China Raises Profile in Africa

UN peacekeepers, volunteers, economic efforts reflect Beijing's new commitment
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2007 9:28 AM CDT
China Raises Profile in Africa
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Liu Guijin , second right, Chinese special representative for African affairs, shakes hands with a local man at a market in al-Fashir, Sudan Tuesday, May 22, 2007. Chinese investment in Sudan can help stop the bloodshed there while sanctions and...   (Associated Press)

China is increasing the number of UN peackekeepers it sends to Africa and raising its profile on the continent, creating a kind of "peace corps" to address problems from job shortages to health care, the Christian Science Monitor reports. China, itself a developing nation, appears determined to both do good and do well in large and small ways.

Since 2000 China has canceled more than $10 billion in debt for 31 African countries and has given $5.5 billion in aid; as a lender, it tops the World Bank. And it's dispatching volunteers to build roads and clinics and to help staff after-school programs. The nation "is desperate to be seen as a benign force," said one economist. (More China stories.)

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