Over half of China's foreign aid earmarked for Africa: gov't report

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Addis Ababa, 10 July 10, 2014 (WIC) - China committed 89.34 billion yuan (US$14.4 billion) to international aid and development projects between 2010 and 2012 with more than half of the financial commitments given to Africa, China's cabinet said Thursday in a rare disclosure of its aid program.

The report, released by the Information Office of China's State Council, revealed how China was trying to increase its political and economic influence on the resource-rich African continent with aid and development activities.

Of the total three-year financial commitments, 51.8 percent was given to Africa, 30.5 percent went to Asia and 8.4 percent was earmarked for Latin America and Caribbean nations, according to the 31-page report.

During the three years, China offered 49.76 billion yuan, or 55.7 percent of the total assistant volume, in concessional loans, while 32.32 billion yuan was provided in grants, it showed. The remaining 7.26 billion yuan was offered in the form of interest-free loans.

"China will continue to increase the input in foreign assistance, further optimize assistance structure, highlight key aspects, innovate assistance means, raise the efficiency of capital utilization, effectively help recipient countries improve their people's well-being and enhance their capability of independent development," the report said.

"China is endeavoring to build a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and stays committed to realizing the Chinese dream of national prosperity and renewal, and happiness of the people," it said.

The report detailed China's aid and development activities in Africa.

"For example, China helped build the third section of the Sika Highway that connects Kenya's capital Nairobi to its economic hub Sika, thus making a contribution to the road network that links up Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania," it said.

"During the three years, China carried out technical cooperation with countries like Ethiopia, Burundi and Sudan, and helped these countries improve their utilization and management of solar power, hydro power and other clean energy," it said.

It's unusual for China to release such a report. An official at the Information Office of the State Council declined to comment, when asked why the Chinese Cabinet released the report. (Yonhap)