Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Chinese tour Africa

China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was in South Africa yesterday on the first stop of a four-nation tour through Africa. He encouraged the nations of the resource-rich continent to strengthen their ties with Beijing to boost their development and claim a stake in the global economy.
Mr Yang said African countries dealing with China would benefit in trade and investment.
“If you view development against the backdrop of globalisation, I think there is all the more reason for China and African countries to work better to support each other,” Mr Yang told a press conference in Pretoria.
Yang's tour of Africa is the latest in a number by high ranking officials searching for resources, particularly fuel for their energy-hungry economy. Russia's state-owned energy giant Gazprom has just inked a deal with Nigeria for gas. The growing presence of communist and former communist powers in Africa has rattled the west
Mr Yang met President Thabo Mbeki where the pair made promises to maintain ties and conduct high level talks.
The issue of Sudan was also mentioned and Mr Yang said aftewards that South Africa and China agreed on their approach to the problem.
Mr Yang will also visit the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Ethiopia.
China, the world’s fourth-largest economy is the second-largest energy user/ Beijing has handed out billions of US dollars in oil-backed loans and other credit to several African nations, with few strings attached, unlike financing from Western banks and international agencies.
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