Chinas Rolle in Afrika: Ansturm der gierigen Helfer
Argwöhnisch beobachten US-Diplomaten Chinas Vormarsch in Afrika. Mit viel Geld und rauen Methoden sichert sich die zweite Weltmacht Rohstoffe und politischen Einfluss - ohne Rücksicht auf Arbeiter und die Natur.
Der junge Arbeiter hatte genug: immer wieder Unfälle, all die gebrochenen Zusagen, der Ärger mit den Aufsehern und schließlich die versprochene Lohnerhöhung, die es dann doch nie gab. Mitte Oktober traf sich Vincent Chengele, 20, also mit anderen Kohlekumpeln vor der Zeche Collum im Süden von Sambia. Bald waren sie zu Hunderten, sie demonstrierten gegen ihre Bosse - Chinesen. Denn seit 2003 gehört das Bergwerk einer chinesischen Firma.
Plötzlich aber fielen Schüsse. Chinesische Aufseher feuerten wild in die Menge, Chengele und zehn weitere Grubenarbeiter blieben verletzt liegen. Ein Aufschrei ging durch Sambia. Selbst Präsident Rupiah Banda, ein Freund chinesischer Investitionen, verurteilte die Gewalttat. Der zuständige Minister für die Südprovinz sagte: "Sambische Arbeiter werden dort wie Tiere behandelt. Niemand hat einen Arbeitsvertrag, es gibt nur Tagelöhner. Und sie erhalten Sklavenlöhne."
Es war nicht der erste Ärger mit den Chinesen. Immer wieder war die gefährliche Mine geschlossen worden. 2006 verwehrten rüde chinesische Vorarbeiter einer zuständigen Ministerin schlicht den Zutritt. Und Waffen sollte man Chinesen in Sambia eher nicht geben: In einer Kupfermine schoss ein Vorarbeiter vor wenigen Monaten ebenfalls auf streikende Arbeiter. Die tansanische Zeitung "Citizen" verglich die Asiaten bereits mit "Afrikas früheren Kolonialherren".
Jagd nach Gold und Holz, Kupfer und Kohle, Öl und Coltan
Die Großmacht China engagiert sich so stark wie sonst niemand in Afrika. Staatspräsident Hu Jintao hat bereits 20 Länder dort bereist, auch der Premier und der Außenminister sind regelmäßig auf dem Kontinent unterwegs. Sino-afrikanische Treffen auf Ministerebene sind üblich und werden von den Afrikanern gern besucht, weil sie die Rückreise regelmäßig mit neuen Aufträgen in der Tasche antreten können. Allein im vergangenen Jahr haben chinesische Unternehmen 56,5 Milliarden Dollar in Afrika investiert.
Hunderte von Verträgen haben chinesische Regierung und Privatunternehmen mit Afrikanern abgeschlossen. China hat milliardenschwere Kredite gegeben und Zigtausende Arbeiter nach Afrika geschickt; fast eine Million Chinesen leben jetzt dort. Sie haben Hunderte Krankenhäuser und Tausende Straßenkilometer gebaut, Regierungsgebäude, Bahnlinien, Fußballstadien. Ohne diese Hilfe läge Afrika weit hinter seinem heutigen Stand zurück. Die Wirtschaftsgroßmacht China braucht Afrika als Absatzmarkt - vor allem aber braucht sie Afrika, um den eigenen Rohstoffbedarf zu decken. Die Chinesen sind gierig auf alles: auf Gold und Holz, Kupfer und Kohle, Öl und Coltan.
Die amerikanischen Botschaften in Afrika beobachten genau, was die andere Weltmacht tut. Aus nahezu sämtlichen Ländern des Kontinents schicken sie präzise Aufstellungen nach Washington. In den Depeschen geht es nicht nur um steil ansteigende Handelskurven. Es geht auch um die wachsenden Ressentiments, die Afrikaner gegen Chinesen entwickeln. Und natürlich geht es bei alldem um die Macht auf dem Kontinent, um Sicherheitsinteressen und Einflusssphären. Und oft um Milliarden.
