Weekly news

31/01/2012 to 06/02/2012

Top Stories:                                                                                                          

 China’s diplomatic protection faces new challenges – People’s Daily (CHN)

 State of the Nation: Zuma adopts Chinese model – Mail and Guardian (ZAF)

 In Defense of the New AU Headquarters – Pambazuka News

 Critiquing the critique on China in Zambia – Pambazuka News

 Rio Tinto accepts Chinese offer for Kalahari – Reuters

 China builds on Europe’s African ruins – FTs blog

All links:                                                                                                               

Sudanese rebels to ‘free’ hostages soon – News24
6/2/12
Sudanese rebels said on Monday they will release “soon” 29 Chinese workers held in the border state of South Kordofan where the army has been fighting insurgents for months.

China’s diplomatic protection faces new challenges – People’s Daily (CHN)
6/2/12
Recently, two cases of Chinese workers being kidnapped occurred successively in Sudan and Egypt. Seemingly, they are two individual incidents, but from a series of cases of Chinese citizens being victimized that occurred frequently in the world, especially in Africa and Asia, it could be seen that China’s diplomatic protection is facing many new challenges.

Chinese gov’t team arrives in Tripoli for assets protection, reconstruction participation – People’s Daily (CHN)
5/2/12
A work team of China’s Ministry of Commerce arrived here Saturday night to discuss with Libyan authorities on protecting assets of Chinese companies and its participation in the North African country’s post-war reconstruction.

Beijing grapples with hostage politics – China in Africa podcast
5/2/12
China’s unprecedented expansion across Africa encountered a dramatic setback this past week with the kidnapping of dozens of its nationals in both Egypt and Sudan. In all, over 50 Chinese workers were taken captive and although most have now been released,an estimated two dozen remain hostage.

Chinese investors eye Djibouti market – Somaliland Press (SOM)
5/2/12
The President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh on Wednesday received two large Chinese delegations in the space of 48 hours as the country gears up for Chinese enterprises.

Chinese spread wings in Zim – Daily News (ZBW)
5/2/12
They are given the red carpet in top government offices and hailed as messiahs who have come to plug holes left by the flight of Western investors. Yet at their cement, mining, construction and manufacturing plants that are booming countrywide, the Chinese are known for giving local labourers the stick.

Zambia-China Trade Zone generates $500m in tax revenue – China Daily (CHN)
4/2/12
The Zambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone (ZCCZ) has generated around $500 million in tax revenue over the last five years, according to a press release from a ceremony held Friday to celebrate the zone’s five-year anniversary.

China “ready for anything” to free workers abducted in South Sudan – AsiaNews
4/2/12
The Beijing government “will exert every possible pressure” on the southern Sudan to secure the release of the 29 workers of Sinohydro Corporation taken away by force on 29 January. But the image of China in Africa is full of holes blacks.

China’s Rise Poses Challenges for Its African Peacekeeping Missions – VoA
3/2/12
China has long adhered to a foreign policy of non-interventionism, where it tries to appear neutral in disputes outside its borders. As the country becomes more of a global power, however, it is less able to stay on the sidelines. China’s role in United Nations peacekeeping missions is changing, and the country may be compelled to play a greater role in peacekeeping policy.

Sudan, South Sudan Test Limits of China’s Evolving Foreign Policy – World Politics Review
3/2/12
In December, with a dispute over oil-transit fees between Sudan and South Sudan exacerbating already tense post-independence relations, the world looked to China to save the day. Beijing sent Special Envoy Liu Guijin to negotiations in Addis Ababa in the hopes of brokering a deal on oil revenues and facilitating a final post-independence settlement between the two sides.

Dreams of China vs local realities – Mail and Guardian (ZAF)
3/2/12
President Jacob Zuma dreams of China: of 10% growth and an elite bureaucracy co-ordinating the machinery of party, state, and private sector to power high-speed trains and build bridges across farmland and swamp.

State of the Nation: Zuma adopts Chinese model – Mail and Guardian (ZAF)
3/2/12
President Jacob Zuma is likely to look East with his State of the Nation address in Cape Town next Thursday. A new focus on infrastructure, similar to the Chinese model of state capitalism, will be the centrepiece.

As China enters Africa, new challenges emerge (Part I) – Modern Ghana (GHA)
3/2/12
China has taken its relationship with Africa to a new level by snuggling to the continental body, the African Union. It has given a concrete evidence to authenticate that relationship and provided a new $200m (£127m) AU headquarters, funded and built by it. The building was officially opened on Saturday for use by the African leaders gathered for the AU’s 18th ordinary session.

China In Africa, A Risky Business – Worldcrunch
3/2/12
Two recent kidnappings of Chinese workers – one in Sudan and the other in Egypt – have shown China that doing business in Africa comes at a price. But with their cultural insularity and tendency to carry cash, are Chinese businessmen exposing themselves to extra risks?

