Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday offered $20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years, boosting a relationship that has been criticised by the West and given Beijing growing access to the resource-rich continent.
But the loans could add to discomfort in the West, which criticises China for overlooking human rights abuses in its business dealings with Africa, especially in Beijing's desire to feed its booming resource-hungry economy.
Hu brushed off such concerns in his speech at the Great Hall of the People, attended by leaders including South African President Jacob Zuma and Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a man widely condemned by rights groups as one of the world's most corrupt leaders.
China will "continue to steadfastly stand together with the African people, and will forever be a good friend, a good partner and a good brother", he added at the summit held every three years since 2000.
Hu said the new loans would support infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and development of small and medium-sized businesses in Africa.
"Cheque book" approach
The EU has rejected what they call China's "cheque book" approach to doing business with Africa, saying it would continue to demand good governance and the transparent use of funds from its trading partners.