, April 10, 2014.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang claps as he attends the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2014 in Boao, Hainan province, April 10, 2014.
Reuters
— Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is to visit four African countries, including oil-rich Angola and Nigeria, but will not be going simply for energy deals as China increasingly aims to boost African living standards, officials said on Wednesday.
 
Trips by Chinese leaders to Africa are often marked by big natural resource deals, triggering criticism from some that China is only interested in the continent's mineral and energy wealth.
 
Africans broadly see China as a healthy counterbalance to Western influence but, as ties mature, there are growing calls from policymakers and economists for more balanced trade relations.
 
China is also keen not to be perceived as an imperial master.
 
Li's May 4-11 trip will also take in Ethiopia and Kenya and Assistant Minister of Commerce Zhang Xiangchen told reporters there would be more than just oil agreements.
 
“During Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the four African countries, all the relevant countries will sign some cooperation agreements between financial organizations and between companies, which are quite large in scope, not just on oil and natural resources,” Zhang said.
 
“There are also many on agriculture, manufacturing, people's livelihood and basic infrastructure,” he added, declining to provide details or financial figures.
 
Angola is China's second-largest source of crude oil after Saudi Arabia.
 
Li's delegation will sign agreements in the four countries which “will provide a solid foundation for future China-Africa trade and economic development”, Zhang said. He declined to say which company executives would accompany Li.
 
'Friendly, cooperative'
 
It will be Li's first visit to Africa since he became premier last year, and follows on from a trip to the continent by President Xi Jinping in March 2013, when he renewed an offer of $20 billion in loans to Africa between 2013 and 2015.
 
Neither Zhang, nor Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming who was at the same news conference, would say if any new loans were in the offing.
 
“Aid to Africa is just one part of China and Africa's friendly cooperative relationship. It includes politics, trade and the economy, culture, society, peace and security,” Zhang Ming said, areas Li would discuss on his trip.
 
China has a relationship with Africa which pre-dates its current resource-hungry economic boom. In previous decades,  China's Communist leaders supported national liberation movements and newly independent states across the continent.
 
Li's visit comes virtually on the 50th anniversary of then-Premier Zhou Enlai's landmark trip to 10 African nations from December 1963 to January 1964.
 
Yet gratitude for China's aid is increasingly tinged with resentment about the way Chinese companies operate in Africa. Industrial complexes staffed exclusively by Chinese workers have occasionally provoked riots by Africans looking for work.
 
Zhang Xiangchen said China's aid for Africa was given in a “brotherly” way between friends and the way China tried to help would be changing.
 
“Our aid in the future will go even more to agriculture, health and sanitation, environmental protection, education and culture, our development cooperation will incline towards people's livelihoods, to help African countries improve livelihoods,” he said.
 
“Li Keqiang's visit will focus on these areas.”

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid