Clinton warns Africa about China

2011-06-10 21:36

Lusaka - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday warned Africa that China does not always have its interests at heart as economic ties expand, and offered the US as an alternative.

Clinton arrived in Zambia to begin a five-day Africa trip that will also take her to Tanzania and Ethiopia to highlight the Obama administration's drive to help African countries meet challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS to food security and accelerate often impressive economic growth.

She quickly zeroed in on the fast expanding clout of China, which pumped almost $10bn in investment into Africa in 2009 and has also seen trade soar as Beijing buys oil and other raw materials to fuel its booming economy.

"The United States does not see these Chinese interests as inherently incompatible with our own," Clinton told reporters in Lusaka, adding that Washington believed everyone benefited as Beijing assumes "a greater and more responsible role" in world affairs.

"We are however concerned that China's foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance, and that it has not always utilised the talents of the African people in pursuing its business interests," she said.

Clinton's comments echo Washington's concern that China's quick economic push into Africa - including billions of dollars in development aid unfettered by political or economic requirements - risk scuttling efforts to help the continent develop a more mature and transparent economy.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda, whose country has attracted Chinese investment in mining and in May received a $180m loan to upgrade a major road, said Africa's ties with Beijing were healthy and long-standing.

"Our country has been in a close relationship with China since before independence (in 1964)," Banda said, adding that Beijing had helped many African countries weather the recent financial crisis.

No interest in World Bank job

Clinton's trip has been overshadowed by news that she has been in discussions with the White House about moving on next year to become the first female head of the World Bank.

Reuters on Thursday quoted three sources familiar with the matter as saying these discussions were under way, but the White House and State Department denied it and Clinton herself on Friday said it was incorrect.

"I have had no discussions with anyone. I have evidenced no interest to anyone. I do not have any interest, and am not pursuing that position," Clinton said.

Revelations about Clinton as a potential Bank nominee are sensitive because they come during a period of significant foreign policy challenges for the Obama administration.

In Lusaka, Clinton grooved with an ululating chorus of African businesswomen who have benefited from U.S. help at a meeting on Agoa, the U.S. programme signed into law by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in 2000 to give trade preferences for some 37 eligible African countries.

"The most successful development programme is one that will someday make itself unnecessary," Clinton said, describing a range of U.S. programmes aimed at strengthening governance and accountability and supporting grassroots economic growth.

To get there, she said Africa's leaders still needed to deliver on promises to cut local trade barriers, streamline regulation and expand opportunities, particularly for women.

U.S. officials want Congress to extend AGOA when it expires in 2015, but say it is time to take a hard look at ways to address nagging bureaucratic and infrastructure problems, widespread corruption and often lopsided trade.

More than 10 years into Agoa, US trade with sub-Saharan Africa remains small, accounting for just over 1% of total U.S. exports and about only 3% of US imports.

Oil from countries such as Nigeria and Angola accounted for 91% of the $44bn in U.S. imports from Agoa countries in 2010, raising questions about how US trade benefits can be used to encourage more diversification.

  • TK - 2011-06-10 23:18

    "US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday warned Africa that China does not always have its interests at heart" DOES AMERICA HAVE AFRICA'S INTERESTS AT HEART? ITS ALL PURE BUSINESS, FOR CHINA OR AMERICA OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY FOR THAT MATTER.

      RVQ - 2011-06-11 08:28

      Yup it's all about the money and power, Africa need to learn to take care of Africa

      Totman - 2011-06-11 09:48

      Tk you are right. it is all business. However I saw the way China is doing it. Specially in Zambia and with their copper mines. It is bad, very bad. USA is what it is, but China is 10 times worst. Zambia is becoming so much enslaved that they will start hoping again for the colonial bastards. My poor people.[my 2nd country after SA] They are such good people. SA should have made them part of us like a satellite state or something. We always joked[expat, SA gov and Zambians] calling Zambia our 10th province. Clinton that is what you gets when sleeping on something, hoping nothing will happen while you concentrate more on other countries where you can gain more.

      Nasdaq7 - 2011-06-11 13:57

      That's certainly true TK. The US buys $300bn's worth of goods from China a year. It has never worried about how those goods are produced.

      50something - 2011-06-11 15:29

      Agree - the only true thing she said was that China does not have Africa's interset at heart - what makes the USA any different? Look how they have raped the countries that have oil. Sorry Hillary, but this time I don't believe you

      PBF - 2011-06-11 16:49

      You are spot-on!!

