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Thursday, July 19, 2012

China strengthens Africa ties with $20 billion in loans

(Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday offered $20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years, boosting a relationship that has been criticized by the West and given Beijing growing access to the resource-rich continent.

The loans offered were double the amount China pledged for the previous three-year period in 2009 and is the latest in a string of aid and credit provided to Africa's many poverty-stricken nations.

The pledge is likely to boost China's good relations with Africa, a supplier of oil and raw materials like copper and uranium to the world's most populous country and second-largest economy.

But the loans could add to discomfort in the West, which criticizes China for overlooking human rights abuses in its business dealings with Africa, especially in Beijing's desire to feed its booming resource-hungry economy. Read More