Chinese money in Africa: Debt-trap diplomacy or development boon?


More than 40 African leaders trooped to Beijing this month for the triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. A Kenyan woman joked that, rather than giving them more loans, President Xi Jinping should keep all the leaders indefinitely in China instead.

The continent, she said, would be better off without them. In the end, Mr Xi went for option No. 1: He gave them more money. Over the next three years, he announced, China would offer US$60 billion (S$82 billion) in new funding.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2018, with the headline 'Chinese money in Africa: Debt-trap diplomacy or development boon?'. Subscribe