      Mahomed Baksh - 2011-06-11 17:21

      in some ways yes. I know of Aids research funded by the USA and other aid organisations funded by them. Its a pity people only focus on the wars but they do a lot of humanitarian work as well which people choose not to recognise. I'm not condoning all of their activities, nor am I their advocate nor do I wish to argue for the sake of arguing as most people do, I'm just saying that we must not forget that they good as well.

      JusticeMan - 2011-06-11 19:01

      What a Joke!! It is none of their Business, why should they care, Americans as usual want to Capitalise on all circumstances and if someone else beats them to a Deal, they act like Cowards. Go back home Clinton, you stink of hypocracy!! The next Super Power is China & you and your dollar are going down!

      darkwing - 2011-06-11 19:03

      It's a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. I would go with the US.

      tryanything - 2011-06-11 20:54

      Worked for an American Company for 20 years Id rather trust the Chinks thanks.They have no manners either.

      Tebza - 2011-06-11 21:06

      U 100% right

  • Naartjie - 2011-06-11 07:55

    Ha ha ha and why would the USA be any better. If one has to judge the yanks by their recent history, then it could easily be said that they are just a money grabbing bunch of spoilt brats who think the world belongs to them, with an obsession to control the world's oil supplies

  • Max - 2011-06-11 09:20

    That is really rich, coming from her. Now that America has sold out their own country to the Chinese, she tells the rest of the world, not to trust China. I'm not saying the Chinese are any better than the Yanks, but China bought up almost all of the USA's debt and now owns them. Clinton == 814ch

  • Smk - 2011-06-11 09:37

    Tother countries need our materials. We can always process raw materials locally as well as manufacture locally. That would solve our unemployment. We should be the ones deciding the terms of the contracts or better yet not even have contracts letting these other countries take our minerals. These other countries economies need us and we are serving them as if we need them which we don't.

  • djcakecoza - 2011-06-11 09:51

    USA doesnt have the money to invest in Africa. Let us not forget their credit rating has just been downgraded and they are over their debt ceiling and are in danger of defaulting. China, on the other hand, have a booming economy and have all but disinvested in the USD because they see the writing on the wall. Wouldnt it be great if Africa could be a major economic power? Of course we would have to deal with corruption and racism first.

  • bryan hurd - 2011-06-11 09:53

    Most folks would like to believe that,even from Clinton who has a bad name for swearing at people and unbecoming tantrums.Yet the history of the west in Africa is actually very bad,although our fathers {most of them fought for Britain/America in WW2}they betrayed us very quickly for their "own"aims,their treatment of blacks is one of horror look at the Congo and their 40 year support of mobutu, china and Russia likely no better,so an act of GOD is our only salvation from these beasts of prey.

  • Gorilla - 2011-06-11 10:17

    Wise words, however I would imagine that common sense would have nothing to do with the way Mrs Clinton's perspective or concerns are recieved by the general population.

  • sabc10 - 2011-06-11 10:41

    in other words...this capitalist and warmonger admits china does generally but rarely does not.China has done far far far more for Africa in a short space of time whilst the western colonialist deny everything about interfering in africa and other states worldwide. For America and western colonialists its more than business. Its greed and wealth at the expense of the developing world. Actions speak louder than words. Western colonialists have propped up every tin pot dictator worldwide by selling arms and aid. America has been warned so many times to get off its perverted greed at the expense of the rest of the world but it still arrogantly carries on like a greedy pig.

  • sabc10 - 2011-06-11 10:55

    hypocrisy,greed and war mongering nature is very characteristic of the west

  • YES - 2011-06-11 11:53

    She jealous of strides that China has made in Africa. Like Mugabe once declared, Zimbabwe is now Looking East, it is as well good that Banda told her as much.

  • OldSA - 2011-06-11 12:28

    You can pump as much money into Africa as you like, as long as it is governed by corrupt politicians Afica will get nowhere.

  • tokoloshe - 2011-06-11 12:38


  • piet.strydom - 2011-06-11 16:12

    If you care so much, start lifting your subsidies to your farmers... The $360 bn you and Europe spend on your own people to depress the markets for agricultural goods, dwarfs the $80 bn that you give in so-called aid.

  • PBF - 2011-06-11 16:51

    TK, you are spot-on!!

  • james4usa - 2011-06-11 16:56

    The Chinese are smart, don't give a sh about rigths and they are ruthless.

