Wednesday, June 21, 2006

China in Angola

......The (Capital) city is choked with traffic and there are enormous public health problems, including a recent outbreak of cholera which left 1,200 dead.

This highlights the need for enormous investment, which is where China comes in.

Luanda city centre
Angola hopes China can help with its decaying infrastructure

The Angolan government welcomes the new visitors.

"Most important for us is the country's reconstruction," said minister Luís da Mota Liz.

And referring to efforts on transparency he went on, "just this month the Angolan government approved the international convention against corruption".

However, others say that the combination of corruption and Chinese cash is damaging, and that this source of new funds gives Angola the opportunity to ignore the IMF's recommendations on transparency and accountability.

The Angolan example is far from unique across Africa, where trade with China has exploded in the last few years.

And in the rush for resources, China has no qualms about dealing with countries that the west has criticised or shunned, such as Zimbabwe and Sudan.

China says it has a strict policy of non-interference in other nations' affairs.

It won't tell the countries it deals with what to do and vigorously defends its policy in Africa.

"Sudan is a sovereign country and I'm sorry that we do not develop relations according to US or UK or any other country's instruction," said Zhou Yuxiao, chargé d'affaires at the Chinese embassy in South Africa.

"Developing normal relations with a country does not mean that we approve every policy of that nation."

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