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China’s Financial Pledge to Africa Falls After Criticisms of Debt Traps

  • Xi commits $40 billion, down from $60 billion at 2018 summit
  • Focus is on Chinese imports, donating vaccines, African banks
Red flags at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China’s financial pledge to Africa fell for the first time in over a decade, as the world’s second largest economy tried to avoid criticism about saddling developing nations with unsustainable debt. 

President Xi Jinping pledged $40 billion to the continent in a video address to the eighth triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Senegal on Monday. The money will be evenly split among credit lines to African financial institutions, investment from Chinese firms, trade financing and International Monetary Fund special drawing rights.