Are Sino-African relations mutually beneficial, or are they pushing Africa deeper into debt?
The first decade of the 21st century witnessed China’s intensified foray into the continent of Africa. Its presence there has since become a subject of serious speculation. Africa is currently burdened by a debt of more than $300 billion, which it is experiencing enormous difficulties in servicing. On 15 December 2003, in his opening address to a two-day China-Africa conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao announced that his government had fulfilled its debt exemption commitment by cancelling $1.27 billion of Africa’s debt. Obviously, African leaders who interpreted this to be an indication of genuine friendship warmly received the gesture.