In Senegal, China’s President Xi pledges stronger Africa ties

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Chinese President Xi Jinping walks along the red carpet in front of a Guard of Honour at the Presidential Palace during his visit to Dakar, Senegal July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Mikal McAllister

China’s President Xi Jinping pledged during a visit to Senegal on Saturday to strengthen economic ties with Africa, a continent already awash with cheap Chinese loans in exchange for minerals and huge construction projects.

Xi arrived in Senegal on Saturday for a two-day visit to sign bilateral deals, the first leg of an Africa tour that will also take him to Rwanda and South Africa, the latter for a summit of BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

China now does more trade with Africa than any other nation does, and its consistent overtures to the continent contrast sharply with the United States, whose President Donald Trump has shown little interest in it.

The visit was Xi’s first trip to West Africa as president, but his fourth to Africa, he told a joint press conference with Senegalese President Macky Sall after their third ever meeting.

“Every time I come to Africa, I have seen the dynamism of the continent and the aspirations of its people for development,” Xi said. “I am very confident in the future of Sino-African relations.”

Earlier, Xi was greeted by a brass band and hundreds of people waving Chinese and Senegalese flags and wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the two leaders’ faces.

Story by Reuters