Beijing — President Xi Jinping told African leaders Monday that China’s investments on the continent have "no political strings attached", pledging $60bn in new development financing, even as Beijing is increasingly criticised over its debt-heavy projects abroad. Xi offered the funding at the start of a two-day China-Africa summit that focused on his cherished Belt and Road initiative. The money — to be spent over the next three years — comes on top of $60bn Beijing offered in 2015. The massive Belt and Road scheme is aimed at improving Chinese access to foreign markets and resources, and boosting Beijing’s influence abroad. China has poured billions in loans for roads, railways, ports and other major infrastructure projects in Asia and Africa. But critics warn that the Chinese leader’s pet project is burying some countries under massive debt. "China’s investment in Africa comes with no political strings attached," Xi told a high-level dialogue with African leaders and business repr...

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