President Xi Jinping told African counterparts and business leaders Monday that China’s investments on the continent have “no political strings attached”, even as Beijing is increasingly criticised over its debt-heavy projects abroad.
Xi spoke before the start of a two-day China-Africa summit that is expected to focus on his cherished Belt and Road initiative, a global trade infrastructure programme.
The massive scheme is aimed at improving Chinese access to foreign markets and resources, and boosting Beijing’s influence abroad.
It has already seen China loan billions of dollars to countries in Asia and Africa for roads, railways, ports and other major infrastructure projects.
But critics warn that the Chinese leader’s pet project is burying some countries under massive debt.
“China’s investment in Africa comes with no political strings attached,” Xi