TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Hillary Clinton: 'Chinese interests in Africa incompatible with our own'

Sunday, 02 December 2001

Source: News in a Box

While in a trip to Africa, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that “The United States does not see these Chinese interests as inherently incompatible with our own”, Reuters reports.

Hillary Clinton began a five-day trip in Africa by setting foot in Zambia first. The trip will also include Tanzania and Ethiopia and its purpose is to promote the political views and projects of the Obama administration for helping African countries improve their economic and health status.

Referring to China’s latest investments in Africa – which summed up around 10 billion dollars in 2009 – Clinton told reporters in Lusaka that even though China assumes “a greater and more responsible role” in international affairs, the United States are concerned about Beijing’s foreign assistance and investment practices in Africa have not always been consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance” she says and adds that “it has not always utilized the talents of the African people in pursuing its business interests”.

In the latest years, China has constantly invested billions of dollars in Africa and bought oil and other raw materials to fuel the boost in the economy. The US fears that what it has done until now for maintaining a more mature and transparent economy is at risk of being disintegrated as China’s economy policy doesn’t meet the same characteristics.

The president of Zambia, Rupiah Banda, stated that the friendship between his country and China dated since 1964. “Our country has been in a close relationship with China since before independence,” he stated. This May, China has loaned Zambia 180 million dollars to finish up a major road.

Clinton reminded Zambia of the projects initiated during the Bill Clinton administration, especially the AGOA, a program that aims to strengthen governance and accountability and supports economic growth, expanding people’s opportunities, especially for women. Last year, oil imports from Nigeria and Angola (and other AGOA countries) accounted for more than 90% of the U.S. imports from Africa. This raised question on how the trade benefits can be used to encourage diversification.