China will slash the amount of finance it gives to Africa over the coming three years by a third, an indicator of Beijing’s increasing caution over the continent’s debt levels, reports the Financial Times. In a video address to the triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation being held in Senegal, Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged $40 billion to African countries in investment, credit lines, trade finance and special drawing rights.
While this represents a cut from the $60 billion pledged at the previous two Focac summits, Xi emphasised his commitment to what he called a “win-win” relationship. In addition, China’s president promised 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses, although he provided no timeframe. He also pledged to step up co-operation on solar, wind and other renewable investments and to simplify procedures in order to increase agricultural imports from African states.
Chidi Odinkalu, senior manager for Africa at the Open Society Foundations, said the reduced financial pledge showed that Beijing no longer had to try so hard in Africa. “China’s strategic objective was to get a foot in the door. Now that it’s in the door, it can choose to dictate the terms,” he said.