Despite widespread criticism and skepticism of China’s activities in Africa, Li’s trip has confirmed that the Middle Kingdom is deeply committed to Africa and seeking to develop and deepen a long-term relationship.
Five developments illustrate why this is so and that China has bolstered both its position and image on the continent, and how old assumptions may no longer apply.
Doubling trade, quadrupling investment
Back in 2005, China promised it would triple trade with Africato 100 billion US dollars within five years while doubling its direct investment in the continent.
In 2014, Li has now pledged to double China-Africa trade, this time to US$400 billion by 2020, and also quadruple Chinese direct investment to US$100 billion. On top of this, Beijing will earmark 50 percent of its foreign aid budget to African countries.