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Chinese President criticised over Zimbabwe, S -

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Chinese President criticised over Zimbabwe, Sudan regime support

Broadcast: 07/02/2007

Reporter: Andrew Geoghegan

As Chinese President Hu Jintao nears the end of his tour of Africa, he faces criticism over his
support for the regimes in Zimbabwe and Sudan.


TONY JONES: The Chinese president, Hu Jintao, is nearing the end of a whirlwind tour of Africa.
He's been securing long-term concessions in oil and mining and in return, handing out generous aid
packages and interest-free loans. Some are worried about China's support for the regimes in
Zimbabwe and Sudan, while African workers claim they are losing their jobs to cheap Chinese
imports. African correspondent Andrew Geoghegan reports.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: The Chinese President, Hu Jintao, is an African odyssey, visiting eight countries
from war-torn Sudan to the continent's economic powerhouse, South Africa. He's been honoured by
local dignitaries at every stop and South Africa has been no exception. It is Beijing's biggest
trade partner on the continent and the economic relationship is growing cosier.

THABO MBEKI, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: China has developed into among the top 10 countries in the
world, in terms of our international economic relations. It's a signal of the importance of the

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: The leaders of South Africa and China have signed a raft of trade agreements and
have vowed to strengthen what they call a strategic partnership.

THABO MBEKI: We have this partnership with China because it enables us ready and immediate access
to the Chinese leadership and the Chinese Government.

HU JINTAO, CHINESE PRESIDENT: Cooperation between China and South Africa is based on equality,
mutual trust, mutual benefits and win win outcomes.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: The Chinese president has been sealing partnerships with every country he's
visited, pledging aid and loans. Driving China's investment in Africa is its appetite for growth.
It wants to guarantee it has abundant natural resources to feed its economy, and China's largesse
has secured concessions in oil and mining rights. However, its no-strings-attached handouts to
countries like Sudan and Zimbabwe has prompted accusations from the west that China is ignoring
corruption and human rights abuses, but President Hu has defended his country's stance, while
making a veiled reference to western interventionist policies.

HU JINTAO: China does not interfere in other countries' internal affairs and China does not impose
its own ideology, political system or mode of development on to any other country.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: While China is continuing significant amounts of goodwill in Africa, it is also
generating resentment. There are signs that China's growing economic clout on the continent is
undermining local industry.

PATRICK CRAVEN, CONGRESS OF SOUTH AFRICAN TRADE UNIONS: Yes. That's not just a fear, it's a fact
that, particularly in clothing and textiles, Chinese imports have already led to the loss of, we
estimate, 65,000 jobs.

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: Trade unions also complain that China is exploiting local workers, as well as
importing its own labour in regions that have chronic unemployment.

PATRICK CRAVEN: One of our fears is that Chinese companies, when they invest here, will not be good
employers, just as we believe they are not in China itself, where workers are paid very, very low

ANDREW GEOGHEGAN: While China is creating new economic opportunities in Africa, there's also a
growing wariness that its stake on the continent could represent a new wave of colonialism. Andrew
Geoghegan, Lateline.