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Published 1st February 2009

Vol 2 (AAC) No 4


A more perfect union

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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Beijing’s special relationship with Monrovia defies market conditions and is expanding into Guinea and Sierra Leone

The US$2.68 billion agreement signed by China Union's Chief Executive Yin Fuyou and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on 19 January to restart iron ore production at the old Bong Mines flies in the face of global economic realities as mining projects stall and close across Asia and Africa. The mega deal - the largest in Liberia's history - points to China's long term strategy in the region, where it is developing a portfolio of mining interests in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The born-again Bong mines

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The US$2.68 billion Bong Mines deal hands the Chinese consortium led by Yin Fuyou and China Union a 25-year concession for the formerly German-owned Bong Mines in Bong Country, ...

Twixt Beijing and the IMF

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China's investment and production plans face a crisis as Kinshasa's foreign reserves nosedive

Falling demand for copper, cobalt and diamonds offers a stark choice for President Joseph Kabila's government: does it accept the onerous conditions of credits from the Interna...

Vultures over Kinshasa

Chinese money is now a key target for United States' FG Hemisphere Associates LLC, which wants to reclaim a debt of US$104 million owed by Congo-Kinshasa. FG Hemisphere is widely...

Iron in the soul

After renegotiating for better terms in the Bélinga iron ore deal and drops in commodity prices, parties in Beijing are no longer as keen on the deal

Having won a dangerous game of brinkmanship, President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba is trying to re-excite China's interest in the Bélinga iron ore project. Since the end of...

What's yours is mine and...

India's gain may prove to be South Korea's loss as local political shifts hit Nigeria's oil business

The Korean National Oil Company may take legal action in response to Nigeria's revoking last month of two lucrative concessions awarded to the company in 2005. KNOC won operating...

Best friends again

Angola has maintained its status as China's biggest trading partner in Africa - with trade volumes between the two countries reaching US$25.3 billion in 2008 - according to Beiji...

Contract shuffles

Global financial chaos and falling demand for oil and minerals are prompting recalculations on all sides. The IMF and World Bank have revised down their gross domestic product for...

Beijing news network

Beijing is investing 45 billion yuan (US$6.6 bn.) in expanding its Xinhua News Agency and launching a 24-hour English language television news station. The plans envisage more co...


Hu Jintao

President, People's Republic of China

This month, China's leader embarks on his fourth tour of Africa. The itinerary - Mali, Mauritius, Senegal and Tanzania - shows the range of relationships built up under Hu Jintao. ...

Ma Ying-jeou

President, Republic of China (Taiwan)

As China's President Hu Jintao tours Africa this month, his Taiwanese counterpart will be conspicuously absent. Ma Ying-jeou has been trying to cool the diplomatic competition w...

Yukio Takasu

Japan's United Nations Ambassador

Japan chairs the United Nations Security Council in February. Its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC began 1 January. Taking the chair, Japan's Ambassador Yukio ...

T.C. Venkat Subramanian

Chairman, India Exim Bank

India wants to catch up fast with China's still booming economic diplomacy in Africa and at January's India-Africa Business Partnership Forum, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mu...