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China provides money, the West provides promises

Qin Gang on Saturday with Aurelien Agbenonci, his counterpart from Benin.

The first visit of the new year takes the Chinese Foreign Minister to Africa. What sounds astonishing to the West has been a tradition in China for 33 years. However, Qin Gang has only been in office for a few weeks – so it would not have been surprising if the first travel destination of China’s new chief diplomat had been elsewhere: For example, to a friend in Russia, to courted partners in Germany or France, or even to the competition in America. But Qin Gang chose Ethiopia, Gabon, Angola, Benin, and Egypt, including a visit to the headquarters of the African Union (AU).

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