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China - Algeria: The commercial logic

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  • China - Algeria: The commercial logic

    China has become Algeria's second largest supply country in November, with Chinese exports to the country amounting to US$170 million, according to statistics released by Algerian Customs yesterday.

    France, the United States and Italy registered the first, third and fourth largest suppliers of Algeria with an export volume of US$322 million, US$164 million and US$142 million, respectively.

    During the past three quarters, China ranked the third largest supplier with an export volume of US$1.169 billion, following France and Italy with US$3.241 billion and US$1.394 billion, respectively.

    It was estimated by Algerian Customs that if China continues to maintain the momentum in November, it could probably surpass Italy to become the second largest supplier to Algeria by the end of 2006.

    China becomes second largest supplier of Algeria in November

  • #2
    More Chinese enterprises are welcome to Algeria, and the ties between China and Algeria are expected to be boosted in all fields, said Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Sunday.

    The president expressed the hope when meeting with outgoing Chinese Ambassador Wang Wangsheng.

    The two countries, while sharing identical views on issues of various kinds, have always helped and supported each other, said Bouteflika, reiterating Algeria's adherence to the one-China policy.

    Noting China has achieved significant success in its reform and opening to the outside world, the Algerian president hopes more Chinese enterprises can participate in Algeria's construction so as to boost its social and economic development.

    Ambassador Wang, who has served as the envoy for five years, said he believed the joint efforts by governments of the two countries will yield fruitful results for the China-Algeria strategic cooperation.

    The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has seen a strong trend of development with continuous increase of bilateral trade.

    The volume of bilateral trade rose from the 290 million U.S. dollars in 2002 to 1.77 billion dollars in 2005, and the figure for 2006 is expected to exceed 2 billion dollars.

    Bouteflika: More Chinese enterprises welcome to Algeria


    • #3
      Algeria - China: The commercial logic

      Algeria - China: The commercial logic

      by Dr. Hassan el-Msaddeq

      December 4, 2007 -- Algeria witnessed a great economic growth shown by the following growth rates: 6.9% in 2003, 4.5% in 2004, 3.5% in 2005. In fact, this is the first time since 1973 Algeria scored such rates, a fact that helped the country partly pay off public debts. Algeria paid $5 billion in April 2006 out of a debt estimated at some $15 billion. The move helped to save great debt repayment interests, and rebuilt Algeria’s financial and management credibility on the international arena. The rise in oil prices will also enable the Algerian treasury to fund infrastructure projects in civil engineering. Hard currency reserves have attained $80 billion and made of the North African country the second economic power after South Africa.

      What attracts the attention of the visitor in the recent years is the strong presence of Chinese businesses and their hires, more than ever; the number of Chinese workers in Algeria has in fact attained 10,000 according to official statistics. This number does not reflect the truth since the Algerian economic policy has opened the door wide in front of Chinese construction businesses. The Algerian 2001 economic take-off plan aims at upgrading the infrastructures of land and maritime roads, and the building of one million social housing units.

      In this context, Chinese corporations specialized in civil engineering won over many concession contracts for the construction of many installations, and it's sufficient here to name China State Construction & Engineering Corporation (CSCEC). It was the one entrusted with the building of the Sheraton Hotel in Algeria, and Al-Qods Commercial Centre in Shraka municipality considered as one of the largest trade centres in Africa.

      CSCEC has also constructed many civil and industrial infrastructure projects especially the thalassic centre in Oran, and Algeria’s airport. CSCEC was also assigned to build the new premises of the Algerian Foreign Ministry. It is also worth noting that recently the Chinese Industrial Complex (CITRI-CRCC) has obtained the concession to built two major parts of the highway linking Annaba city with Telimsane. The project aims at linking between the east and the west of the country. The cost of the project is estimated at some $ 6.2 billion. In addition, its utility appears in its being the corner stone so long awaited in the ambitious project of the Maghreb Union highway that will link Nouakchott with the Libyan capital Tripoli (some 7,000 km).

      It is known that the Japanese rival Cojaal has in its turn received a contract to build the third portion of the same highway project connecting Telimsane with Annaba. It is, also, known that the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is contributing in upgrading the Algerian fluvial network, while Sinohydro has obtained a contract of purification works in south Algeria hills, in addition to the contribution of CSCEC in a contract to upgrade Al-Mansura in Telimsane. However, the Chinese presence is extending outside the construction sector to include particularly the cell phone service sector. Chinese electronics company Huawei has increased its activities through ZTE Cell Phone Company which launched a training centre in Wahran in partnership with the National School for Algeria Post and Telecom.

      It is worth mentioning that this vigorous presence can be attributed to the high competitiveness of Chinese firms in comparison with other international businesses. The Chinese workforce is cheap, and is paid according to the payrolls used in the home country. Chinese are endowed with a great speed in completing projects in a scheduled time with high quality specifications. However, the key factor that justifies the reliance on Chinese firms is the high social congestion in social housing in Algeria. The presence of Chinese workforce is blemished with a big contradiction as the unemployment rate in Algeria affects 15 % of the active population, and its rate sometimes rises to 30 % among the social category aged less than 25. Nevertheless, this is due without convulsion to the Algerian mentality, namely that of youth who got used to declining tiring jobs and who prefer the public sector hierarchical positions.

