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Cablegate: Chinese Assistance to Angola Focused On Health

VZCZCXRO3633
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0923/01 2540801
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110801Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4301
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0101
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0001

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LUANDA 000923

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/S AND EAP/CM
USAID FOR AFR/SA (ELOKEN AND IMCNAIRN); ODP/BMD FOR
NMICHELSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV EINV AO CH
SUBJECT: CHINESE ASSISTANCE TO ANGOLA FOCUSED ON HEALTH

REF: LUANDA 326

LUANDA 00000923 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary. During an initial call on Counselor Ding
Shan at the Chinese Embassy, the USAID Mission Director and
Ding compared the U.S. and Chinese assistance efforts in
Angola, which both emphasize health. Ding also disclosed
China will soon start sending "barefoot doctors" to work in
Angola's province and has ongoing programs to train Angolan
doctors, in Portuguese, in China's Sichuan Province. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) On 23 August 2007, incoming USAID Mission
Director, accompanied by Econoff, met with Chinese Embassy
Counselor Shan Ding at the Chinese Embassy, as one of a
series of visits to foreign assistance counterparts in
Luanda. The meeting provided an opportunity to compare U.S.
and Chinese assistance programs in Angola and test the waters
for future cooperation. The Chinese program Ding described,
like the USAID program, emphasizes health care, but also
features training and providing skilled Chinese professionals
to work in Angola.

A Rapidly Growing Bilateral Relationship
----------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Ding described a Chinese official relationship
with Angola that has evolved rapidly over the last 5 years,
especially as Chinese construction firms have come to play a
major role in rebuilding Angola's infrastructure. Ding had
met former Ambassador David Shinn the previous week, during
Shinn's privately-sponsored tour of several African countries
to research a planned report about Chinese influence in
Africa. Ding told Emboffs they discussed the potential for
increased cooperation between China and the United States on
agriculture and health.

Chinese Assistance to Angola - Health
-------------------------------------

4. (SBU) This year, China provided USD 400,000 to the GRA
to help the fight against malaria, Marburg and other
diseases. Under a bilateral agreement, the funds purchase
Chinese medical supplies and equipment. One medication is a
new anti-malaria drug developed in China, Ding said, called
Qinghaosu in Chinese, Arteannuin in English (Note: Chengdu
Okay Plant and Chemical Company has posted Arteannuin's
chemical structure and scientific name on the web, describing
it as an artemisinin. End note.)

5. (SBU) China is now building hospitals, health centers
and schools in 16 of Angola's 18 provinces, and its program
is evolving. When Angolan Prime Minister Fernando dos
Santos's visited Beijing in November 2006, he signed a
bilateral agreement to bring Chinese doctors to serve
two-year tours in Angola's rural areas, Ding explained. The
first group of 12 physicians should arrive in September 2007
and will include two experts in Chinese traditional medicine,
an acupuncturist, and a therapeutic masseur. In addition,
China last year trained 36 Angolan doctors in Sichuan
Province, conducting their training in English and
Portuguese, thanks to China's Portuguese-language institute
in the province, Ding related.

USAID Programs in Angola
------------------------

6. (SBU) USAID Director summarized the USG foreign
assistance program in Angola, explaining its emphasis on
health, especially efforts to combat malaria under the
President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and AIDS under the
President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) She
explained that health initiatives account for over USD 24
million of USAID's USD 35 million budget for Angola. USAID
Angola also works closely with private corporations in
Angola, and they have increased USAID funding by USD 5
million. In addition to health programs, USAID also manages
programs to encourage democracy and governance, and economic
growth. The last includes programs to improve access to
credit and agricultural development, exactly the area where
China and the United States hope to develop a common program.

Ding on China's Impact
----------------------
7. (SBU) Ding suggested that, unlike Western firms doing
business in Angola, Chinese firms do not take on Corporate
Social Responsibility programs while doing business in

LUANDA 00000923 002.2 OF 002


Angola. Although China's engagement, unlike USAID's, does
not involve working with NGOs, Ding pointed to the visible
Chinese construction firms and commercial enterprises,
suggesting that they also benefit Angolan society through
their engagement. Ding expressed continued Chinese interest
in a bilateral program as discussed reftel, but indicated he
preferred to act on suggestions from the U.S. side.

Comment
-------

8. (SBU) Although the nature of China's assistance program to
Angola presents challenges to designing a viable joint
program, we will continue to meet with Ding and his
counterparts to explore possibilities.
FERNANDEZ

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