Despite the fact that Beijing is increasingly criticised for its large debt-based overseas projects, last week President of the PRC Xi Jinping suggested to allocate USD $60 billion to African leaders for the purpose of financing the region’s development.
It is planned to be implemented under Belt and Road Initiative, which is condemned by some experts for driving some countries multi-billion dollar debts to China. Beijing states that the proposed scheme involves creating a more stable link between the regions. Xi Jinping said the initiative ‘is not a scheme to form an exclusive club or bloc against other countries.’ He added that the least developed, heavily indebted countries as well as the poorer countries of Africa will be exempt from the debt created as a result of interest-free Chinese loans.
However, international analysts are of the opinion that such programs can create ‘new collonial relations’ between China and the countries being offered such assistance. The chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki admitted that concerns over debt were discussed inside the Union but also stressed that ‘Africa’s financial needs are such that it must seize all the opportunities that are provided to it.’