Es geht um ein Milliardengeschäft
So staunten internationale Beobachter, als die kongolesische Regierung mit Peking Ende 2007 ein umfangreiches Abkommen über 9,2 Milliarden Dollar vereinbarte. Die Demokratische Republik Kongo sicherte Peking darin Schürfrechte zu, die China insgesamt zehn Millionen Tonnen Kupfer und 620.000 Tonnen Kobalt garantieren.
"Das sino-kongolesische Abkommen sorgte sofort für große Sorgen unter den multi- und bilateralen Gebern, die Folgen für die langfristige Schuldenentwicklung befürchteten", hieß es später in einer Depesche der US-Diplomaten. Der Kongo steht bei Weltbank und westlichen Gebern mit Milliarden Dollar in der Kreide. Da hätte ein neuer Vertrag mit China Zins- und Tilgungsbemühungen erschwert. Weiter schrieb der US-Botschafter William Garvelink: "Im Jahr 2008 und in der ersten Hälfte 2009 legten weder China noch die kongolesische Regierung irgendeine Neigung an den Tag, das Abkommen zu überarbeiten, um die Schuldenrückzahlung sicherzustellen."
<<142612>> 2/22/2008 14:46 08KINSHASA189 Embassy Kinshasa SECRET//NOFORN 07KINSHASA798 VZCZCXRO4862 OO RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHRN DE RUEHKI #0189/01 0531446 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 221446Z FEB 08 FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7579 INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA IMMEDIATE 4044 RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0043 RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK IMMEDIATE RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0026 RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC IMMEDIATE TAGS: EMIN, ENRG, ETRD, KNNP, PGOV, PINR, PINS SUBJECT: CONGOLESE URANIUM: GDRC LOOKS TO CHINA FOR HELP REF: 07 KINSHASA 798
S e c r e t section 01 of 02 kinshasa 000189
Department for isn/ness dfenstermacher af/c
E.o. 12958: decl: 02/22/2018 Tags: emin, enrg, etrd, knnp, pgov, pinr, pins Subject: congolese uranium: gdrc looks to china for help
Ref: 07 kinshasa 798
Classified By: Acting DCM Craig Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b), (c), and (f)
1. (S/NF) Summary: Minister xxxxxxxxxxxx briefed the Ambassador on possible future Chinese involvement in uranium studies in the DRC at the request of President Kabila. End Summary.
2. (U) Minister xxxxxxxxxxxx requested a meeting with Ambassador Garvelink Thursday, 21 February after having met with him the previous week, along with Management Officer xxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx to the United States, xxxxxxxxxxxx, to discuss recent complaints from Washington DC community groups concerning the advanced state of decay of the GDRC properties in Washington. We assumed that the subject of the follow-on meeting would be the same. It was not.
3. (SBU) xxxxxxxxxxxx emphasized that he was delivering a demarche at the request of President Kabila. He said the GDRC was very sensitive as to how the USG perceived the relationship between the GDRC and the Chinese Government, and he had requested the meeting in the interest of transparency. xxxxxxxxxxxx presented a rather lengthy description of the poor state of affairs in the Congo, recently emerged from a dictatorship that had stagnated development, closely followed by two civil wars, lack of infrastructure, education and capacity.
4. (SBU) He said the DRC,s sole means of escaping this situation was by trading on its only assets -- natural resources. He reeled off a litany of recent infrastructure agreements with China that aimed to construct 3600 km (2200 miles) of paved roads, 3200 km (2000 miles) of railway lines, two universities, 51 105-bed hospitals, and 32 150-bed hospitals, all in return for mineral rights to copper and cobalt that the Chinese are willing to pay more for than western nations.
5. (S/NF) xxxxxxxxxxxx said that the reason for our meeting was to let the USG know that the GDRC was very concerned about its uranium deposits. He noted two problems facing the GDRC in this regard: 1) the size of uranium deposits and their locations are unknown and present a grave national security problem; and 2) what to do with all of the uranium once the locations and quantities are known. To address the first problem, xxxxxxxxxxxx said the GDRC is negotiating an agreement to allow Chinese geological studies aimed at pinpointing the location and size of uranium deposits. He stressed that the negotiations are only tentative, and that they are strictly to study uranium distribution, not/not extraction.
