UPDATE 1-Chinese premier pledges "no strings" support for Africa

Thu May 8, 2014 7:17am EDT

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ABUJA May 8 (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged "no strings" support for Africa's development on Thursday, saying the world's second-largest economy would not meddle in the continent's internal affairs.

"All China's support for Africa will come with no political strings attached," Li said, speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa being held in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

"We will not interfere with Africa's internal affairs or ask something impossible of Africa," he added.

Li, who is on a state visit to Africa, also said China was confident about expanding its economy by around 7.5 percent this year, in line with the government's growth target.

The remarks from Li follows data that showed China's trade sector returning to slight growth in April as orders to the United States and Europe surged, though the outlook remains cloudy.

On Monday in Addis Ababa, Li unveiled extra aid for Africa totalling at least $12 billion, and offered to share advanced technology with the continent to help with development of high-speed rail. (Reporting by Tim Cocks, Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Koh Gui Qing in Beijing; Editing by Pascal Fletcher)

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