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Rex Tillerson blew the air on China's relationship with Africa

March 7 2018 , Written by ODIGWE ANSELEM

Rex Tillerson speaks gave his pre-trip speech at George Mason University in Virginia

Rex Tillerson speaks gave his pre-trip speech at George Mason University in Virginia

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has criticised China's economic engagement in Africa, ahead of his first official visit to the continent.

He said China encouraged dependency, utilised corrupt deals and endangered its natural resources.

Mr Tillerson also announced a $533m (£380m) humanitarian African aid plan.

During his trip, he will be looking to build bridges after President Donald Trump reportedly used foul language to describe African countries in January.

Mr Tillerson gave his speech at George Mason University in Virginia, shortly before setting off on his weeklong visit to Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria.

He outlined the themes of his trip: counterterrorism, democracy, governance, trade and investment.

Then he launched into his criticism of China. He said its investment had the potential to improve Africa's infrastructure, but added that its approach had led to mounting debt while creating few jobs.

Over the past two decades trade between Africa and China has soared, driven by China's demand for the continent's minerals.

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