Africa should avoid forfeiting sovereignty to China over loans, says Tillerson Mar 09, 2018 0 53 12345 ReutersADDIS ABABAUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that African countries should be careful not to forfeit their sovereignty when they accept loans from China, the continent's biggest trading partner.Tillerson is using his first diplomatic trip to the continent to bolster security alliances on a continent increasingly turning to Beijing for aid and trade.He may also seek to smooth relations after US President Trump reportedly dismissed some African nations as"shithole countries"in January. Trump later denied making the comment."We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa,"Tillerson told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital."It is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty."The United States is the leading aid donor to Africa but China surpassed it as a trade partner in 2009. Beijing has pumped billions into infrastructure projects, though critics say the use of Chinese firms and labour undermines their value.Tillerson said Chinese investments"do not bring significant job creation locally"and criticised how Beijing structures loans to African government.If a government accepts a Chinese loan and"gets into trouble", he said, it can"lose control of its own infrastructure or its own resources through default."He did not give examples. The growing Chinese lending to the continent has also attracted criticism from some Africans, who say China's agenda is to feed its appetite for African raw materials like oil, timber and minerals, and secure contracts for its firms.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, visiting Zimbabwe on Thursday, told reporters it was inappropriate for Tillerson to criticize China's relationship with African countries. "It was not appropriate to criticise the relations of his hosts when he was a guest there with another country,"he said. Many African governments enjoy close ties with both Washington and Beijing.Kenya, for example, inaugurated a $3.2 billion railway funded by China last year. For the last three years, Kenya has received more than $100 million annually in US security assistance. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES No joint Korean march at Paralympics due to flag row Mar 09, 2018 0 55 China talks tough on sea row, won't cede 'an inch' Mar 09, 2018 0 49 S Korean diplomats arrive in US to brief officials on talks with Kim Mar 09, 2018 0 332 US 'a long way' from talks with North Korea, says Tillerson (delete) AFP Addis Ababa Washington's top diplomat Rex Tillerson said Thursday the United States was"a long way from negotiations"with North Korea, which this week made a shock offer to discuss denuclearisation. .. Seoul envoys leave for US with Pyongyang talks offer Seoul, March 8, 2018 (AFP) -Two South Korean envoys left for Washington Thursday to brief US officials on their landmark visit to Pyongyang and the North's offer to talk about giving up its nuclear arsenal. Chung .. Australia probes company tied to N Korea coal sale UN: Australian authorities are investigating a Sydney-based property company accused of breaching United Nations sanctions on North Korea by brokering an illicit sale of coal, according to a confidential UN report. .. Nigeria sentences man to life prison for 2010 car bombing ABUJA: A Nigerian court on Wednesday sentenced the brother of a suspected militant leader to life imprisonment for treason for his involvement in twin car bombings in the capital, Abuja, in 2010. The blasts, which killed .. China denies 'backroom deals' in Silk Road initiative BEIJING: China's huge Belt and Road initiative to build a new Silk Road will respect global rules and be free of"backroom deals", the foreign minister said on Thursday, defending a key policy of President Xi .. US 'a long way' from N Korea negotiations, says Tillerson AFP Addis Ababa Washington's top diplomat Rex Tillerson said Thursday the United States was"a long way from negotiations"with North Korea, which this week made a shock offer to discuss denuclearisation. .. Abe asks North Korea to take 'concrete steps' Japan's prime minister warned Thursday that North Korea's offer of denuclearisation talks with the US could be a ploy to play for time and stressed the need for Pyongyang to take"concrete"steps. Shinzo Abe said ..