6. (S/NF) To address the second problem, xxxxxxxxxxxx stated that once the quantity and location of the uranium reserves is determined the GDRC might approach the "nuclear club" to determine their interest in buying the uranium. (Note: The GDRC currently has a law on the books that absolutely prohibits the mining of uranium within its borders. According to open sources there are at least two companies already engaged in Uranium exploration in the DRC, Brinkley Mining Plc, and Elemental Minerals, Ltd. End Note.)
7. (S/NF) xxxxxxxxxxxx said the GDRC would welcome our advice on this uranium matter and requested that we treat the conversation as confidential. The Ambassador said he would report back to Washington and might have more questions and comments at a later date.
8. (S/NF) Comment: xxxxxxxxxxxx is a long-time political ally of both Joseph and Laurent Kabila, and has been closely involved in negotiations with the Chinese on infrastructure improvements. The timeframe for reaching an agreement for uranium exploration by the Chinese is unknown, but we believe that negotiations have already begun. With the recent sharp increases in uranium prices on the world market, partly due to renewed interest in new nuclear power generating stations, the GDRC may well be interested in not only knowing where its uranium deposits are, but in making the moves necessary now to cash in on the potential demand for uranium (reftel). End
Kinshasa 00000189 002 of 002
<<201778>> 04.10.2009 01:32 09SHANGHAI160 Consulate Shanghai CONFIDENTIAL 06BEIJING23548|08SHANGHAI283|09SHANGHAI5|09SHANGHAI80 VZCZCXRO4847 RR RUEHCN RUEHDU RUEHGH RUEHJO DE RUEHGH #0160/01 1000132 ZNY CCCCC ZZH R 100132Z APR 09 FM AMCONSUL SHANGHAI TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7813 INFO RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0004 RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 0001 RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 0001 RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 0001 RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0001 AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 0001 RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE 0011 RUEHLS/AMEMBASSY LUSAKA 0001 RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0005 RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0065 RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 8452 RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2678 RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1676 RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2056 RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 1880 RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 1889 RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0345 RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0001 RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0004 RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0001 RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 0001 TAGS: PREL, ETRD, EINV, CH, XA, TW SUBJECT: CHINA AND AFRICA: SHANGHAI VIEWS ON EXPANDING TRADE AND REF: A) SHANGHAI 80; B) 06 BEIJING 23548; C) 08 SHANGHAI 283
C o n f i d e n t i a l section 01 of 06 shanghai 000160
Dept for af/e, af/c, af/w, af/s, af/eps usdoc for ita mac das kasoff, melcher, szymanski nsc for loi
E.o. 12958: decl: 4/9/2024 Tags: prel, etrd, einv, ch, xa, tw Subject: china and africa: shanghai views on expanding trade and investment ties
Ref: a) shanghai 80; b) 06 beijing 23548; c) 08 shanghai 283
CLASSIFIED BY: Christopher Beede, Pol/Econ Section Chief, U.S. Consulate, Shanghai, U.S. Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d), (e)
1. (C) Summary: During March 2009 meetings with four Shanghai-based Africa scholars, the largest Chinese investor in Africa, and officials from the Egyptian and South African Consulates General in Shanghai, Congenoffs examined the evolving state of China-Africa relations. The upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Egypt, on which the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS) is an advisor, will showcase rapid progress in bilateral economic relations. Though private Chinese investors have made significant headway expanding exports to Africa, resource and commodity extraction remains dominated by large state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Lack of communication between the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) makes it difficult to keep track of Chinese private investment in Africa, said one interlocutor. Scholars believe that while the Chinese Government is increasingly concerned about its image, government policy will continue to be driven by core economic and political interests, including securing access to natural resources, developing markets for Chinese exports, and achieving greater influence in international institutions. Egypt and South Africa are concerned about the growing "imbalance" in their bilateral trade with China. End Summary.
