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Tillerson's words about China-Africa relationship inappropriate: Russian FM

Tillerson's words about China-Africa relationship inappropriate: Russian FM”

The secretary of state said Africa should "weigh Chinese loans carefully", but the US will not prevent these investments from taking place.

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

In Ethiopia, Tillerson's first stop, China has built an electric rail line connecting the capital to the port in neighboring Djibouti and is involved in scores of other projects throughout the country that have made Chinese nationals a ubiquitous sight on the streets.

At a press conference with African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, a journalist asked Faki and Tillerson whether the USA should apologize for the remark.

"Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa's infrastructure gap, but its approach has led to mounting debt and few, if any, jobs in most countries", Tillerson continued.

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Meanwhile, previously reported that China gave Nigeria a loan of $4.5 billion to buy appropriate farming tools to boost local agriculture.

"The objective of my trip is to listen to what the priorities of the countries here on the continent are and see where there is good alignment", said Tillerson.

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The two were questioned repeatedly by US and worldwide media about the January incident, in which Trump referred in a private meeting to "shithole countries" in Africa, triggering widespread outrage across the continent.

On Tuesday, Tillerson said China "encouraged dependency, utilised corrupt deals and endangered Africa's natural resources". "China is not the main creditor of African countries", he said.

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Tillerson embarked on a five-nation tour beginning in Ethiopia with a visit to the African Union.

He was greeted at the airport in Addis Ababa on a red carpet by the Ethiopian foreign minister before taking a motorcade to his hotel. 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. He explained that the US and North Korea need to start with "talks about talks", according to the Associated Press.

Tillerson reiterated previous calls for African states to cut ties with North Korea. "I believe this incident is in the past", he said.

He will then visit Kenya, a key USA ally in the fight against al Shabaab Islamist militants in Somalia, before travelling to Chad and Nigeria, which are also battling to contain Islamist insurgents.

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