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G8 raps China for lending $20B to Africa

May 21, 2007 at 2:28 PM

POTSDAM, Germany, May 21 (UPI) -- The Group of Eight industrial countries criticized China for lending $20 billion to Africa, saying it ran counter to "responsible" lending practices.

The G8 finance ministers said China, which is not a G8 member, excluded the criteria of "good government management" when lending money to Sudan and Angola, the G8 said following a weekend meeting near Potsdam, southwest of Berlin.

German Finance Minister and meeting host Peer Steinbrueck said China also appeared to be "willing to re-launch what we wanted to break, with our debt relief," The Times of London reported.

The G8 members -- the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia -- said they wanted rich countries to avoid the "lend and forgive" cycle to poor countries.

China said last week it planned a package of African trade and infrastructure loans over the next three years worth about $20 billion. Much of the funding will be in exchange for Africa's oil and other commodities, it said.

The campaign group DATA said the G8 was being hypocritical in its China concerns.

It said only $2.3 billion of the additional $25 billion in aid pledged to Africa by the rich nations two years ago had been delivered.

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