China-Congo relations: Democratic Republic of Congo to cancel mining deal with China, big blow to Xi Jinping
After Asia, China, which is trying to trap African countries in economic diplomacy, will be hit hard. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has begun reviewing mining deals worth about Rs 44,000 crore with China. Congolese Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi said the government was reviewing the mining agreement signed with Chinese investors. The deal is worth $ 6 billion, known as the Minerals Infrastructure Agreement.
The Congolese government set up a commission of inquiry
President Felix Tachisedi said in May that some mining deals could be reviewed because they do not provide enough benefits to the Congo. Congo is the world’s largest cobalt producer and Africa’s largest copper mine. For this reason, China has been keeping a greedy eye on this country for many years.
Congo signed an agreement with China in 2007
The Congolese government announced this month that it has set up a commission to re-evaluate the reserves and resources at the China Molybdenum giant tank Fangurum Copper and Cobald Mine. By doing so, the government wants to strengthen its claim to rights. Finance Minister Nicolas Kazadi said in an interview that the 2007 agreement was signed between Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Group Ltd.
Chinese companies observed silence
Sinohydro and China Railways did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters on the Congolese government’s announcement. Eli Tsinguli, deputy director general of the Cycomine Copper and Cobalt joint venture, also did not respond. The majority of this joint venture is owned by Chinese state-owned Sinohydro and China Railways.
China violated the terms of the agreement
In Congo’s previous government, President Joseph Kabila gave China Sinohydro and China Railways a 68 percent stake in the Sicomine venture. In return, Chinese companies agreed to build roads and hospitals in the Congo. The agreement was then the most important part of former President Kabila’s development plan. But critics say China has completely ignored some promised infrastructure projects.
China is investing heavily in African countries
In the year 2020, when the whole world was plagued by the corona virus, China had invested more than Rs 33,000 crore in many African countries. China’s move can be gauged from the fact that it is investing in a number of projects in Africa’s oil, gas and mineral producing countries.
Nigeria is the largest lender
Last year, the China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank invested at least 1 3.1 billion in the Ajokuta-Kaduna-Kano natural gas pipeline project in Nigeria. China has reduced its investment in energy projects by at least 43 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. However, the cause is said to be an outbreak of the corona virus. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during this time, as projects in African countries have stalled, while China has had to spend on health in its own country.
China has invested money in these African countries
The China Development Bank (CDB) and the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) are investing heavily in hydroelectric power plants in Ivory Coast and Rwanda and solar facilities in Lesotho. In addition to these countries, these two state-owned Chinese banks have financed projects worth billions of dollars in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia and Serbia. Much of this money is related to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
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