Upcoming Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) --------------------------------------------- ------ 2. (C) Currently planned for November 2009 in Cairo, Egypt, the 4th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC will be led by Chinese President Hu Jintao and the political leaders of 49 African nations. On this visit to Africa, his seventh in the past 10 years, Hu will attempt to deepen China's relationship with all African countries while exploring further investment opportunities, according to xxxxxxxxxxxx. Hu will also try to counter media perceptions that China is only interested in the resource-rich nations of Africa, and one topic for discussion will be evaluating progress in the China-Africa relationship since the 3rd FOCAC Ministerial Conference hosted by Beijing in 2006. Since then, trade between China and Africa has increased sharply, with total trade volume rising 32 percent in 2007 and an estimated 50 percent in 2008, to over USD 106.8 billion, indicating that the goal proposed by the 2006 summit "to push China-Africa trade volume to USD 100 billion by 2010" was realized two years ahead of schedule. (Note: According to Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) trade statistics, Africa maintains a slight overall surplus due to strong commodity exports in oil, minerals, wood, cotton, iron-ore, diamonds, and copper, among others. China's exports to Africa consist largely of light industrial products, textiles, electronics, and consumer goods. MOFCOM statistics, however, indicate that bilateral trade is not equitably balanced throughout the continent. In 2008, just five countries (Angola, South Africa, Sudan, Nigeria, and Egypt) accounted for 61 percent of total bilateral trade. End note.)
3.xxxxxxxxxxxx ------------------------------- 4. (C) Shanghai scholars expect that of Africa's 53 nations, only the four that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan (Burkina Faso, Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, and Swaziland) will not attend the 2009 FOCAC, said the scholars. Forty-eight nations attended the 2006 3rd Ministerial Conference of FOCAC. Malawi has since switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to the People's Republic of China (PRC). xxxxxxxxxxxx diplomatic relations with China could attend the upcoming summit. (Note: African countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan were invited as observers to the 2006 FOCAC in Beijing but elected not to attend. xxxxxxxxxxxx was not clear whether the four African nations currently maintaining diplomatic ties with Taiwan will be invited to attend as observers this year. See Ref B. End note). xxxxxxxxxxxx also noted that Senegal was specifically chosen for Hu Jintao's most recent Africa visit because it had recently (2005) dropped diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established ties with the PRC. However xxxxxxxxxxxx stated that the PRC and Taiwan currently have an unwritten agreement to cease the practice of distributing millions of dollars in aid to African nations in an attempt to gain diplomatic recognition.
Educational Exchanges: Confucian Institutes in Africa --------------------------------------------- --------- 5. (C) Another focus of the 4th Ministerial of FOCAC will be to increase educational exchanges. xxxxxxxxxxxx noted that currently there are "well under 1,000" total African students in Chinese institutions in Shanghai, and that a strong push must be made to increase this number. However, significant numbers of Chinese students are traveling to Africa for the pursuit of advanced degrees, and the number of visiting scholars from China has increased by double digits each year. xxxxxxxxxxxx pointed out that China has already opened ten Confucius Institutes throughout Africa, and plans to construct ten more. China has also doubled the number of national scholarships offered to Chinese students and professors wishing to study or research in Africa to 4,000 per year. xxxxxxxxxxxx. Confucius Institutes are designed to spread knowledge and understanding of the Chinese language and culture. They also serve as educational centers for family members of Chinese employees in Africa, and offer Chinese language instruction to both African and Chinese nationals. xxxxxxxxxxxx said Chinese President Hu will make it clear to all conference participants that Chinese aid and involvement in Africa, including cultural exchanges, will continue to deepen, despite the current difficult economic situation. xxxxxxxxxxxx stressed that future bilateral cooperation will revolve around natural resources, education, cultural exchanges, infrastructure, agriculture, and energy.