  • Alfred - 2011-06-11 20:24

    American hypocrisy is absolutely mind-blowing. To reach such levels of hypocrisy one has to be either an ignorant moron, totally oblivious of american history, or a lying sociopath. Guess which trait I think that bitch clinton has?

  • ZACommentator - 2011-06-11 20:28

    ha ha the irony from the country that has killed more civilians and been in more wars than any other int he past 100 years.

  • Boer - 2011-06-11 20:33

    So what if China benefits. Without any financial in put from any country the whole damn continent will fall to pieces as it already is in the dumps cause the African people just dont have the ability to help themselves. LOOSERS. Is the United States perhaps upset cause China were the first in Africa with massive investment plans.???Just asking.??

  • Newsferret - 2011-06-11 20:53

    I bet the SA government will take no notice of Clinton's valid warning. On the other hand American economic imperialism is not much better but between the tow evils it is the more preferable one.

  • Newsferret - 2011-06-11 20:56

    I bet the SA government will take no notice of Clinton's valid warning. On the other hand American economic imperialism is not much better but between the two evils it is the more preferable one.

  • Crazy Ivan - 2011-06-11 21:15

    180 million $$$$ loan to upgrade a road????? - WTF?? Must have diamonds for 'cateyes'.

  • Deon du Plessis - 2011-06-11 21:43

    TK, the difference between USA and China, is that the USA is prepared to train and upskill the locals and involve them in the projects. The Chinese mostly use their own labour and very little skills transfer occurs.

  • croix - 2011-06-11 22:28

    Go to "Democracy NOW" and watch the interview with John Perkins about his book "Hoodwinked". He also wrote a few other books - including "Confessions of an Economic Hitman". You will never again believe anything American Politicians say............

  • gerrit.n.maritz - 2011-06-11 23:02

    China is funding a lot of construction in Africa. They build mines to plunder mineral resources. They build harbours to ship it out. Oh and dont forget the roads! The roads from the mine to the harbour. (If you do not understand sarcasm, this was it)

  • mthembuva - 2011-06-12 04:29

    No pure business,Chinese are busy stealing frm Africa by helping corruption leaders to oppress their own pple,take good look at Zimbabwe today,No infrastures in 31years,yet Chinese are mining everyday and unemployment is high yet Gvenment claim best partners in creminal activities(cheap commodities n bribery)they must driven out of contries like Zim.

  • soutie76 - 2011-06-12 09:12

    Talk about stating the blindingly obvious. The US and/or Europe will never succeed as well as China in Africa because they aren't prepared to pay the required bribes (however they are disguised), will be hamstrung by their own human rights laws and will be up against the in-built fear/mistrust/dislike of Europeans (and by extension, Americans) that exists due to Europe's colonial history in Africa. Much like the ANC consistently fails to deliver the goods in SA, yet continues to get voted into power due to a lack of educated voters, subtle intimidation and propoganda that fosters the aforementioned fear/dislike of anything White, China will be allowed to ride roughshod over Africa as long as it continues to line the pockets of the right people and the leadership of Africa continues to ignore the needs of their own people. Make no mistake, China is colonizing Africa, just via economic means instead of via the barrel of a gun as the Europeans did.

  • Kevin - 2011-06-12 10:10

    I can onlt agree with you. China is a huge threat. Second big threat is America ,currently buying up our businesses. Eventually we will be a state of America with every cent of profit generated in this country going to America who will pay a fraction of it over to the Chinese for the rubbish stock they manufactured for the Americans. Smell the roses. Eventually everyone will be working for the fat Americans .

  • Collitjies - 2011-06-12 12:25

    South Africa itself is so deep into China's pockets they have no chance of telling China to go to hell. The ANC don't realize that those little yellow men are going to send their surplus population to SA to create more space at home for the richer population. Soon Chinese language will be taught in our schools mark my words.

  • Annabel - 2011-06-12 16:03

    I wonder if sweet smiling La Clinton has come to tell us: "Look around the world. You see how we do business. I've come to tell you:- It's The American Way ... or it's ... Bombs all the way!"

  • kooster - 2011-06-12 16:57

    Must agree on one thing: Africa, say hello to your new colonialists , here's China. They will make the previous governments look like saints.

  • g t - 2011-06-13 12:58

    I feel so much better knowing that Hillary cares so deeply for us. NOT! We need to be wary of both. Those okes from China are not necessarily our "chinas" hey?

  • Mchana - 2011-06-14 12:07

    so must we open up for the US now? they view us as people who wear leopard skin and China is seeing Africa as an investment hub. so..go home Hillary

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