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President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that China, which has long been accused of using Africa as a source of natural resources and a market for its goods, will aim to make the continent more self-reliant.
China will pay more attention to African countries’ needs and “teach them how to fish instead of giving them fishes directly,” to help them realize independent and sustainable development, Xi noted.
The Chinese President met Senegalese President Macky Sall in Beijing on Thursday.
During Sall’s visit to Beijing, the first by an African President this year, Xi called on Senegal to “jointly safeguard the common interests of developing countries and strengthen their voice and representation in international affairs” with China.
The government will encourage more Chinese companies to invest in Senegal, Xi promised during his meeting with Sall.
The two nations also inked an agreement on governmental economic and technological cooperation on Friday.
Xi noted that China-Africa trade totaled more than $200 billion in 2013, and Chinese direct investment in Africa grew 44 per cent.
The number has doubled from $100 billion in 2008.
“That all stands witness to the endlessly renewed vitality of the Sino-African friendship, to the scale of the potential for cooperation and the excellent outlook for a new kind of Sino-African strategic partnership,” Xi said.
According to the African Development Bank, some 85 per cent of China’s exports from Africa are raw materials, such as oil and minerals.
The Chinese government has been battling to address these concerns raised by an unbalanced pattern of trade, even as it finances massive infrastructure projects in the continent.On Thursday, Xi told President Sall China is willing to increase imports of Senegal’s agricultural products and carry out cooperation on plantation and processing. China will encourage more companies to invest in Senegal and list the west African country as a tourist destination for Chinese citizens, he said.
Meanwhile, Sall said China should aid the continent in its fight to establish regional stability.
“Senegal attaches strategic importance to China and has high expectations for bilateral cooperation. Senegal hopes to deepen political trust with China,” Sall said.
TBP and Agencies