China writes off debt.

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China has pledged to forgive more than $lbn worth of debts owed by the poorest African countries in an effort to boost development and strengthen ties with the continent. Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng's announcement came on the second day of a China-Africa forum that Beijing hopes will expand its influence in sub-Saharan Africa.

Forty-four African nations sent senior officials to the three-day meeting in Beijing. Liberia sent observers even though they have diplomatic relations with China's rival, Taiwan, rather than with Beijing. Aid, often low or zero interest loans repayable on...

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