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Since 2016 when Gambia and China resumed ties, the Asian country has intensified development support to the small nation.

China now competes with European Union for support to Gambia. The Asian country gives over D1 billion as grants in 2017.

The grants were earmarked for the building of two bridges and two roads and also a conference centre that is being built in Bijilo.

However, not everyone thinks the intention of the Asian country is clear. China is the leading country likely to be given Gambia’s port expansion project.

The project which is expected to cost $177 million did not go through a tendering process but several companies from Dubai, America and France have applied.

The Chinese are the favourites to be awarded the project, an official at the country’s works ministry who prefer anonymity told Kerr Fatou.

Despite their support to the small country, China is often criticized for having a bad reputation in protection of environment in countries where they operate.

A Chinese company, Golden Lead, working in a coastal fishing village of Gunjur in the South of Kombo has been attacked by locals for allege lack of respect for the environment.

Golden Lead was accused of throwing toxic waste from their fishing meal factory into the ocean.

With their hands tied, the Barrow administration refused to act but locals, after months of protest, pulled the company waste pipes from the sea without any court order.

By Mustapha K Darboe

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