China: Wolfowitz's criticisms of China's African loans "groundless"

Updated: 2006-10-25 08:45

BEIJING - China said on Tuesday criticisms that its loans to Africa failed to take into account local human rights situations were "groundless" and "unacceptable".

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao made the remarks at a regular press conference when asked to comment on World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz's reported remarks that China had ignored the human rights situation in African countries when providing loans.

Liu said that China's economic and trade cooperation with African countries is carried out on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, adding that it contributes to improving African people's living standards, and their economic and social development.

China has always adopted a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, Liu noted.

According to China's Ministry of Commerce statistics, China's total investment in Africa have reached 6.27 billion US dollars. Over 720 major projects have been completed in 49 African countries with Chinese assistance, and 58 projects have been launched in 26 African countries with preferential loans from China.

China has waived 10.9 billion yuan (RMB) of debt owed by 31 heavily indebted and least developed countries in Africa, and extends zero-tariff treatment to certain imports from 28 least developed countries in Africa. China has also trained over 14,600 African personnel in various fields.