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China Promises Africa Debt Relief as Xi Counters Aid Criticism

  • Pledges to extempt some poorer nations from loans coming due
  • Chinese president also offers $6 billion in new financing
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Xi Looks to Africa to Counter Criticism of China's Aid Efforts
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Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged debt relief to some poorer African nations, attempting to push back against a major criticism of his signature Belt and Road Initiative.

Speaking to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on Monday in Beijing, Xi defended the global program to develop roads, railways, ports, pipelines and other trade links. China planned to exempt some African countries from interest-free loans due by the end of the year, Xi said, adding that the relief would be granted to unspecified poor and heavily indebted countries.