China's premier says Beijing will provide $10 billion in new loans to African nations over the next three years and has outlined a plan to cancel government debts for some of the poorest of those countries.

At a two-day China-Africa summit that began on Sunday, Wen Jiabao also said China would build 100 new clean energy projects for Africa over the same period as the Asian powerhouse looks to help the continent deal with environmental issues.

Wen's pledges are part of China's increasing push into Africa, a drive that has drawn criticism from some who argue that Beijing is ignoring the troubling human rights record of many of Africa's governments.