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Vol 55 No 10

Published 16th May 2014

Red flag over Africa

'Unbreakable friendship’ was the slogan for the tour by China’s Premier. ‘Unending salesmanship’ would have served just as well

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s African tour was a week-long, effective sales pitch for Chinese technology and infrastructural expertise. He also announced several major projects. His chosen destinations signalled the countries which China sees as most crucial to its relations with the continent. The 4-11 May tour of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya began with a visit to the Chinese-built African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, where Li rattled off a string of impressive figures: Sino-African bilateral trade had reached US$210 billion in 2013 and China’s direct investment totalled $25 bn. Li pledged that trade would rise to $400 bn. per year by 2020.

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