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China Assures Africa of Commitment to Continent

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, is welcomed by Ethiopian Premier Hailemariam Desalegn at the Ethiopian Presidential Palace, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 4, 2014.
China’s prime minister is emphasizing his nation's commitment to investing in Africa during a visit to the continent.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang spoke Monday on China-Africa relations at the AU headquarters building, which was financed by China as a gift to the continent.

China’s policy towards Africa will focus in the next year on industrial cooperation, financial cooperation, poverty reduction, environmental protection, cooperation on cultural exchanges, and supporting peace and stability on the African continent.

Prime Minister Li said he wants to expand trade between Africa and China.

He said China and Africa should strive to reach $400 billion in annual trade and $100 billion of Chinese direct investment in Africa by 2020. He said China will take an active part in the industrialization in Africa.

It is the first visit of Prime Minister Li to the African continent since he assumed office last year.

China's trade with Africa totaled $210 billion in the past year. It is estimated China has also given more than $75 billion in the past decade for aid and development projects.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is also traveling in Africa. While the U.S. State Department is focusing much more on peace and stability, the Chinese visit is focused on strengthening trade cooperation.

Li said trading with China comes with no political strings attached.

He said that neither side seeks to impose its will on the other or interfere in the other's internal affairs.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Li will meet Ethiopia’s President Mulatu Teshome. After visiting Ethiopia and the African Union, Li will visit Kenya, Nigeria and Angola.