BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | China to seal $9bn DR Congo deal –This is one of those China-Africa deals I’ve been harping about on the weekly No Agenda podcast. If you read between the lines you can see how the Chinese are operating in Africa.

Due to be signed in Beijing in the next few days, it gives DR Congo $6bn of desperately needed infrastructure – about 2,400 miles of road, 2,000 miles of railway, 32 hospitals, 145 health centres and two universities.

In return, China gets a slice of DR Congos precious natural resources to feed its booming industries – 10m tonnes of copper and 400,000 tonnes of cobalt.

Its a barter deal – what the Chinese side loves to call “win-win”. Not aid with strings attached, like Western powers have given DR Congo over the years, but pure business.

Any bets that they get started on the mining before the 32 hospitals?

Here is the kicker paragraph late in the article:

A copy of the original DR Congolese-Chinese memorandum of understanding obtained by Newsnight appears to exonerate the Chinese side from all taxes and customs duties until the promised building work is completed.

So the Chinese flood the local economy with everything from spatulas to food to computers paying no duties. This goes into the local economy and drives competition out of business. They keep this up forever because there is no timetable in these deals and the building work is never completed so the Chinese get this sweet deal forever as they stall on the projects while raping the mines. Slick. This was explained to me two years ago yet nobody does anything about it. Oh, and in the process, the Chinese colonize the area since they have to bring in their own workers. Everyone will wonder what is wrong with Africa when someone gets a clue and the populace goes on a rampage and butchers all the colonists some years from now. Unless, of course, the Chinese bail out by then leaving half-finished projects and the country in a shambles with no resources left. They can then blame the Western powers for somehow meddling. Somehow the USA will get blamed. Smooth.

Found by Andrew Tong.




  1. MikeN says:

    These resources probably never get developed without the Chinese. So in exchange for that, they get cheap goods coming into their country. Sounds like a win-win.

  2. GF says:

    Woot! Ebola for everyone!

  3. brendal says:

    Denmark does not apologize. ::burp:: Neither does China…but the beer…viva la diff!

    There’s a reason the Danish flag is the oldest in the world. We’re opportunistic (like the Chinese) but have a strong defense (unlike the Chinese).

    but I think mostly, it’s the beer.

    Seriously, tho…time to learn Mandarin. I sat down for lunch with the billionaire Hong Kong chairman of the software company I was running at the time. He was fascinated with American journalism (he had actually been interviewed by Mike Wallace on 60 minutes.) We discussed pen over sword and he told me Mao came to power by initially “penning” a newspaper opinion column.
    He believed strongly in the power of the media.

    Tally-ho, John…nice rapier…to wit…now pass the beer.

    One for all and all for…none?

  4. Charbax says:

    So it’s ok when the western countries steal natural ressources in Congo but it’s not OK when China offers to build “2,400 miles of road, 2,000 miles of railway, 32 hospitals, 145 health centres and two universities”. How do you know that China isn’t going to deliver at least as much as they take from mining?

    I’d guess it wouldn’t be too complicated to have some system that makes sure China meets some timelines for each of the promised construction projects.

    Anyways that is what precious natural ressources shoul.d be used for, to build infrastructure and to distribute the wealth fairly among the whole population.

    It all depends of course on what the objectives are by the people who rule each of the countries. I guess the Chinese rule might not have been 100% fair so far to the people of Darfur and Tibet to name some examples, not to mention a large part of the Chinese population which are still living in poverty.

    I’m hoping for the best for Congo and for China, and I wish western countries proved to be dealing fairly with all countries that have natural ressources, and also show signs of caring about working conditions of the workers in poorer countries to which they have outsourced work and from which they mass manufacture their products.

  5. bobbo says:

    #39–Charbax==excellent point. Seems the American system of aid is to give huge chunks of cash that wind up missing, in Switzerland, or used to buy American weapons.

    Always wondered if the whole foreign aid thing was not a scam why we didn’t give aid “in kind.”

    Its harder to divert food and turn it into cash although it does happened. Still harder to convert a road, bridge, or hospital into cash.

    I hope the Chinese follow thru and show us how to give aid that counts.

  6. TheGlobalWarmer says:

    #37 – Ebola’s only a good thing if it’s leaking out of pox onto everyone around you. Ebola-pox, it’s what’s for breakfast.


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