"Incredible Opportunity" for Private Investment in Africa --------------------------------------------- -------------
Shanghai 00000160 003 of 006
7. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx, who currently has xxxxxxxxxxxx employees in Shanghai and more than xxxxxxxxxxxx in Africa, said that Africa "reminds him of China 30 years ago," and represents an incredible growth opportunity, as Africa's consumer markets continue to mature. When asked why he currently does not invest in extracting raw materials in Africa, he responded that Chinese raw materials investments are primarily controlled by large SOEs. His company is completely private, and all of his financing is arranged through private sources. xxxxxxxxxxxx is currently examining the possibility of expanding into resource extraction in Africa, but has found the process to be incredibly time consuming and difficult. While China recently pledged an additional USD 2 billion to its China-African Development Fund, xxxxxxxxxxxx said this money is completely "off-limits" to private investors. xxxxxxxxxxxx, his investments are not seen as "strategic" by the Central Government, and thus not a priority for the Development Fund.
8. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx also expressed a strong preference for hiring local African employees for his projects in Africa, xxxxxxxxxxxx explained that Chinese employees are significantly more costly, and that with proper training, African employees perform just as well. xxxxxxxxxxxx said he sends his managers to xxxxxxxxxxxx, and several universities in South Africa on annual recruiting missions. xxxxxxxxxxxx disagrees with scholars such as xxxxxxxxxxxx, who feel that Chinese investors usually prefer importing Chinese laborers to Africa because of a perception that they are more hardworking and easier to train and manage than their African counterparts. xxxxxxxxxxxx," travels to Africa to manage his investments xxxxxxxxxxxx, and has also received acclaim from the Nigerian government for bringing in over 100 other Chinese investors to open businesses in the country. Finally, he noted that while corruption and mismanagement is a constant concern, most African nations have adopted free market systems, and he finds it relatively easy to
Shanghai 00000160 004 of 006
conduct business there.
Shanghai Scholars See Expanded China-Africa Ties --------------------------------------------- ----- 9. (C) When asked why President Hu Jintao visited countries that do not have extensive natural resource holdings during his most recent visit to Africa, xxxxxxxxxxxx stated that China's interests are broad, and its leaders seek good relations with the entire continent, not only specific countries. xxxxxxxxxxxx said Africa has recently moved forward with democratic reforms in some countries, but countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, and Burkina Faso have struggled with political reforms. xxxxxxxxxxxx stated that China's core focus will remain peace, stability, and development in Africa in order to create an environment conducive to further trade and investment from China. xxxxxxxxxxxx, who frequently travels to Africa and was a visiting scholar in Zambia in 2008, agreed that China's main goal for Africa is the pursuit of "win-win cooperation," especially on the economic front. He believes China will continue to increase investments in Africa's energy, raw material, and resource industries while developing its infrastructure and helping Africa acquire advanced technologies. He stated that since 1995, Africa's economy has outperformed the rest of the world, and China hopes to deepen its foothold in this growing market.
10. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx, stated that, despite the Chinese Government's longstanding position not to interfere in the domestic affairs of other nations, China's leaders are increasingly sensitive to external criticism of its Africa policies and have made greater effort to address humanitarian issues, such as the ethnic violence in Sudan. China feels greater "responsibility" for Africa's development than other regions such as Latin America, which Chinese officials view as "in the United States' backyard, and therefore their (the United States') responsibility." Because of China's long history with Africa dating back to the 1950s and the influence China seeks to cultivate in the continent, African development and poverty reduction are major Chinese concerns, said xxxxxxxxxxxx. Additionally, xxxxxxxxxxxx foresees the China-Africa relationship evolving to where, in another 10 years, a significant number of Chinese corporations move some of their manufacturing operations to Africa because of rising wages and costs in China. However, in order to make this possible, China will have to continue escalating investments in infrastructure, education, and training, and increase technology transfers to Africa.
Lack of Coordination Between Chinese Government Ministries --------------------------------------------- -------------- 11. (C) In light of the global financial crisis and the resulting decline in commodity prices, international media have recently reported cases of Chinese investors abandoning copper mines in Congo and Zambia, leaving local workers with unpaid back wages. When asked about these reports, xxxxxxxxxxxx stated that the Chinese Government expressly forbids the abandonment of investment without paying back wages and meeting other obligations, as it causes a "loss of face." xxxxxxxxxxxx agreed that such cases represent a small percentage of total Chinese investment in Central Africa, and that it was only private investors who had fled. They reiterated that China has
Shanghai 00000160 005 of 006
a long-term commitment to African development, and that SOEs would never be allowed to abandon assets or obligations to local employees.
12. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx agreed that it was likely private investors who had fled, as "many private investors from Zhejiang Province are operating small mines in Africa, and the Central Government has little knowledge or control of events on the ground." He explained that Chinese Government bureaucracy is often to blame, with complaints of wrongdoing in Africa always going first to the MFA, which often has no knowledge of individual investor activities. MOFCOM receives information from local governments in China but is often reluctant to share it with the MFA, he said. xxxxxxxxxxxx such bureaucratic difficulties diminish oversight and accountability, and it is almost impossible for the government to track small-scale private investors. African nations have recently begun to push back, requesting the MFA notify them if investors with bad records in China or elsewhere try to enter their countries.
Africa's View: Investment Welcomed, with Reservations --------------------------------------------- ------------- 13. (C) With an eye on Shanghai as China's commercial and financial capital, two African countries, Egypt and South Africa, have Consulates in the city, and Nigeria currently is in the process of establishing a Consulate in Shanghai.xxxxxxxxxxxx, lamented that of the total USD 6.3 billion in annual trade between Egypt and China, Egypt exports a mere USD 420 million to China. Of that amount, one product (marble) constitutes 50 percent of Egypt's exports to China. When asked if this imbalance or the growth of Chinese exports to Egypt have generated any negative feelings in his country, xxxxxxxxxxxx responded that a frequent source of irritation was the heavy use of imported Chinese labor and the limited number of joint ventures with local Egyptian companies. Egpyt opened its Consulate General in Shanghai 5 years ago with the primary purpose of finding opportunities for Egyptian businesses in China, but xxxxxxxxxxxx acknowledged this effort has had limited success so far. One recent sign of Egypt's rising interest in China was the 2008 opening of a branch of the National Bank of Egypt in Shanghai's posh Pudong District, home to much of the international financial services industry in China.xxxxxxxxxxxx hopes this bank will help facilitate transactions for bilateral trade and investment.
14. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx, relayed similar concerns about their nation's large trade deficit with China. xxxxxxxxxxxx told Congenoff that South Africa's primary imports from China include machinery, mining equipment, industrial tools, textiles, electronics and footwear, while exports are mainly raw materials and precious metals, such as gold. South Africa hopes to significantly increase the number of Chinese tourists to balance this deficit; however, this effort is not progressing as quickly as hoped.xxxxxxxxxxxx noted that Chinese investment is generally welcomed by African leaders because, unlike other investors, China is willing to provide money with "no strings attached" and invest in the infrastructure necessary to extract and export resources. xxxxxxxxxxxx cited Botswana, which obtains almost 70 percent of its foreign exchange through diamond sales, and Angola, whose trade
Shanghai 00000160 006 of 006
with China accounts for one-fourth of China's trade with the entire continent. Chinese SOEs are also willing to "build roads and railways through the jungle to otherwise inaccessible areas to extract resources," she said.
15. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx, however, posited that investments of this magnitude were riddled with corruption, and were "preferred by African dictators as a way to line their pockets while avoiding interference." In the past few years, xxxxxxxxxxxx has also noticed a trend of African governments becoming more selective with investments, and an increasing willingness to negotiate hard for favorable terms, such as the employment of local labor, skills development and training, as well as technology transfers. When asked whether these advances were threatened by the global financial crisis, xxxxxxxxxxxx responded that while Chinese investments have yet to dry up (as Western investment has), several major projects such as China's proposed USD 9 billion investment in the Congo seem likely to unravel. He cited falling commodity prices as the major cause, and the most serious likely side effect for African economies could be the bankruptcy of secondary industries. xxxxxxxxxxxx reiterated that while Chinese investments in Africa have provided benefits for both sides, the Chinese market remains difficult to penetrate for African investors.
