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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora