China’s financial and political involvement on the African continent has deepened even further.
The African Union (AU) inaugurated its new headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -- a $200-million, 100-meter high structure funded and built by the Chinese. The new complex (the tallest building in the city) was opened with great fanfare and symbolism -- in front of many African heads-of-state as well as one of China’s senior political figures, Jia Qinglin.
The building took three years to construct and involved 1,200 Chinese and Ethiopian workers.
The towering complex speaks volumes about our friendship to the African people, and testifies to our strong resolve to support African development, Jia said, according to Agence France Presse.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, the chairman of the AU, described the new complex as a reflection of the new Africa.”
At the opening ceremony, Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, stated: Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 42 years ago… China and Ethiopia have had fruitful exchanges and cooperation in political, economic, trade, cultural and other fields and enjoyed ever closer cooperation in international and regional affairs.”
Jia added: The African Union is the largest and most representative inter- governmental organization in Africa. Since its inception ten years ago, the African Union has become a banner leading African countries in their efforts to strengthen themselves through unity and has made great contribution to promoting peace and development in Africa.”
Over the past decade, trade between the African continent and China has surged by six times to $120 billion, according to reports. China desperately needs Africa’s undeveloped natural resources and is committed to spending hundreds of billions of dollars on constructing and upgrading infrastructure.
Jia further declared: In recent years, the strategic partnership between China and the African Union has developed in an all-round way, as evidenced by frequent high-level contacts, deepening exchanges and cooperation in all fields and mutual understanding and support to each other on issues concerning our respective major and core interests.”
Western nations are gravely concerned with China’s deepening incursions into Africa, particularly with Beijing’s failure to demand human rights improvements in exchange for financial assistance.