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Xi Jinping promises 1 billion more doses of COVID-19 vaccine

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Dakar: China will provide Africa with an additional 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines and encourage Chinese companies to invest as much as $ 10 billion ($ 14 billion) in the continent over the next three years, the said. President Xi Jinping.

The country has already supplied nearly 200 million doses of the Chinese-made vaccine to Africa, where vaccination rates have lagged amid growing concern over the spread of the novel Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which was first identified in South Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Beijing in 2018.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in Beijing in 2018.Credit:PA

Xi said 600 million doses would be donations and 400 million doses would be provided through other means such as joint production by Chinese companies and affected African countries. China will also build 10 health projects in Africa and send 1,500 health experts, he said.

In a video link speech at the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Xi said that a cross-border China-Africa yuan center will be set up to provide African financial institutions with a 10-month line of credit. billion dollars, without giving further details.

China will provide $ 10 billion in trade finance to support African exports, create a trade and economic cooperation zone and build a China-Africa industrial park, he said.

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The announcement comes amid criticism of China’s infrastructure-versus-commodity deals that some experts say plague countries with unsustainable debt. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently reviewing a $ 6 billion deal with Chinese investors, fearing it may not be sufficiently beneficial for Congo.

The Belt and Road Initiative, in which Chinese institutions finance major infrastructure in mainly developing countries, has slowed: Chinese bank funding for infrastructure projects in Africa has increased from $ 11 billion in 2017 to $ 3.3 billion in 2020, according to a report by international law firm Baker McKenzie.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a tour of four countries in the region last week that Washington was pushing for cleaner deals without unsustainable debts.

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2/ https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/in-omicron-s-wake-xi-pledges-1-billion-covid-vaccine-doses-for-africa-20211130-p59d9t.html

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