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China Hosts African Military Leaders in Beijing for A Week-Long Security Forum

BEIJING – Beijing welcomes African military leaders for a week-long summit to strengthen China-Africa military relations, with talks focused on peace and security across the continent, Peace-Tv reported Monday.
The defense Ministry on Sunday opened the China-Africa Forum on Peace and Security with the presence of African defense Ministers and military leaders in Beijing.
High-ranking military attachés and army representatives virtually from all African countries attended the event.
“The focus of the forum will be more technical and specialized exchanges,” said Wang Hongyi, a researcher at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
“Security cooperation between China and Africa is what African countries have demanded, what the United Nations has promoted and, of course, it is also conducive to the protection of Chinese interests in Africa,” added Mr. Wang.
The security forum is being held as China is also stepping up investment across the continent as part of the multi-billion-dollar (Belt and Road Initiative) project, also known as new route of silk.
The commercial infrastructure project on the agenda of the summit announced by President Xi Jinping in 2013, provides for the construction of railways, roads and ports around the world to connect China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
The plan, however, has many critics who believe the project could bury indebted African countries vis-à-vis China, calling it the “debt trap” of Beijing.
Beijing said that with regard to “the problem of debt, there is really not a lot of Chinese debt in Africa”.
China’s growing military presence in Africa has already prompted the United States to take corrective action in a long-standing trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.
China surpassed the United States in 2010 as the main trading partner of the continent.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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