Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Africa’s role in China’s oil search

(Source Article: Wen woos Africa in quest for oil - FT.com)

Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, is currently visiting seven African countries in order to stimulate negotiations for oil production on the continent; Wen’s is the third visit this year by a Chinese leader, demonstrating the urgency of China’s demand for the resources available in Africa. On Tuesday, Wen will visit Angola—China’s second largest provider of imported oil, providing over a third of such imports.

Two-way trade between the two countries increased by 35% last year to reach $US 39.7 billion, a fourfold increase since 2001. China is now the continent’s third largest commercial partner, behind the U.S. and France. In exchange for oil supplies, China has made available a $3 billion credit line to Angola in order to help that country recover from its years of war. Some African countries run a trade deficit with China, and eagerly await further development in Africa by the country. (see S.Africa seeks to spur Chinese investment - Reuters)

While Chinese involvement on the continent means an increase in economic development, critics in the US and Europe have said that such involvement impedes efforts to eliminate oppressive regimes in countries like Sudan and Zimbabwe—Chinese deals keep such regimes thriving. (see Chinese PM launches African tour - BBC.com)

Over the weekend, Wen signed 10 oil, natural gas and telecommunications deals with African countries—and also pledged over $100 million to development in the region. China’s oil firms have had an increasing presence on the African continent since the late 1990s, when intense economic growth in China far outpaced domestic oil supplies. (see Chinese premier visits Congo - Houston Chronicle)

1 comment:

Helen said...

Thank you for this update.