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Nine Chinese Workers Die: Role in Africa Criticized April 24, 2007

Posted by publicpolitics in Uncategorized.

China is a resource hungry economy with interests all over Africa, and stories like this one are bound to become more common as the Chinese post nationals to out of the way but highly contested spots in the world.

Nine Chinese oil workers and 65 Ethiopians were killed in the incident early on Tuesday, Chinese and Ethiopian officials said.

The attack took place at an oil field in Abole, a small town about 120km from the state capital, Jijiga.

Source: news.bbc.co.uk

The workers were there on behalf of the Zhongyan Petroleum Exploration Bureau, in turn part of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the massacre.

Chinese-African trade has grown by an astonishing amount since around 2000, although China has maintained a presence in parts of Africa dating from the time of Mao. Last year, trade increased an astonishing 35% over the year before. The Chinese President recently completed an African tour that one BBC story calls the “diplomatic equivalent of speed dating.”

China has been at the forefront of debt forgiveness and is making inroads on a number of other humanitarian ventures in an effort to convince skeptics that there is more to the Chinese presence than simple economic advantage. Projects include anti-malarials, new schools in Tanzania, tourist industry aid in Uganda, and railway construction in Angola. As wide as the aid net is, critics feel that the efforts so far are a thin cover for economic exploitation and resource extraction. The focus appears to be on oil and other materials for China’s exploding energy requirements:

n the past fifteen years, China’s foreign investment in Africa has risen to $850m, while since 1995 China’s share of total African exports has risen from just 1% to nearly 10%.

“China’s policy is driven by the search for energy security and secure energy assets,” Dr Martyn Davies, head of the School of Chinese Studies at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University, told the Mail & Guardian newspaper.

“The concentration is on Nigeria, Angola and Sudan. Most of Angola’s exports, particularly oil, go to China and Sudan is also moving in this direction.”

Source: news.bbc.co.uk

Tags: China | Chinese | ethiopia | ethiopian | petroleum | Politics | tuesday | agency | attack | Gunmen | incident | KILLED | news | officials | workers | leaves;Oil;Foreign Affairs;foreign affairs;



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