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China to pledge more aid to Africa ahead of Xi's trip

Nov 25, 2015, 4:21 AM EST
Xi Jinping.
AFP/Getty Images

China is set to announce new aid to African nations when President Xi Jinping visits Zimbabwe and South Africa next month, a senior Chinese official said on Wednesday.

Reuters writes:

The trip is likely to boost China's relations with Africa, which supplies oil and raw materials such as copper and uranium to the world's second-largest economy. China is Africa's largest trading partner and the trade volume between them amounted to $220 billion in 2014, according to China state news agency Xinhua. Zhang Ming, one of China's vice foreign minister, said President Xi will provide further details in his keynote speech on Dec 4. "As for whether China will continue to provide support and aid, there will be no doubt about it," Zhang said, declining to provide further details on the aid amount and its purpose. Xi is scheduled to meet Zimbabwe's 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe on December 1-2, Zhang said. He will also meet South Africa's President Jacob Zuma on December 2-3 and co-chair a two-day summit between China and African countries in Johannesburg after the meeting. The summit in December will be the second such high-level forum following one held in Beijing in 2006, Zhang said.

Meanwhile, China is setting up its first military base in Africa as it continues its evolution into a global superpower. The National Interest reports:

Beijing has signed a ten-year leasing agreement with Djibouti to build a logistical hub in that nation, which is located in the Horn of Africa.

“They are going to build a base in Djibouti, so that will be their first military location in Africa," U.S. Army Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, recently told defense reporters according to The Hill’s Kristina Wong.

It was only a matter of time before China set up overseas bases in the region. Beijing has enormous economic interests in the region that it needs to protect. China has set up deals to supply its growing economy—which even as it slows down is expanding at close to seven percent per annum—with raw materials