Critics say China’s staggering financial assistance to African countries is proving to be much more powerful and far-reaching than the Arab sword or the European gun, and by establishing official ties with China African countries are unwittingly locking themselves in a diplomatic dungeon. Insofar as Chinese loans are concerned, Africans bemoan that ‘It’s legalized transnational loan sharking. And Uncle Sam, who could be charged with pandering, has facilitated China’s actions as Mama Africa relinquishes her innocence. She surrenders her assets, and her virtue vanishes.’ The following is the next list of African countries, extracted from news reports and presented alphabetically, that have or had financial and diplomatic links to Communist Red China:
(16) Egypt (Chinese Embassy): “In April 1999, when Egyptian President Mubarak was visiting China, he signed a joint communique with Chinese President Jiang Zeming on establishing strategic cooperative relationship between Egypt and China.” (17) Equatorial Guinea (Chinese Embassy): “A subsidiary of leading Chinese oil and gas producer China National Offshore Oil Company Ltd. (CNOOC) has signed a production-sharing contract for an offshore block in Equatorial Guinea.” (Feb. 18, 2006) “A Chinese Laborer Recalls Horror in Equatorial Guinea”—The Economic Observer Online May 5, 2008. (18) Eritrea (Chinese Embassy): “On January 6, 2007, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki met with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.…the friendly relations and political mutual trust between the two countries have grown steadily, and the two sides have also had good cooperation in economy, trade, culture, education, health and human resources development.”
(19) Ethiopia (Chinese Embassy): “China, Ethiopia: Facing the Price of Engaging Africa” “An attack on a Chinese energy exploration facility in eastern Ethiopia has left nine Chinese dead and another seven kidnapped.…Coming on the heels of a string of attacks against Chinese interests in Africa and rising African concerns about Chinese activities, the incident will force Beijing to rethink its involvement and security in Africa.” (April 24, 2007) (20) Gabon (Chinese Embassy): “China, Gabon Vow to Boost Cooperation” “Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Gabonese counterpart El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba have pledged to push the China-Gabon cooperation to a new high.” (Xinhua News Agency Feb. 3, 2004) (21) Gambia (Chinese Embassy): “Gambia: Govt Welcoming Main Land China Businesses!!” “Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has been welcoming investors from Main Land China into The Gambia.” (allAfrica.com) (22) Ghana (Chinese Embassy): “China Grants Ghana US$3.6 Million” “The Chinese government has provided a grant of 30 million yuan (about US$3.6 million) to the Ghanaian government.” (Nov. 28, 2001) “Chinese PM announces Ghana loan” “Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has said his country will lend Ghana about $66m to fund development projects.” (June 19, 2006; BBC News)
(23) Guinea (Chinese Embassy): China’s Wu Bangguo, who is the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), met with Aboubacar Sompare, the National Assembly of Guinea speaker in Beijing on July 14, 2008. Bangguo said that he ‘was ready to further exchanges with the National Assembly of Guinea on legislation, democracy and legal construction.’” (24) Guinea-Bissau (Chinese Embassy): “China to build and finance Guinea Bissau infrastructure” (Nov. 4, 2006) (25) Kenya (Chinese Embassy): “China says Kenya violence proof Western democracy unsuitable” AP Jan. 14, 2008.—Election violence that has killed hundreds in Kenya proves that Western-style democracy isn’t right for Africa, China said Monday, at a time when Beijing is under fire for maintaining friendly relations with authoritarian African leaders. Pre-colonial Africa had its own ways of resolving problems through consensus, those traditional systems were ignored when former European rulers ‘tyrannically’ imposed Western democratic systems upon independence, the People’s Daily newspaper said in a commentary. “Western-style democratic theory simply isn't suited to African conditions, but rather carries with it the root of disaster,” said the paper, the official mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party.
(26) Lesotho (Chinese Embassy): “The People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Lesotho established diplomatic relations in Apr.1983. In April 1990, the Lesotho military government resumed the so-called diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which consequently led to the severance of China-Lesotho diplomatic relations. On Jan. 12, 1994, the government of Basotho Congress Party reestablished diplomatic relations with China….The Chinese government has completed 9 aid-projects in Lesotho.” (China.org.cn) (27) Liberia (Chinese Embassy): On Feb. 1, 2007, China’s President Hu Jintao visited Liberia bearing bigger gifts than rival Taiwan, who aided Liberia when no one else would during the days of Charles Taylor. Jintao promised new schools and hospitals in conjunction with cancelling Liberia’s $10 million dollar debt. All Liberia had to do was choose Communist China over Taiwan. However, one Liberian observer lamented: “I like to imagine that choosing to support the One-China Policy was an act done with gritted teeth for the good of the Liberian people who have absolutely no clue about China’s darker side.”
(28) Libya (Chinese Embassy): China's leading railway contractor has won the bids to build two major railways in Libya, which together are worth about 3.2 billion dinars (2.6 billion U.S. dollars), according to the company. Feb. 18, 2008 Xinhua News Agency (29) Madagascar (Chinese Embassy): “China vows to further ties with Madagascar” “The leaders from China's parliament and advisory body said on Monday that China will boost friendly cooperation with Madagascar, with the African country reiterating its adherence to the one-China policy.” (July 3, 2006) Chinese Government’s Official Web Portal. (30) Malawi (Chinese Embassy): “The People’s Republic of China is working on arrangements to start pouring millions of dollars to finance development projects in Malawi following the Southern African country’s decision to switch allegiance from Taiwan and embrace the mainland as a diplomatic ally.” (Feb. 1, 2008) “China is discussing a huge tobacco investment in the African nation of Malawi.” (Jan. 19, 2009)
(31) Mali (Chinese Embassy): “The Mali government attaches importance to its ties with China and adheres to the one-China policy.” Feb. 12, 2009 (Xinhua) (32) Mauritania (Chinese Embassy): “China and Mauritania established diplomatic relations on July 19, 1965. “Mauritania…sticks to the ‘One China’ principle, and opposes Taiwan’s entry into the United Nations....Since 1982, Chinese companies have begun to undertake contracted projects in Mauritania.” Aug. 25, 2003 (33) Mauritius (Chinese Embassy): China and Mauritius signed an “agreement for economic and technological cooperation. After the establishment of the diplomatic relations China began to provide Mauritius with all kinds of aid and assistance.” (Mar. 14, 2009, China.org.com)
“But Africa is destitute! She’s in dire need of assistance!” you exclaim? The problems indeed are complex. But, ideally, African leaders could respond as did Abram when a politician of questionable character offered him goods in his time of need. “I do lift up my hand in an oath to Jehovah the Most High God, Producer of heaven and earth,” said Abram, “that, from a thread to a sandal lace, no, I shall take nothing from anything that is yours, in order that you may not say, ‘It was I who made Abram rich.’ Nothing for me!” (Genesis 14:22-24) Next week, God willing, Part 3.