Comment -------- 16. (C) Congenoffs' meetings revealed a general optimism about the future of Chinese investment in Africa. xxxxxxxxxxxx believe that China has developed traction in Africa, and that the economic relationship will continue to expand despite the global financial crisis. In economically focused Shanghai, which hosted the African Development Bank's annual meeting in May 2007, businessmen, academics, and African diplomats are increasingly interested in expanding China-Africa trade and investment ties, and they see the 2009 FOCAC as a means to further deepen China's relations with the continent. Camp
<<248522>> 02.12.2010 07:56 10NAIROBI165 Embassy Nairobi UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 10STATE10152 VZCZCXYZ0007 RR RUEHWEB
DE RUEHNR #0165/01 0430756 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 120756Z FEB 10 FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0824 INFO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI TAGS: PGOV, PREL, EFIN, ECON, EAID, XA, SO SUBJECT: SOMALIA - CHINESE ENGAGEMENT REF: STATE 10152
Unclas nairobi 000165
Af/e for pfierst, af/rsa for lmazel, lgriesmer, rbowles treasury for rebecca klein commerce for robert telchin
E.o. 12958: n/a Tags: pgov, prel, efin, econ, eaid, xa, so Subject: somalia - chinese engagement
Ref: state 10152
1. (U) The following cable provides responses to action request in reftel on Chinese engagement in Somalia.
Chinese Engagement in Trade and Investment
2. (SBU) The Sino-Somali relationship has remained strong since the establishment of diplomatic relations in December 1960. During the Siad Barre regime China was very active in Somalia, initiating several large infrastructure projects. In past years, the Chinese government has made no significant infrastructure improvements and it has launched no "showpiece" projects in the country.
3. (SBU) Chinese interest in Somalia has historically been in the trade of basic commodities. Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) maintains no trade statistics, but reporting from the Chinese government indicates that in 2002, the total trade volume between the two countries was USD 3.39 million. By 2005, Somalia-China bilateral trade was estimated at USD 19.64 million. Although more recent statistics are unavailable, current and former TFG officials estimate that this trade volume has significantly increased in the last few years. Somali businessmen (and businesswomen) make regular trips to China to purchase basic foodstuffs, textiles, clothes, and other goods. These imports most often arrive in Somalia by ship and with favorable pricing as a result of Somalia's informal tariff structure. Most goods are distributed in the sub-region.
4. (SBU) Somalia's rapidly growing telecommunications sector is powered predominantly by Chinese equipment. Chinese companies provide "soft loans" to the telecom operators to purchase equipment. Our contacts shared some details of a deal that was signed in 2008 for approximately USD 25 million. They told us that this scale of business deals is common. Chinese companies are some of the few that are willing to send technicians into Somalia to set up and maintain the equipment. Anecdotal reports indicate that there are often Chinese businesspersons within the country and most are associated with large telecommunications projects.
5. (SBU) China is especially interested in potential opportunities for petroleum exploration. China is reported to have secured the rights to oil blocks in the Puntland region. Media reports indicate that in January, the acting TFG Minister of Petroleum met with the Chinese Minister of Petroleum in Khartoum to discuss an upcoming mission to Somalia. While no formal engagements have been reported, we understand that Chinese officials and businessmen are laying the groundwork for trade and investment in the oil and gas sectors, primarily through informal relationships with local and regional authorities.
6. (SBU) China was one of the earliest supporters of the TFG when it was established in October 2004. In December 2004, China donated computers and office equipment to the TFG and in December 2005, signed several agreements providing over USD 6 million in economic assistance to Somalia. At the signing ceremony, the Chinese government granted an additional USD 100,000 in cash to the Somali government. We understand that China made additional periodic cash contributions to President Yusuf. Our contacts told us that the support was always in cash payments and that most of it was disbursed within the TFG cabinet.
7. (SBU) Between 2004 and 2007, President Yusuf and the TFG maintained a close relationship with China. The Chinese government funded the construction of a canal in Jowhar, the city which was
Yusuf's base. The canal provides irrigation for agricultural development in the area and prevents flooding during the rainy season. China made a USD 500,000 donation to the World Health Organization to support projects in Somalia. In 2008, the Chinese government pledged to contribute USD 2 million to rehabilitate Villa Somalia, the presidential palace in Mogadishu. We understand that USD 1 million was transferred to the TFG for Somali contractors to do the renovations but it is unclear if this project was ever completed. The Chinese government also pledged to renovate the national stadium and theater in Mogadishu.
