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International relations

China steps up courting of Africa ahead of summit

Promise of economic aid tied to Belt and Road initiative

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, talks with South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa during a four-nation tour of the continent in July.    © Reuters

BEIJING -- China is expanding its influence campaign in Africa as it prepares to host a summit with leaders from the continent, ready to offer economic assistance as part of its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is scheduled for Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 in Beijing, with leaders from more than 50 African countries expected to attend. The summit is aimed at bringing China and Africa closer and building a shared destiny, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press briefing on Aug. 22.

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