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Tillerson: China's 'Predatory Loan Practices and Corrupt Deals' Threaten Africa

Tillerson: China's 'Predatory Loan Practices and Corrupt Deals' Threaten Africa

Washington's top diplomat Rex Tillerson Thursday said the United States was "a long way from negotiations" with North Korea, which this week made a shock offer to discuss denuclearisation.

The trip is his first to Africa, which has since turned to China in trade and investment agreements. It was learnt that the Chinese government has pumped billions into infrastructure projects across Africa.

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.

Tillerson said that the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is "clearly an example of countries that unite to fight against extremism, promote stability and allow the delivery of such needed help".

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Tillerson arrived in Ethiopia, Africa's second most populous nation, on Wednesday and visited the African Union headquarters on Thursday. "African nations can contribute to this goal, and we need, country by country, for nations to take action to support this global effort towards a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

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There had been speculation that Tillerson could face some hostility on his Africa visit due to the fallout over the remarks, but Mahamat brushed aside questions on the incident at a press conference with the secretary of state in Addis Ababa. He said the U.S.is providing South Korea with input also.

Faki assured reporters that the incident was over and his brief discussion with Tillerson on Thursday morning had focused on areas of cooperation, such as the possibility of the USA providing financial support for an African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

On Tuesday, Tillerson said China "encouraged dependency, utilised corrupt deals and endangered Africa's natural resources". The prime minister resigned suddenly last month in what he described as a bid to smooth reforms. Although Ethiopia had looked like it was slowly opening up to allow more freedom for people who hold different opinions to the government, the resignation and emergency decree have triggered further political uncertainty and fueled strikes and shutdowns. It is the highest-level visit to date for the Trump administration and comes after derogatory comments by U.S. President Donald Trump in January outraged leaders around the continent.

Tillerson is also scheduled to meet with top officials in the allied nations of Chad, Djibouti, Kenya and Nigeria, some of which are helping in the battle against rebellions from jihadists linked to al-Qaida and Islamic State.

"I emphasize that the Chinese side attaches great importance to the sustainability of Africa's debt", Geng said.