China has announced that it will double its loans to Africa. President Hu Jintao has also called for stronger cooperation between the trading partners to protect themselves from "bullying" by wealthier nations.
China's president announced on Thursday that Africa will receive $20 billion (16.2 billion euros) in new loans over the next three years, twice the amount China pledged in 2009.
President Hu Jintao said the increase in money was intended to bolster Africa's infrastructure and foster business growth.
The Chinese president delivered the news during his opening address at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. During his speech, Hu also emphasized that China and Africa must work together to protect their interests from stronger nations.
"China and Africa should increase coordination and cooperation in international affairs," Hu said. "We should oppose the practices of the big bullying the small, the strong domineering over the weak and the rich oppressing the poor."
China has become Africa's main trade partner over the past decade, investing a record $166.3 billion in the resource-rich continent.
Hu noted in his speech that China also planned "to expand aid to Africa, so that the benefits of development can be realized by the African people."
Western countries have criticized China's dominant economic role in Africa, saying that it has overlooked human rights abuses in exchange for greater access to raw materials.
kms/msh (AFP, AP, Reuters)