Cablegate: Read-Out From Beijing On The

DE RUEHBJ #3223/01 3361000
O 021000Z DEC 09




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Read-out from Beijing on the
China-Africa Forum



1. (SBU) Qiu Bohua, China's Ambassador for the Forum
on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held November 6-
9 in Egypt, told Emboffs November 23 that China
pledged USD 10 billion in new concessional loans to
Africa, to be distributed via bilateral channels.
For Africa's least developed countries (LDC), China
offered debt relief on all loans maturing in 2009
and said it would also start to phase in zero tariff
treatment on 95 percent of African products, 60
percent of which would take effect in 2010. China
also announced a China-Africa partnership on climate
change, a partnership on science and technology and
further cooperation on agriculture, health,
education and cultural exchanges. Chinese Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi presented a report on the
implementation of the outcomes of the 2006 Beijing
Summit. Egypt will continue to serve as FOCAC's
African co-chair to organize the next forum in China
in 2012. A proposal by some African countries to
make the African Union (AU) the secretariat on the
African side was not approved. Separately, an
international organization contact who attended the
Forum as an observer told Emboffs that African
countries took advantage of the meeting to express
frustration with the large numbers of Chinese
workers used by Chinese enterprises in Africa. END


2. (U) In addition to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao,
high-level attendees to the 2009 FOCAC meeting
included 10 presidents, 3 vice-presidents, and 2
prime ministers from the 49 African countries that
have diplomatic relations with the PRC. (Note:
Burkina Faso, Swaziland, The Gambia and Sao Tome and
Principe do not recognize Beijing and therefore do
not participate in FOCAC.) African heads of state
present were Egyptian President and host Hosny
Mobarak, Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir,
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Republic of
Congo Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito, Liberian
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Ethiopian Prime
Minister Meles Zenawi and Central African Republic
President Francois Bozize. Many African foreign
ministers and ministers of trade were also in
attendance, as well as Chinese Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi and Minister of Commerce Chen Deming.

3. (SBU) One participant, observing on behalf of an
international organization, reported that at least 9
international organizations had been invited to the
Forum, but only at the last minute. Representatives
from the African Development Bank, West African
Development Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization,
World Bank, United Nations Development Program, and
the World Food Program did attend the event as
observers. Places for United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Health
Organization, and World Trade Organization remained
empty. No observers from non-African, non-Chinese
governments participated.

Eight New Measures

4. (U) The highlight of FOCAC took place during the
opening ceremony, when Premier Wen Jiabao announced
the following eight new measures for China's
engagement with Africa:
-Establishing a China-Africa partnership in
addressing climate change. China said it would
enhance cooperation on satellite weather monitoring,
development and utilization of new energy sources,
prevention and control of desertification and urban
environmental protection. China will build 100
clean energy projects (solar, bio-gas, and small-

BEIJING 00003223 002 OF 003

scale hydropower) in Africa.
-Launching a China-Africa science and technology
partnership. China said it would carry out 100
joint demonstration research projects with Africa
and receive 100 African postdoctoral fellows to
conduct scientific research in China.
-Helping finance African development. China pledged
to provide USD 10 billion in concessional loans to
African countries, and support Chinese financial
institutions in setting up a special USD 1 billion
fund for lending to small- and medium-sized African
businesses. For the heavily indebted and least
developed countries in Africa that recognize Beijing,
China said it would cancel their debts associated
with interest-free government loans due to mature by
the end of 2009.
-Further opening its market to African products.
China committed to phase in zero-tariff treatment
for 95 percent of the products it imported from
African LDCs that had diplomatic relations with
Beijing, starting with 60 percent of such products
in 2010.
-Further enhancing agricultural cooperation. China
said it would increase the number of its
agricultural technology demonstration centers in
Africa to 20, send 50 agricultural technology teams
to Africa and train 2,000 agricultural technology
personnel for Africa, in order to help boost the
continent's food security.
-Deepening cooperation on medical care and health.
China vowed to provide medical equipment and anti-
malaria materials worth 500 million yuan (USD 73.2
million) to the 30 hospitals and 30 malaria
prevention and treatment centers built by China in
Africa and train 3,000 African doctors and nurses.
-Enhancing cooperation in human resources
development and education. China said it would
build 50 schools and train 1,500 African school
principals and teachers. By 2012, China would
increase the number of Chinese government
scholarships to Africa to 5,500, and would train
20,000 African professionals over the next three
-Expanding people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
China proposed to launch a China-Africa joint
research and exchange program to increase exchanges
and cooperation, share development experience, and
provide intellectual support for formulating better
cooperation policies by the two sides.

