President Uhuru leaves for China-Africa summit

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Xi made the announcement in a keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects, but in places where they count the most".

Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, EWN reporter Clement Manyathela who is in China says Ramaphosa is on a charm offensive when he was hosted at the state house in the great hall by Xi Jumping.

"It's hard to think of any country in Africa that has not been touched by China", he said, adding that China rejects the claim of "debt-trap diplomacy". China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan (147 million USA dollars) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.

Yesterday the ministers adopted a declaration between Africa and China to undertake the Belt and Road Initiative in developing communication corridors, blue ocean economy and telecommunication and movement of trade.

President Mnangagwa talked about the recent sanctions imposed by the United States in an interview with China's CCTV.

"China-Africa cooperation under the BRI is a way to common prosperity that brings benefits to both our peoples".

The government and the Bank of China have entered into a trade agreement that will see the Chinese making investments to the tune of $1.1-billion (R15-billion) in special economic zones and industrial parks in South Africa.

China has established 54 Confucius Institutes and 27 Confucius classrooms in 41 African countries.

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But he added that China and Africa should work towards a more balanced trade relationship.

The vision of the China-Africa relations is anchored on a desire for a shared future where all nations can prosper through cooperation and mutually beneficial partnerships.

One of the biggest contentious issues between African countries and China has been on trade and in the three-year plan, Beijing had promised under the China-Africa Trade and Investment Facilitation Plan to carry out 50 trade programmes to improve Africa's capacity for internal and external trade and investment. "What we value is the sharing of development experience and the support we can offer to Africa's national rejuvenation and prosperity", Xi said.

As Chinese manufacturers move to making higher-value products, "the slack that is produced as a outcome can be taken up by African economies", according to Tshabalala.

The Chinese have taken umbrage against allegations of involvement in "debt trap" diplomacy, by saddling smaller countries with unplayable loans, and using them as levers for political gain.

China, he said, would set up a peace and security fund in partnership with Africa. Deeply indebted Pakistan is also reportedly reconsidering some projects in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that is a key link in the BRI.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with more African countries expressing their interest in joining the grand project.

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