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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 204  Al Jazeera  July 24, 2018 3:32am-4:01am +03

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targeted by the syrian government the nicaraguan president is refusing to step down despite months of violent protests against his government protesters want daniel ortega to call early elections there june twenty twenty one but in a rare interview with american t.v. ortega said moving up the vote would increase instability. italy's foreign minister says migrants rescued from the mediterranean will be allowed to come ashore while e.u. nations tackle the issue of migration it's a these new government has taken a hard line on migration and has turned away rescue ships carrying migrants and refugees forty people stranded on a supply vessel just off the china sea and coast they left libya on july the eleventh they were rescued several days later more news on the web site al jazeera dot com up next it's inside story season by.
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i new iraq for china africa relations xi jinping promises to strengthen economic ties that he makes his first visit to west africa as president but how will africa benefit as beijing seeks new markets and is it a win win situation this is inside story. flow and welcome to the program i'm fully back to china has had a strong presence in africa for years beijing has built countless roads buildings and provided economic support right across the african continent now it looks set
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to conquer even more markets as a result of u.s. president donald trump's new trade tariffs chinese president xi jinping is on a four nation tour of africa with stops in senegal wanda south africa and the visit to senegal was she's first trip to west africa as leader at a joint news conference with senegalese president he said africa was china's natural ally and announced several new deals. we have attended the signature of a slew of corporation agreements in various domains ranging from justice and technical corporation infrastructure promotion of human capital and civil. the development of china will bring more opportunities to africa and the development of africa will bring energy development of china. or china is africa's biggest trading partner according to the chinese ministry of commerce trade between the two sides
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accounted for nearly one hundred seventy billion dollars last year chinese exports to africa reach ninety four point seven billion dollars while african countries imported seventy five billion dollars worth of chinese goods beijing has several large scale projects across the continent as part of its so-called belt and road initiative which aims to provide a link to seventy countries across southeast asia the middle east europe and africa the chinese government has also provided at least eighty six billion dollars in loans over a decade to finance over three thousand projects in africa that includes a highway linking senegal capital to car to its second main city tuba and ethiopia's a four hundred seventy five million dollar light railway system in addis ababa of which eighty five percent was funded by china let's bring in our guests for today's inside story joining us in beijing don muang an analyst at the economist
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intelligence unit in senegal capital de car adam i gave a journalist and former director of information at the economic community of west african states and in nottingham in the u.k. and lecture at the university of nottingham welcome to you all thank you so much for being with us on inside story adam a gay in the car if i can start with you has become the first african country on the atlantic coast to sign up for the belt and road initiative beijing is clearly very keen to expand and extend its influence but what is senegal getting out of it . look seventy. tall people and we stand up in two thousand and five on top of each other but ever since beijing. greet the investment incentive up for the border all the time to respond we have seen building the country. that's called the big. most of the cultural activities are
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the own urgency no doubt this is a busy i'm. just instilling you have. not been doing the very important high wave that is costing were last hundred million dollars going to a very important just start but. before that journey started to visit of prison did you think the commissioning. bristling which is a bit top of the sport is that i got so overall is being in financial muscle and discovered you could build the infrastructure just in senator this is the most visible thing you just go parisian on the other hand is to put it to the ties that tries to build the senate up only in the goodness of senator indeed janet coming here provides a diplomatic clout that other countries like america like france and the heat and
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all the emerging nations of the world clearly looking at you know the specific also want for themselves as a partner but china is clearly taking the lead in this relationship and that's probably what this will be construed to just drop this visit of president you beat the living in sin it up ok let me bring in now dan one in beijing dan she says china sees africa as its natural ally i guess it's no coincidence that it's on this time offensive now given this norming trade war with america. but i wonder will this relationship with this increased relationship with africa make up for the shortfall will it give china a bulls a more dominant position these of the america and the rest of the west. who in the short term i don't see to strengthen the china africa relation would have a big impact on the china u.s. relations and in fact this is a critical moment for china to strengthen its relation with africa with europe in
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the backdrop of this escalated trade war with the u.s. but overall in terms of trading partners in terms of global influence the u.s. is not replaceable but at this point it is actually pretty sensitive point for xi jinping to visit africa since the vote on the road initiative is the president she's a legacy and africa is playing a key role in it and as she tries this time to visit is also at a very critical sensitive political moment domestically because in about one week the bit i heard meeting which is a top secret of a closed door meeting in china the coming year agenda with all of the important chinese politicians together right so if she has any doubt over the domestic political stability he wouldn't have gone for this long tours in africa let me ask you about that the choices the countries each owes to visit at first look wanda in
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senegal appear to be unusual choices for president she's visit given that they don't receive a large amount of investment from china whole. day large countries in terms of population why did he choose these countries specifically what is he trying to get from them. this is the carefully true isn't true isn't set of the countries for sure because for china its largest investment actually is set in eastern african countries where the political environment is more stable in a lot of resources. tanzania was actually the first country that she visited a while he took office but in recent years relations with those countries hasn't been the most smooth especially with china didn't get a few of the most the key infrastructure projects including the tens and real way so there's a need for china to set an example of what kind of relationship it wants in fact the smaller countries like rwanda like senegal would be