Follow-up from FOCAC 2006

5. (U) After Premier Wen's announcement of what was
in store for China's African friends going forward,
PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi presented a report
on Chinese implementation of the commitments it had
made at the 2006 Beijing FOCAC Summit, almost all of
which he claimed had been met (see reftel for more
on China's 2006 FOCAC commitments, and .htm
for the full text of FM Yang's report). Yang's
report highlighted the trade and investment numbers.
Direct investment by Chinese businesses in Africa
between 2006-2009 totaled USD 5.4 billion, and two-
way trade topped USD 106.8 billion in 2008, 2 years
ahead of the 2006 goal of reaching USD 100 billion
by 2010.

6. (U) Under the category of development assistance
and debt relief, China reported that they had
delivered USD 2.647 billion of concessional loans to
support 54 projects in 28 countries and USD 2
billion in preferential export buyer's credit to
support 11 projects in 10 countries. China also had
signed protocols on debt cancellation with 33
African LDCs to write off debts that matured at the
end of 2005.

7. (U) Since 2006, the Chinese Government had
doubled the fellowship quota for African countries,
with 4,000 African students now studying as fellows
in China. China had opened 23 Confucius Institutes

BEIJING 00003223 003 OF 003

or classrooms in 16 African countries; had started
construction of 91 out of the 96 schools pledged;
had started construction on 26 of the 28 hospitals
pledged; and had opened 30 malaria prevention and
treatment centers. In addition, China had provided
anti-malaria medicine to 36 African countries
seriously affected by malaria for three consecutive
years, had sent 1,200 medical workers to 42 African
countries and regions and provided a large amount of
medicine and medical devices.

Details of China's new commitments

8. (SBU) MFA FOCAC Ambassador Qiu BoHua explained to
emboffs on November 23 that the USD 10 billion in
concessional loans made available by China (see para
4) would be made available on a first-come-first-
serve basis. African governments could submit
proposals via the Chinese Embassies in their
capitals. These proposals would subsequently be
evaluated by MOFCOM and China's EXIM Bank, which
would then decide whether to provide the financing.
Qiu said that China would be open to considering
regional projects, but that it was up to the African
countries themselves to design and forward such
proposals. He stressed that the implementation of
FOCAC commitments would continue to be carried out

9. (SBU) Ambassador Qiu told emboffs that the new
partnerships on climate change and science and
technology would focus on clean energy and
technology transfer, with China's Ministry of
Science and Technology taking the lead on plans to
hold a separate S and T forum with African
counterparts in the near future.

10. (SBU) Ambassador Qiu said that China had doubled
aid to Africa from 2006 to 2009, but would not share
any hard numbers, saying that these were hard to
calculate because China used different criteria to
quantify development aid. He said that China was
open to U.S.-China cooperation on assistance to

AU as African Secretariat?

11. (SBU) Egypt, which served as the chair for the
2009 FOCAC that it hosted, will remain co-chair
(with China) through the next FOCAC to be held in
China in 2012. Ambassador Qiu explained that
Egypt's role was simply to manage organizational
details. The Africans currently had no FOCAC
secretariat, Qiu asserted, but during the November
meeting, a group of African countries proposed
making the African Union (AU) the secretariat for
their side. According to Qiu, this proposal was not
accepted because Morocco, the only African country
that is not a member of the AU, objected. In a
separate meeting with econoffs, however, an African
diplomat who was in Sharm-el-Sheikh for the meeting
offered a different explanation. He said the PRC
government was not "comfortable with this idea" and
needed some time to consider it. An observer from
an international organization remarked that Egypt
also opposed the AU proposal because it challenged
Egypt's current role as African Chair.

Other African Gripes

12. (SBU) Our international organization contact who
was an observer at FOCAC told emboffs that African
countries took advantage of the meeting to express
their frustration with the large numbers of Chinese
workers used by Chinese enterprises in Africa. In
addition, some African countries also suggested a
greater role for regional organizations in future
FOCAC meetings.

© Scoop Media

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