The Chinese government promised an additional $60 billion worth of financing and aid to African counties earlier Monday during a speech to several African leaders. According to Reuters, Chinese President Xi Jinping extended the offer during the opening remarks of the China-Africa summit being held this week in Beijing.
Although Xi also forgave the debts of several small and poor African countries, he also cautioned the attendees that the new financing would only be going to projects that are both practical and environmentally sound.
“China-Africa cooperation must give Chinese and African people tangible benefits and successes that can be seen, that can be felt,” Xi said during his speech, according to Reuters.
The new funding comes in the form of financial aid, loans and specially allocated financing for development and imports according to Reuters. It also includes a “peace and security fund” as well as the continued commitment of the Chinese military.
In addition to the funding, Xi is encouraging Chinese corporations to invest at least $10 billion in Africa over the next three years, and so far 50 new projects dedicated to environmental issues such as wildlife protection and sustainability have been planned.
“China’s cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development. Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects but in places where they count the most,” said Xi.
According to Reuters, Chinese officials say that the investment in Africa is necessary to make Xi’s new “Belt and Road initiative” a reality, which will expand China’s influence throughout the globe. This announcement also comes just days after it was revealed that China plans to expand its mission in Afghanistan.