Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday promoted Beijing's initiative to build ports and other infrastructure to African leaders as a tool for "common prosperity" in a world facing challenges from trade protectionism.
Last month, Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad canceled more than $20 billion worth of planned Chinese infrastructure projects, saying he was concerned about paying for them.
It is a vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.
"We are pleased that China is open to this [proposal], and in fact encourages balanced trade, so that we have a win-win outcome that benefits both the Chinese and the African people", he said.
The summit themed "China and Africa: Towards an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation", is meant to link the Belt and Road Initiative with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the AU's Agenda 2063 and individual countries' development plans.
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African leaders and the chairman of the African Union (AU) will be in attendance, and the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General will be the esteemed guest, joined by 27 worldwide and African groups as observers.
For financing, China will nudge African countries to tap new multilateral lenders such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the New Development Bank (NDB) of the emerging economies, as well as the Silk Road Fund marshalled by China.
South Africa envisions a greater focus on institution-building by establishing skills development centres in all of the AU's regional economic communities.
Also, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Water Resource Suleiman Adamu, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu and Minister of State, Aviation Hadi Sirika, are in China for the summit.
Apart from military aid to the African Union, Beijing will support countries in the Sahel region and others bordering the piracy-ridden Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Guinea.
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At the summit's conclusion, South Africa will hand over the co-chairship of Focac to a new African country, having served six years (2012 to 2018) in this role.
Chinese state media has been aggressively explaining why such investment is good for the continent - and positioning Xi as the champion of the African people.
He said that limits the ability of African countries to get the full value out of their natural resources and create work for their people. [Consultation Mechanism] As prescribed in the Program for China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development, adopted at the 2000 Ministerial Conference of FOCAC, China and Africa agreed to set up joint follow-up mechanisms to conduct regular evaluations on the implementation of the follow-up actions.
China has been Africa's biggest trading partner for the last nine years, with trade volume growing 14 per cent to US$170 billion last year.
The Chinese president also announced the writing off of interest-free loans to indebted poor African countries.
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Speaking earlier at a business forum, Xi said China had to be careful about where money was spent.