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Cablegate: Chinese Engagement in Rwanda

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLGB #0304 1211415
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301415Z APR 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5272
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0031
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0298
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 1113
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 1881
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0433
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0220
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1200
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0476
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0181

UNCLAS KIGALI 000304

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAGR SENV RW
SUBJECT: CHINESE ENGAGEMENT IN RWANDA

REF: A. STATE 41697
B. 07 KIGALI 529
C. 07 KIGALI 218

1. (SBU) The Chinese and Rwandan governments continue their
cooperative relations on a number of fronts, with Chinese
parastatals and private companies active in Rwanda, a number
of development projects underway, and discussions continuing
on various soft loans. As noted in refs B and C, China
agreed to construct a new Foreign Affairs building, and this
project is now nearing completion. A pilot rice production
project has just finished, and will be followed up with a
rice plantation project south of Butare. Approximately 60
percent of Rwanda's national roads have been constructed by
Chinese companies, and Chinese companies continue to bid
aggressively for road projects funded under World Bank and
African Development Bank auspices.

2. (SBU) Zonghua Yi, Econ/Commercial Counselor at the
Chinese embassy in Kigali, told pol/econ chief April 25 that
China recently agreed to fund a hospital and two primary
schools in Rwanda. It will also begin work in the near
future on a silkworm and mulberry tree plantation -- a
feasibility study is now underway -- and a bamboo plantation
and processing center. Discussions continue on a new
football stadium, and on various other soft loan projects.
Two Chinese telecommunications companies are working closely
with Rwandatel, the formerly state-owned telephone and
internet company. The CCECC (China Civil Engineering
Construction Corporation), a Chinese parastatal, is also
active in Rwanda, bidding on various construction projects
(it will build the two schools mentioned above).

3. (SBU) Two-way trade between China and Rwanda, according
to Yi, rose from thirty-four million dollars in 2006 to
approximately sixty million dollars in 2007 (although he
cautioned that accurate figures were difficult to obtain).
Rwanda's exports consisted mainly of tea, coffee and animal
skins, while China's exports to Rwanda covered a variety of
household goods, telecommunications equipment, construction
equipment and services, and other items.

4. (SBU) By all accounts, China does not offer donor
assistance to Rwanda in the areas of peacekeeping or security
assistance. We are not aware of any areas where USG programs
intersect with Chinese assistance, although given the
wide-ranging activities of our HIV/AIDS programs, some
interactions may result following completion of the hospital
the Chinese have pledged to build. Chinese government
representatives are largely missing from the many donor
coordination mechanisms that Rwanda employs as it seeks to
rationalize and harmonize its development assistance. One
area in which Economic/Commercial Counselor Yi said China
would be ready to cooperate would be in the proposed
construction of a rail link from Isaka in western Tanzania to
Kigali -- on a strictly commercial basis, said Yi.


ARIETTI

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