Following the United States warning to Africa, China has responded saying the advice is ridiculous as the country’s loans and aid to Africa are visible and speak for themselves.
The U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, on his first diplomatic trip to the continent, warned African countries to be careful of accepting loans from China so they do not forfeit their sovereignty.
Criticizing China’s loan structures to African governments, Tillerson said Chinese investments “do not bring significant job creation locally,” adding that if a government accepts a Chinese loan and “gets into trouble”, it could “lose control of its own infrastructure or its own resources through default.”
Meanwhile, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, Zhao Linxiang, began listing some of the visible projects accomplished with the help of China-loans of which the Nigerian Ibadan rail line and the Mambila Dam projects are among. He questioned Tillerson’s advice saying, “How can they (US) say they (Africa) suspect Chinese loans? It is ridiculous. Without funds how can you develop a country?”
Linxiang stated that the Chinese loans to Africa were aimed at implementing major China-Africa cooperation projects and promoting sustainable development in the continent.”
He advised that “African people should know the role the Chinese loans play in your economy; that is the most important thing. Adding that “Except the Chinese Government, which other government provides loans to African countries without critical conditions. No Western country.”
He noted that China was able to turn around her economy when she opened her doors to the world and accepted loans from other countries, while disclosing China’s plans to boost China-Africa trade relations with an international EXPO programme scheduled to take off in November this year.
Speaking on the progress and development the China-Africa relations, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Prince Adetokunbo Kayode spotted the mines and steel industry as one of them. He pointed out that 10 percent of the gemstone industry in Thailand which generated about $12 billion annual GDP came from Nigeria.
Kayode put the average value of gemstone export from Nigeria at $3 billion dollars annually. In addition, he projected that the global jewellery business will hit £150 billion by the year 2020.