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a better choice for china at this point all right let's bring in andrea's to the conversation andres what do you see as china as short and long term agenda in africa. sure i think in the short term it's mostly a public relations exercise you know these grandiose projects these part projects of ping they certainly make a great headlines and it's actually an easy sell to and you know the african. population to say we'll bring infrastructure will improve into connectivity between these for example east african countries but you see the devil is in the detail and many of these development projects are actually loan based and for example for this is the african countries like you theo south sudan kenya
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you mentioned rwanda also buendia and tanzania they have actually borrowed close to ten billion u.s. dollars through for example develop these railways which will link up to very cities in east africa but about eighty percent of the funding comes from china and these are loans and not grants so at one point they will have to service their loans and they will have to pay them back and so if you have chinese bankers to deal with this can be become an issue in the future let me bring in adam on that particular point as andrus says he is a lot of these project projects in africa where whether it's incentive gallow guinea or elsewhere based projects what happens if santa got all guinea or tanzania not able to pay back these loans. so this is a very serious issue if you look at what happened recently in bangladesh where. was he captured because the country couldn't be. that bad that the parts of that from
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china. that i brought from other countries because. most of these loans i don't think we should get under the rug you know informed about the decision probably i want to share that with the decision making but the system so i did end of the day at a time when even the international financial institutions couldn't meet in. the g twenty summit. i didn't give up i don't think that this is the stuff i don't want in depth in this he. said the country this is seriously a burden that must be addressed and unfortunately our people now i think that they're just they look at the chinese race the way that it is did you think about whether it was in two thousand lytle down to the bridge of the channel visited to the god they look at them as if they had the same fears i think incomplete they're
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not they come to business they want to hear it in the time when they had this thought that if they only came up with a kind of medium i think of the sussex. country they did you really think about it but. in a sense done when mr didn't get beat. it's that perfect that discordant one poor one bent and trying to overcome the least of being. hit by america under my roof i think i think it got its start negotiating better conditions of work being done sometimes when the other pick up to me but those kind of go back. up again sometime unfortunately tend to see as if they had given back have said from the. look right. there they are conditions indeed i just wanted to ask you before i bring back down into the conversation about how local african populations
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are benefiting from these chinese investments i mean beijing invested for instance one hundred million dollars instead of gal in twenty seventeen and as you say a lot of these african governments tend to go directly to china now to get loans and so on but is it trickling down to the local communities. no it's not really done really because most of the big infrastructure projects built by chinese companies that big it even was from china to the jobs so they're not really. out to the dentist companies don't have reading implementations of the secular corporate responsibility yet time that could be talking a lot about the document head not the content being implemented to get african countries benefit from this relationship you have big numbers two billion dollars have been. rejected because it does since they have been restored and it doesn't
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but we have not seen you see those rude highways and others being done and unfortunately the corruption. of distance and desist good that extent destroying the substance of the oak knows that he. then says we have to move the democratic norms so we have a serious situation and i believe one way to envisage this it will be done through by the dinner but even been through the first study september living with china i think that they believe again in china through the forum of corporate can be. difficult now donna in beijing as you hear that a lot of people in many african countries have a problem with the way china does business and several african countries have pointed to problems with large building contracts awarded to chinese companies have been allegations of shoddy construction of a lack of respect for labor laws and local laws by
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china you know at the end of the day i guess the question is does china really care about africa. short answer is yes but not in the same way as they care about chinese people so what chinese government want is to create jobs to sell its domestic overcapacity to africa and also to get market access in this large continent and for chinese companies it wants to make money. i would i would have to say that a lot of those. harmon tory johnson labor issues or gather tension sorry for china it's about making money at all. you know what happens locally i think it depends on the industry it depends on the company for the many company i've talked to some of them did break the local law of violating the labor law
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environmental law but most of them i think are good followers to abide by the local law so before serving industries like mining it's very easy to break the law and got into conflict with the locals but i don't think it's a universal thing for all projects and all countries or what about the issue of loans a lot of these countries have taken up huge loans and there is concern that you know if some of these countries whether it's senate gotto give me are unable to pay their debts towards china that they might have to turn over some of their assets to beijing is that what's going to happen you know at the end. this is indeed a dilemma for both countries actually for china many of those projects are not profitable but he has to lend the loans in order to use up some of its productivities and also export some of the products but for the local government also wants a developer wants a beaut of transport infrastructure and so on but then the model has become it
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gradually involve into this resource in exchange for infrastructure model in the end there can be some conflict in a few years one a lot of those countries default on different projects. what is your thought on this do you think china has a paternalistic attitude towards africa as the former colonial powers like britain and france did and you know they claim they were bringing civilisation to africa is it different when it comes to china is it more subtle in that i think it's actually slightly different but what seems to be happening here is the use of finance to actually gain access to important assets so for example the example given on the port in sri lanka. that port didn't make any sense from a commercial standpoint but the chinese managed to convince the sri lankan