Analysis: China security blanket for citizens abroad has limits – Reuters
3/2/12
In a demonstration of its growing military power, China is increasingly willing to deploy its armed forces to protect Chinese nationals abroad, but analysts say it still lacks the capacity to mount a complex hostage rescue.

Links I Liked – Deborah Brautigam’s blog
3/2/12
Sometimes I come across China-Africa links that may not have caught many reader’s eyes. I’m going to institute a new practice of “Links I Liked” to bring these to readers’ attention, in addition to my own original blog posts and commentaries.

China Diplomacy Tested in Kidnap Drama – Wall Street Journal
3/2/12
The Chinese government has approached newly created South Sudan to help negotiate the release of Chinese captives held by rebels in neighboring Sudan, said a South Sudan official, an unusual diplomatic move that risks complicating China’s ties with two resource-rich African nations.

China’s Africa Problem – The Daily Beast
2/2/12
In various attacks, including this week’s kidnapping of 29 workers in Sudan, China has failed to flex its military muscle to rescue its own people. Is this how a superpower acts?

In Defense of the New AU Headquarters – Pambazuka News
2/2/12
How genuine is the anger that has been expressed in some quarters about Africa accepting a gift of the new African Union headquarters from China? There are so many other issues of urgent concern around the continent that the critics should direct their wrath to as well.

China’s Sudan dilemmas – Washington Examiner (USA)
2/2/12
Sudan and South Sudan’s slow, deadly war of blood-for-oil reserves has ensnared Africa’s slyest empire builder: Communist China.

China in Africa: the blowback begins – Daily Maverick (ZAF)
1/2/12/
If this isn’t a sign of how far the USA has fallen, I don’t know what is. Twenty years ago it would have been American workers targeted by rebel groups. But the times they are a-changing, and two kidnappings in the last week suggest China’s increasingly dominant role in the world – and especially Africa – is being recognised. And not in a good way.

China Workers Abroad Becoming Easy Prey – Bloomberg
1/2/12
The capture of 54 Chinese citizens in Egypt and Sudan signals growing concern for China as its economic power expands abroad and it sends more people to work on infrastructure projects in dangerous places overseas.

Sino-African ties dissected – China Daily (CHN)
1/2/12
China-Africa ties over the past three decades have yielded magnificent results, characterized by frequent high-level political visits, strengthened economic and trade relations and burgeoning bilateral socio-cultural communications.

Critiquing the critique on China in Zambia – Pambazuka News
1/2/12
In November 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a report that examined labour abuses in the Chinese state-owned copper mines in Zambia. Our report was based on 143 interviews with miners in Zambia’s copper mining industry, as well as interviews with union representatives, medical professionals, government officials, police officials, business representatives, and academics.

Why Chinese workers are getting kidnapped abroad – Christian Science Monitor
1/2/12
Kidnapped Chinese workers were freed today in Egypt, but as more Chinese workers become easy targets abroad, citizens back home are calling for action.

China-South Africa Relations – Ambassador David Shinn’s blog
1/2/12
The Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa published in December 2011 a paper on the growing partnership between South Africa and China. The author is Haibin Niu, a research fellow at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, who was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Chinese Studies.

Chinese Underage Sex Scandal Sparks Emotive Debate – IPS
31/1/12
Zhang Daliu, 46, a carpenter from China never imagined himself in the dreadful confines of a stinking and overcrowded Zambian jail where conditions are so terrible that they lead to gastronomic disorders and skin diseases within days of confinement.

China presses Sudan to help free workers
31/1/12
China urged Sudan on Tuesday to seek urgently the release of 29 Chinese workers held by rebels in the border state of South Kordofan, declaring that it was “shocked” by their abduction.

Rio Tinto accepts Chinese offer for Kalahari – Reuters
31/1/12
Miner Rio Tinto has accepted China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp’s (CGNPC) bid for its shares in Kalahari Minerals, the major shareholder in one of the world’s largest uranium projects, it said on Tuesday.

China builds on Europe’s African ruins – FTs blog
31/1/12
It might have gone largely unnoticed. But there was a sting in the opening remarks made by Jia Qinglin to African heads of state at their annual summit.

South African Airways (SAA) introduces non-stop flights to Beijing, China – SFGate (USA)
31/1/12
South African Airways debuted on its non-stop route to the capital of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing, this morning departing from O.R. Tambo International Airport at 00:20. The flight was the first of three new weekly frequencies between South Africa and the Chinese capital. The route’s introduction follows a comprehensive strategic partnership forged between the two countries in August last year.

China’s Africa act better than India’s – Business Standard
30/1/12
V Shankar became the second person of Indian origin in Standard Chartered Plc’s current board after he was appointed as the group executive director of the bank from January 1 this year. In an interview with Manojit Saha and Somasroy Chakraborty, Shankar shares his views on the state of global economy and its cascading impact on India.

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