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Guinea Military Coup Prez. Alpha Conde removed Role of China? – Burning Issues – Free PDF

GUINEA and CHINA

  • As of April 2020, China’s official Belt and Road website lists 42 African countries who have signed onto an agreement or understanding with the One Belt One Road initiative.

  • Africa is considered a key part of China’s One Belt One Road efforts, due to its potential for rails, roads, and energy. Many African countries are also in need of better infrastructure, which is still seen as a major barrier to development in the region
  • Subsequently, China’s investments in the region have also risen significantly since the beginning of 2000, with total spending from the Chinese government and companies reaching several billions.
  • China is now the largest funder of infrastructure projects in Africa, financially backing around a fifth of all projects and constructing a third of them.
  • Aside from economic activities, China has also shaped the Belt and Road as an opportunity to build cultural ties between Africa and China
  • The ousting of Guinean president Alpha Conde, recent military takeovers in Chad and Mali, as well as an attempted coup in Niger could complicate China’s inroads into the semi-arid Sahel region and parts of West and Central Africa.

  • Guinea Special Forces Sunday ousted President Alpha Condé, taking over the country in a coup. Soon after, Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who heads the special forces, appeared in a press conference with the West African country’s flag on his shoulders and announced the dissolution of the government and other institutions and called for rewriting the constitution

  • There is a growing uneasiness in the larger Sahel that recent coups could lead to more political instability in a region where China has been looking to extend its multibillion-dollar trade and investment scheme, the Belt and Road Initiative.

  • Guinea, which has been suspended from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) because of the military takeover, is rich in bauxite – an essential raw material of aluminium – and iron ore.

  • Chad has petroleum, and it is where China’s largest oil producer China National Petroleum Corp has an operation which mostly exports to China, India and the US.
  •  There are also growing Chinese trade ties with Niger, especially in uranium exploration and mining

  • The seizure of power in Guinea is the latest disruption to the region. Conde was arrested and his government dissolved at the weekend.
  • Border closures and a nationwide curfew were imposed and quickly lifted by the coup leaders, well aware that the mining industry is the mainstay of the West African nation’s economy.
  • The market reacted to the political unrest in Guinea by sending aluminium prices to a 10-year high on Monday on concerns of a likely disruption to bauxite supply from the second-largest producer of the key material in the world, accounting for 22 per cent of production.

  • Guinea is the primary source of material for the Chinese aluminium industry.
  • In 2019, Guinea sold most of its iron ore – worth about US$2.1 billion – to China.
  • China is a key player in the Guinean economy, buying most of its bauxite, and Chinese companies have a stake in the country’s iron ore reserves, including the world’s largest iron ore project, the Simandou mine, currently under development.
  • China believes the iron ore might help it cut its reliance on Australian imports amid trade tensions. But the project has been stalled for years, over disagreements about who should develop it, corruption, political uncertainty and lack of funding.

  • Although Guinea’s junta has promised to honour all existing mining agreements, political uncertainty still looms large.
  • Guinea coup poses an immediate risk to Chinese interests, which are concerned about the stability of global aluminium markets.
  • the spate of coups in Mali, Chad and Guinea certainly reduced the Sahel’s appeal as a frontier of expansion for the belt and road plan.
  • He added that China was likely to maintain its peacekeeping presence in Mali, but might be deterred from making major new investments.
  • The Sahel region, which extending from the Atlantic coast of Senegal to Eritrea on the Red Sea coast, is a strategic point for China’s trade ambitions in Africa. Its investments in the region are vast – in Senegal, Niger, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan, and Burkina Faso.
  • Chinese companies are building railway links to connect landlocked Mali to ports in Dakar, Senegal, and Conakry in Guinea, and Beijing signed a memorandum of understanding with Bamako last year to cooperate on the belt and road scheme
  •  Sahel region is central to Beijing’s Africa strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative’s broader objectives.
  • “Indeed, the emerging trend of military coups d’etat threatens the security and stability of the broader region in a way that would jeopardise Beijing’s objectives and existing investment in infrastructure projects across the region
  • Analysts said China usually finds a way of working with whoever becomes leader, as it does not want to be seen taking sides.
  • But on Monday, China’s foreign ministry said Beijing opposed coup attempts as a way to seize power and called for Conde’s release.
  • China is pragmatic and has a long history of avoiding political questions in its partner states.
  •  Whatever government emerges as the “accepted”, even if illegitimate government, in Guinea would be treated as such.
  • China is planning on working with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Hard to see who they wouldn’t find a way to work with,” “So, while China, like any other investor, would require stability – it will adjust and adapt to what is becoming a volatile region.
  •  historically China had negotiated changes of government, both legal and illegal, in Africa without significant damage to its economic ties. China has huge interests in both Guinea’s bauxite and iron ore deposits. And probably these ties will continue uninterrupted.”.
  • On the other hand, the continuing political instability in the Sahel region may well cause China to reconsider future economic commitments there. China usually avoids getting involved in African politics.

 

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