23/03/2013 to 29/03/2013

Top Stories:                      

 China and the BRICS: Unavoidable Hegemony? – The Diplomat (CHN)

CAN comment: China’s growth and size has outstripped the other BRICS nations and is calling into question whether China is a comparable with its contemporaries. China’s growth to become an economic superpower has also called into question relations with African governments which rightly question whether China can any longer be considered a fellow developing nation.

 The simplicity of China-Africa relations – The Citizen (TZA)

CAN comment: In contrast to my comments in the previous article, some still feel that China’s history of friendship with countries like Tanzania in the 1950s and 1960s gives it enduring political capital in its dealings with African governments.

 China Works to Improve Image in Africa – Voice of America

CAN comment: A key difference in communication between China and US and European powers is that Chinese leaders speak in terms of brotherhood, independence, and respect for integrity and sovereignty, while Western powers tend to deal in dictats and rebukes.

 The myth that is no-strings-attached Chinese ‘aid’ to Africa – Africa Review (KEN)

CAN comment: Great reasoned analysis from the Africa review discussing the manufacture of myths around Chinese engagement in Africa, “Like other traditional donors, China generally either offers normal aid and export credits, or goes for lines of credit and resource-supported loans”.

 Gabon still in talks with China over Belinga mine – Mining Weekly (ZAF)

CAN comment: Talks over China’s China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) developing the Belinga iron ore deposit in Gabon have been ongoing for some time. However the complex technical requirements of the project make it likely that a partner will be sought. There were rumours of BHPB interest last year but this may have fallen away now as BHPB reconsiders its investments in Africa.

 Nigeria offers to sell power plant to Chinese firm – Engineering News (ZAF)

CAN comment: The same company CMEC has been selected for the privatisation of a Nigerian power plant under plans by President Jonathan to improve the country’s ailing infrastructure. Analysts hope the move might lead to better management and produce more electricity than in government hands.

Politics 

Chinese president calls for closer cooperation with Uganda, Mozambique, Ethiopia – Xinhuanet (CHN)
29/03/2013
Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Thursday that his country is ready to boost cooperation with Uganda, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Xi made the remarks during separate meetings with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

China and the BRICS: Unavoidable Hegemony? – The Diplomat (CHN)
29/03/2013
As China’s relative economic growth has continued apace, its dominance within BRICS has become increasingly entrenched. Almost regardless of its intentions, China’s size and national power make it the unavoidable hegemon of BRICS. Yet the other member states distrust of Beijing’s economic and strategic plans makes them unwilling to accord China the degree of influence within the grouping that its national power capabilities would suggest. Resolving this is as necessary as it is difficult.

Chinese, Egyptian leaders vow to deepen strategic cooperation – Xinhuanet (CHN)
28/03/2013
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi agreed here Wednesday to move forward their strategic cooperative relations.

China-Africa ties set to move into higher gear – Capital News (KEN)
28/03/2013
China, as a long-time friend and supporter of Africa’s development, has been making substantial efforts to bring China-Africa relations to higher levels.The commitment has been on full display during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ongoing maiden overseas trip, which includes visits to Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of the Congo.

The simplicity of China-Africa relations – The Citizen (TZA)
28/03/2013
Just ten days after taking office as the leader of the People’s Republic of China, President Xi Jinping landed in Tanzania on Sunday to begin his three-nation historic tour of Africa that included South Africa and the Republic of the Congo. He had just concluded his first foreign tour in Russia.

Angolan President Analyses Co-Operation With Chinese Counterpart – Angola Press (ANG)
28/03/2013
Matters related to the increase of friendship and co-operation between Angola and China were discussed on Thursday by president José Eduardo dos Santos and his Chinese colleague, Xi Jinping, Angop learnt.

What the Chinese should do in Africa – New Era (NAM)
27/03/2013
CHINA enjoys a good relationship with Africa. That Africa is part of the first state visits by the new Chinese president Xi Jinping is an evident demonstration that China attaches a great importance to Sino-Africa relations. The continent is now China’s second-largest project-contracting market and the fourth-largest investment destination.

President Xi on China-Africa: it’s business as usual – Daily Maverick (ZAF)
27/03/2013
Like all good guests, new Chinese President Xi Jinpeng arrived for his first visit to an African country bearing gifts: 19 multi-million dollar contracts for Tanzanian companies and a new, state-of-the-art exhibition centre built in the heart of Tanzania’s commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

China Works to Improve Image in Africa – Voice of America
27/03/2013
China’s activities in Africa have long been a target of criticism. Its support of controversial leaders on the continent and massive hunger for resources have led some to question its intentions. Changing that perception has been a key point during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Africa this week.

Critics of China-Africa relations ‘not objective’ – China Daily (CHN)
27/03/2013
Western critics of the China-Africa relationship are often guilty of superficial research and a lack of objectivity, according to a leading South African academic. Garth Shelton, a professor of international relations at the University of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, said many use terms such as “neo-colonial” without thinking.

Basic facts about China-Africa ties – Global Times (CHN)
25/03/2013
China and Africa, though geologically far apart, have enjoyed a profound friendship, which has stood the test of time for the past 50 years or so.

Ethiopia, China eye stronger ties – Xinhuanet (CHN)
24/03/2013
Ethiopia and China on Sunday expressed the hope to lift their cooperation and bilateral relations to a new level. The two sides exchanged views on the issue during a meeting between Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Chen Fengxiang, deputy head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Finance and Banking

China’s Xi signs multi-million-dollar deals in Congo – Global Post (USA)
29/03/2013
China‘s new President Xi Jinping on Friday signed deals worth several million dollars with his Congolese counterpart in sectors as varied as banking and infrastructure, on the final leg of his three-nation Africa tour.

