China to Africa: want to borrow $20 billion?


The value of China's currency, the renminbi, has been a constant bugbear for the country's major trade partners.



China today offered Africa $20 billion in loans during a regional summit in Cairo, reported Al Jazeera

That's double the money pledged by Beijing last time the group met three years ago, reflecting growing investment from the Asian giant in the resource-rich continent. 

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Chinese President Hu Jintao described the offer as a way to "enhance" the Asia-Africa relationship and "rule out external interference," making sure to add that Beijing is against "big bullying the small the strong domineering over the weak and the rich oppressing the poor," said Al Jazeera.

China has been criticized over its labor and trade practices in Africa, with questions raised recently over the oil licenses secured by a Chinese firm in Angola -- which just so happens to be China's top trading partner on the continent. The country has also been accused by rights groups of neglecting critical safety practices in mines in Zambia, for example, one of a host of similar concerns.

The $20 billion loan offer from China is tied to various development and economic projects, with a particular focus on helping small businesses in Africa, according to The Wall Street Journal

Trade between China and Africa skyrocketed last year to $166 billion, triple that of 2006, said Al Jazeera