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Cablegate: Possible Hu Jintao Visit to Luanda at the End Of

VZCZCXRO3136
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0510 1771737
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251737Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4864
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0110

UNCLAS LUANDA 000510

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR AF/S AND EAP/CM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELTN EMIN ETRD AO CH
SUBJECT: POSSIBLE HU JINTAO VISIT TO LUANDA AT THE END OF
THIS MONTH

1. (SBU) The Chinese Embassy in Angola has begun preparing
for a high level visit to Luanda in late June and early July,
possibly by President Hu Jintao, according to an employee of
a private Chinese company contracted to make preparations for
the upcoming visit. Post has verified that Luanda's Alvalade
Hotel is holding a bloc of four rooms for the Chinese Embassy
from June 30 to July 4. This would be Hu's first visit to
Angola. However, he is scheduled to attend G-8 meetings in
Tokyo on July 8, and so scheduling problems could make a
visit to Angola doubtful.

2. (SBU) If the visit takes place, President Hu's
deliverables would likely be connected to work by Chinese
State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) on Angolan infrastructure
projects. On June 20, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos
Santos received the vice president of NORINCO, an SOE owned
by the Chinese People's Revolutionary Army. Published
reports on the meeting said a number of NORINCO's
subsidiaries were eager to take on projects in Angola.
Angolans, including dos Santos, have severely criticized the
quality of Chinese work, especially on roads. NORINCO's
overtures to the GOA may be an effort to position itself
ahead of some of the Chinese companies now working here.

3. (SBU) Financing for Chinese projects was delayed during
2007, and a number of projects, especially the Luanda
International Airport, remain stalled. If the airport is to
be financed from Angolan sources, bidding for the airport
contract would no longer be restricted to Chinese SOEs, as
would be the case if Chinese funding were utilized.

4. (SBU) Comment. If Hu visits, Post would expect him to
announce Chinese financial support for additional funding for
GRA infrastructure projects, highlighting the selection of a
Chinese firm to construct the new international airport. The
visit would also reinforce the impression of an improved
relationship since 2007, when President dos Santos publicly
criticized the poor quality of Chinese construction.
MOZENA

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