8. (SBU) During the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in November 2006 Chinese President Hu Jintao promised President Yusuf that China would support the TFG's peace and reconstruction efforts. However, China has had little direct involvement with political issues in Somalia. xxxxxxxxxxxx told us that "China is not concerned with politics, only economics, and is positioning itself for commercial advantages in post-conflict Somalia." China gave the Somali Mission to Kenya two vehicles for official and personal use. The TFG Ambassador to Kenya regularly drives one of the Land Cruisers and his Deputy Chief of Mission drives the other.
9. (SBU) The Chinese government has continued the tradition of support to the TFG with President Sharif's government. In September 2009, China provided direct bilateral assistance through a USD 500,000 contribution that the TFG dispersed trough the PriceWaterhouseCoopers financial management and oversight mechanism. TFG and Puntland officials tell us that China's priority area of engagement remains its quest for natural resources, especially oil.
10. (SBU) China does not have a permanent mission in Somalia and conducts diplomatic relations through a liaison office in Nairobi. With a staff of approximately four, the Chinese "Somalia Unit" is led xxxxxxxxxxxx. Through the Embassy of Somalia in Beijing, China provides scholarships to students for study to China and more recently, sponsored study tours for Somali journalists.
U.S. - China Collaboration
11. (SBU) There is little direct engagement, cooperation, or coordination between the American and Chinese Missions on Somalia. In 2007, the Chinese Ambassador to Somalia travelled to Mogadishu in support of the National Reconciliation Congress. While the mission indicated China's willingness to support Somalia's political progress, there was no official Chinese presence during the subsequent Djibouti Process.
12. (SBU) Chinese activities in Somalia are not directed through the international donor groups that meet regularly to share information and coordinate activities across the Somali territory. With a demonstrated interest in rehabilitation of key locations, infrastructure development may be an area that would benefit from increased bilateral cooperation. At present, there are no examples of U.S.-China coordination in Somalia. U.S. Mission efforts to contact the Chinese "Somalia Unit" in Nairobi have not to date been successful. Ranneberger
Starkes Engagement in Angola
Zu einer Reihe von Staaten reichen Pekings Beziehungen lange zurück. Kamerun etwa gilt seit 1971 als Verbündeter, nicht zuletzt weil die Regierung in Jaunde schon früh Pekings harten Kurs gegen Taiwan unterstützte. Im Gegenzug errichteten die Chinesen das Lagdo-Wasserkraftwerk, bauten Krankenhäuser und Straßen, sie schickten Ärzte und bildeten kamerunische Kadetten in China zu Offizieren aus.
Überaus engagiert sind die Chinesen auch in Angola. Als sich die westlichen Geber nach dem Ende des Bürgerkriegs 2002 erst einmal zurückhielten und Kredite mit harten Auflagen verknüpfen wollten, sprang Peking bereitwillig ein. Die chinesische Eximbank vergab einen Kredit über vier Milliarden Dollar, ein weiterer soll kurz danach aufgelegt worden sein. Mindestens eines der Darlehen ist an die Auflage gekoppelt, bei Großaufträgen chinesische Firmen zu verpflichten.
Die Chinesen bauten den Angolanern in Luanda, Benguela, Lubango und Cabinda vier neue Fußballstadien, in denen im Januar 2010 der Afrika-Cup ausgetragen wurde, sie erneuern die berühmte Benguela-Bahnlinie. Und sie wollen in der Hauptstadt Luanda einen neuen internationalen Flughafen errichten.
- 1. Teil: Ansturm der gierigen Helfer
- 2. Teil: Krieg? Repression? Korruption? Die Chinesen stellen keine Fragen
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2010
Alle Rechte vorbehalten
Vervielfältigung nur mit Genehmigung der SPIEGELnet GmbH
Weitere Details zu den Botschaftsdepeschen
lesen Sie im SPIEGEL 49/2010
- Wie die USA die neue Weltmacht China sehen
- Was sie über die Partner in Europa denken
- Was die Depeschen über die wahre Lage im Irak verraten