The myth that is no-strings-attached Chinese ‘aid’ to Africa – Africa Review
28/03/2013
The news out of Tanzania this week was that China would advance Africa $20 billion in “unconditional” loans. As is increasingly the norm these days, the wide reaction—interestingly from Africans—was loudly along the lines of “what’s the catch” and “yeah, right”.

China has potential to play a positive role – People’s Daily Online (CHN)
25/03/2013
As President Xi Jinping embarks on his first trip to Africa as a head of state,expectations are high for the world’s second-largest economy to play a greater role in the region.

Mining and Metals

Gabon still in talks with China over Belinga mine – Mining Weekly (ZAF)
28/03/2013
Gabon is still negotiating with its Chinese partner to develop the giant Belinga iron-ore deposit, a project key to diversifying the country’s oil-reliant economy, but it will likely bring in other miners and could break up the vast concession.

Ghana arrests Chinese suspects in illegal mining crackdown – BBC News (GBR)
27/03/2013
More than 120 Chinese nationals have been arrested in Ghana as part of a renewed clampdown against illegal mining. Growing numbers of Chinese have been going into Ghana, Africa’s second-biggest gold producer, since the price of gold soured at the start of the global financial crisis.

Zambia seizes Chinese-Owned Mine – Spy Ghana (GHN)
26/03/2013
Zambia announced last week that it had revoked the licenses of a controversial Chinese-owned coal mine in the south of the country in response to violations of safety and environmental laws and a failure to pay mineral royalties.

India, China eager for Botswana coal – Mmegi Online (BOT)
26/03/2013
Yesterday, Botswana Chamber of Mines CEO, Charles Siwawa said stakeholders from the two Asian giants recently made enquiries about assisting Botswana to develop its export quality thermal coal resources. “Two weeks ago, I was in India where I gave a presentation about Botswana coal,” Siwawa told delegates at a coal conference. “After the conference, delegates were asking how they could help to get the coal out.

Oil and Energy

Nigeria offers to sell power plant to Chinese firm – Engineering News (ZAF)
28/03/2013
Nigeria has offered to sell a major power station to the Chinese engineering firm that has upgraded the plant, the privatisation agency said, as it aims to end power shortages that are the biggest brake on economic growth.

Chinese Company buys stake in ENI’s Mozambique gas field – East Africa Energy Blog
25/03/2013
Italy’s Eni SpA has sold a 20% stake in its giant natural gas field offshore Mozambique for US 4.2 billion dollars to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the latest in a string of Chinese deals aimed at boosting the country’s overseas energy production.

India Mimics China in Seeking African Energy – Oil Price.com
22/03/2013
Africa is undergoing the great scrabble for its resources since Europeans carved up the Dark Continent in the 19th century. The latest to enter the fray for Africa’s energy resources is India, which, like China, is a net energy importer, seeking reserves anywhere and everywhere it can.

Trade

China’s Xi promises equal trade relations with Africa – CNN
26/03/2013
China’s new president sought to address concerns among African leaders about the uneven nature of trade relations on Monday, promising an equal relationship that would promote development on the continent.

Africa’s trade ties with China in spotlight as President Xi visits – The Standard (KEN)
24/03/2013
Chinese President Xi Jinping faces growing calls from policymakers and economists in Africa for a more balanced trade relationship between the continent and China as he arrives in Tanzania at the beginning of an African tour on Sunday.

Nigeria embarks on vast free trade zone with China – AFZA
23/02/2013
Nigeria is building a multi-billion dollar free trade zone with Chinese investors on the edge of its commercial capital Lagos to try to develop a local manufacturing base and help reduce its import dependence.

Transport and Infrastructure

SA, China’s Chery reach multibillion dollar port, ship deal – The New Age (ZAF)
27/03/2013
South Africa has reached a deal valued at several billion dollars to build and repair ships at its Richards Bay port with China’s Chery Holdings, affiliated with the automaker, according to documents obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

Environment

Mining may contaminate Zambezi water – Mail and Guardian (ZAF)
28/03/2013
Zimbabwe faces a possible row with neighbours Botswana and Mozambique after it emerged that planned mining activities in the Matabeleland North region could disturb wildlife and contaminate the Zambezi River, according to a conservation group.

Education

China Offers Nairobi Scholarships to Beijing – The Star (KEN)
29/03/2013
THE government of China has offered 50 scholarships a year to the residents of Nairobi. Chinese ambassador Liu Guangyuan said the scholarships to Beijing University will be given for five years.

Society

Congolese sceptical that Chinese leader will bring jobs – Global Post (USA)
29/03/2013
Congolese awaited a visit from China‘s new President Xi Jinping to the impoverished Republic of Congo starting on Friday, with many expressing doubt that he will bring job opportunities with him.

Chinese experts lift Congolese people’s hope for food self-sufficiency – Global Times (CHN)
28/03/2013
With hectares of maize plants growing neatly in rows, ridges of jade-green vegetables, and thousands of robust chickens scrambling for feedstuff, the landscape looked amazing. That was what the Xinhua correspondents saw at the Chinese Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in the Republic of Congo.

China Promises More Medical Experts – BBC
22/03/2013
CHINA has promised to send more medical and health experts to Tanzania to assist the country combat all threatening and emerging diseases, precisely killer ones like malaria and heart ailments as well as research in other medical fields.