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government that this would be a good idea it wasn't it was a very costly affair the government couldn't service it that had to kind of. give the port chinese control and it doesn't have much commercial value but of course it will be extremely valuable for the purely navy for example in the future so i think there is actually a nexus between commerce and security and more importantly the military and in areas which are close to the south china sea there is actually quite concerning. how dependent is china on african resources andrus. sure i mean in places like south sudan for example china made very considerable investments in the infrastructure in terms of oil extraction and so it had also to think about transportation lanes and to protect those investments by engaging in un peacekeeping which is actually quite interesting given china's take on sovereignty
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and on intervention. but having said that much of the resource extraction required is good transportation ling's and this may also drive the chinese investment in railway projects in east africa for example right out of my gate into cause i want to talk about the politics now of this all a lot of african governments will say to you today that they like doing business with china because there are no political strains attached china doesn't demand good governance in the countries that it does business with is that necessarily a good thing for africa. look this is that something you need to need to get a little bit. of the entire china if not particularly should energy use if dealing with the rest of the world and that's said to collect on the capital one cat but i think the most important so you know i'm sure that if you can what if you don't. have to pretend that you get a little bit we can a couple of times be you saw today only one after the company had snapped it on
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average. that one tonight and you get that cannot go on the pressure on african countries you can google but i think i'm going to be problematic because. we have really bent under democratic plan we like we really didn't we that we don't know what. we don't want to break and you know that our country that we're either going to need or want to be dealing with. that pretty good product and you know if you want more important in the lining of the little pile and not people that you've been reading become. online but in the book look i'm going to china so it's a blessing and we think apple computers well what the this week they said because of democratic challenging they're getting within their country so you know i think
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that we need to accept that jan i want to understand that that is the one point they need to get the treaty but then why go it was the biggest debtor nation but on the other hand because we asked for the mistake they need to accept we asked and do we just don't trust the debts from their spend just want i do because it. didn't just start sticking to speed so that there is a forced good does it does it that this the thing that we cannot negotiate. stimulus is the best interest of balancing risk. under the name of color you know what. we think our research. into the if we quote the only. reason the us and other neighborhoods. really good day the really. we're origin not just in the ridiculous. but what it. is because only the leaders we.
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know they seem to be at peace with the journey so you want the religion where you live to be just a bit. so you think a more unified voice from africa when it comes to dealing with china adam and dan wang on the issue of politics it's a very delicate issue when it comes to the relationship between africa and china how long can china stay. removed from the noninterference policy that it has towards africa especially if it needs to protect some of its assets on the african continent. i think it will keep the status quo like this with no strings attached but just infrastructure for a long time on one single reason is that china has its own problems are right now to solve its own problems the best strategy for it just is actually to build africa instead of export ng is a values especially. in present time china doesn't have
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a sort of power or unified value on to to give like a democracy or things like that on some people are talking about how money is development or confucius but not all of those concepts are strong enough to actually make china to stand in africa. all right your thoughts on this andrea's folder do you think that china can maintain this policy of non interference in the politics of the countries that it deals with. well i think whenever you engage financially or canonically within a country you do actually interfere in to a like the political structure you know the economic structure the power structure so in that sense any kind of engagement is kind of disturbing the status quo but that said at one point there will be conflicts in the chinese african relationship in one way to mitigate those coming conflicts would be for china to actually become
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part of the o.e.c.d. development assistance committee so that actually china has a new donor abides by international standards when it comes to development assistance when it comes to financial corporation technical cooperation etc because right now china is not part of the o.e.c.d. it means that there's very little coordination with other dourness there's very little kind of learning from other donors or sharing of good practice and i think if china was to up its game learn from other donors what has worked in the past what hasn't learned also from many of the mistakes that western governments have actually made in terms of providing development assistance in a nine hundred sixty seven eighty s. then i think many of the coming problems could be of art that i'll give the last word to adam again in that car briefly adam how do you see this relationship between africa and china evolving is china the next colonial superpower on the african continent. really didn't do who turned into luke's going to do
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it can't wait so says the vision. you know what you can do you want the root it will be better but it's one thousand billion dollars that it was looted was. there that needed the look this is clear that the because of a local call the local political it's a book about ok. we'll leave it there because your line is breaking up unfortunately thank you so much we get the gist of your message thank you so much for a very interesting conversation don juan my gay and andreas fault and thank you too for watching it can always watch this program again any time by the setting our website at al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page at facebook dot com for stash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter our handle is at a.j. inside story for me for me back to one whole team thanks for watching my friend.
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thank you. thank.
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