- China has promised to shower with at least three billions of CFA francs (around euro 5 million) to the crisis-ridden West African state of Côte d'Ivoire. Ivorian authorities described the gesture as a fulfilment of a promise made by China at a recent China-Africa summit in Beijing.
In a statement, Côte d'Ivoire's Foreign Ministry confirmed that China had given millions of euros to the country to finance government projects.
Of the total amount, three quarter is given out as gift while the rest as loan to the country.
China has been showering money to Côte d'Ivoire for quite a while. China gave more than 33 million euros to Côte d'Ivoire for constructions in its political capital Yamoussoukro when the country experienced it's first-ever rebellion in 2002.
The West African state is also enjoying other benefits from China, as the country's firms built a large parliamentary complex in the country. China is also financing a new presidential palace in Côte d'Ivoire.
China's relations with Africa are obvious: the country wants to tap the continent's raw materials to sustain its industries. As the world's number one producer of cocoa and a country with unexploited oil resources, Côte d'Ivoire means a lot to China.
China's deepening ties with Africa have also found their critics. On 14 December, South African President Thabo Mbeki warned African governments to be wary of sinking into a "colonial relationship" with China.
President Mbeki said the continent must not reduce itself to a mere supplier of raw materials in exchange for China's manufactured goods because there is a danger of entrenching such an unequal relationship.
"The potential danger in the relationship between Africa and China is that it is possible to build ... an unequal relationship, the kind that has developed between African countries as colonies - including this one - and the colonial powers."
"In terms of this, the African continent exported more material and imported goods, condemning it to underdevelopment, being only a supplier of raw materials. I am saying that this is a potential danger in terms of the relationship that could be constructed between China and the African continent," he said.
South Africa is also one of very few African countries that is directly threatened by China's booming manufacturing industry, which relies on cheaper labour, more efficiency and more research funds than South Africa's emerging industry. South African products also stand at risk from being outmanoeuvred by Chinese industrials only shortly after it managed to enter the all-African market.
But in addition to South Africa, many other African countries have seen their first industries - in particular within the textile sector - threatened or outmanoeuvred by China's giant mass production. Countries from poor Lesotho to middle-income Mauritius already have seen Chinese competition impossible to meet - spelling danger for Africa's current efforts to industrialise.
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