China and Botswana sign economic and energy deals

Nov 21, 2010 12:00 AM

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping signed several economic deals with Botswana, the world's biggest diamond producer, including one offering the southern African country $ 6 mm for development.
Xi, touted as China's next president, arrived in Botswana, the last stop on his Africa tour, after visiting oil producer Angola, China's biggest African trading partner, and South Africa --Africa's biggest economy.

Vice President Mompati Merafhe and Xi signed three cooperation deals, including an Economic and Technical Cooperation agreement, under which China is to provide Botswana with aid worth RMB 40 mm.
The two also signed an infrastructure and energy deal between the national utility Botswana Power Corporation and China Development Bank and Golden Concord Group, it said. The other agreement was on financial projects between the Botswana government and the Export-Import Bank of China.

Xi signed an energy deal with South Africa in a visit aimed at obtaining minerals the Asian giant needs to fuel its blistering growth. China's mineral diplomacy has been criticised for its secrecy and for bolstering governments that Western states accuse of human rights violations.
A senior World Bank executive said Chinese companies eyeing African mineral resources must stop making closed-door deals and become more transparent in their investments.

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