      The Chinese worker enjoys a good reputation among various social segments, but this does not go without criticism from the Algerian press in a way that spurs lots of turmoil sometimes, and contributes in the seclusion of Chinese workers from the Algerian society out of fear of reprisals.

      The contradiction that Algerian press insists on exposing every time relates to the issue of the existence of a foreign immigrant work force in a market already suffering from the existence of great numbers of unemployed youth. Nevertheless, the core of the problem does not lie in the competition brought forth by the Chinese work force. The crisis is due to the Algerian youth’s refusal to do hard jobs for low incomes.

      We have to note that the Algerian population has grown to 34 million in 2007, while the average per capita income is US $ 6,670 (third in Africa after South Africa and Tunisia), in a promising Algerian market that has recently took the decision to join the WTO.

      In the current stage, Algeria has to follow a far-reaching privatization policy. The Algerian government has set up a list of 1,220 companies from all economic sectors that form 15 % of the country’s resources. Perhaps this new liberal policy has laid the path for Indian World Company (Mittal Steel) to acquire the largest steel factory in Hajjar not far from Annaba.

      Taking into consideration the abundance of oil, we notice a determination on the part of the Algerian President to manage the revenues in such a wise way different from all previous arrangements that were full of faults. The creation of a Revenue Control Fund makes possible to avoid inflation; and Algeria decided to prepare its public budget according to the base of US $ 18 /barrel, in order to deposit the surplus in the fund in a cautionary measure. It is a good thing if we know that Algerian exports in terms of fuel have attained 98% of its overall exports.


      • #4

        Algeria - China: Political relations

        by Dr. Hassan el-Msaddeq

        December 4, 2007 -- We note that the Sino-Algerian relations do not fall under the conventional ties between China and Africa. The Chinese Government has offered diplomatic protection in the case of Sudan and Zimbabwe in exchange for agreements and contracts related to raw materials. Nevertheless, Algeria does not engage in this sample of relations.

        Algeria plays a role aiming at achieving some sort of balance in its relations with France, the USA, China and Russia respectively. The North African country believes that Washington is able to provide it with the means to preserve stability and security on the long term. Yet, this relation takes into account the cultural and economic sensitivity of the traditional French partner, as Algeria is trying to weave relations with Russia, a major supplier of weapons. Finally, the country is doing its best to strengthen trade and political international relations with China.

        Sino-Algerian relations have been consolidated ever since President Bouteflika’s first mandate. The Algerian Head of State, indeed, thinks that China can play a major role in speeding up the pace of the North African country’s modernisation, without imposing special requisites; this is what explains Beijing’s accepting to be the third column in Algerian diplomacy.

        In this context, we recall that the American-Algerian military cooperation is in full swing in combating terrorism. But its pace grew higher after American decision-making circles started for the first time looking for a way to integrate Algeria in the NATO alliance, regardless of rumours about the existence of consultations examining the possibility of setting up military bases. But the issue of Algeria’s joining the NATO does not go without raising strong doubts, once we examine the transitional situation which most Algerian institutions are going through, and Washington’s image in the Algerian public opinion in particular.

        All indicators point to the fact that Washington is heading the way in studying this proposal from all its aspects, especially after realizing the failure to sell out the “commodity” or “scarecrow” of democracy in the Great Middle East.

        Morocco, sister country and neighbour, has enjoyed, since 2004, the status of a major US ally outside of NATO. Washington grants this attribute to countries with which it has close ties in the political, military and intelligence sectors. Morocco, Japan, Australia, Pakistan, and Jordan share this status, which makes these nations eligible for military aid and technical expertise with preferential conditions.

        The contents of the reports and publications of many institutes indicate that the reason the USA wants Algeria to join NATO is to make the latter play a proxy security role in watching the African coast and Mediterranean countries. The role the US wants to attribute to Algeria is due to the situation in Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and Mali which a source of concern for Washington on many levels, especially after Al-Qaida has set a foot in the Islamic Maghreb.

        This role is expected to secure continuous energy supplies to Washington allies in the EU. More important than that is that the concern the US has about the situation in the African coast region (especially between Algeria and Mali). Washington fears that the situation is changing into something like what is going on in the African Horn that has been transformed into a hideout and a shelter for many extremist Islamic movements. Such a status is foreboding many risks according to strategic security reports mainly because of the weakness of national armies and the vastness of the Sahara that allows new hideouts and easy movement. Therefore, Algeria’s assistance seems inevitable in contributing to crush the terrorist threat.

        A research team was formed including experts, researchers and businessmen under the name African Initiative Group (AOPIG) to investigate the strategies that can be adopted pertaining to Algerian oil, and to give due attention to the Guinea basin nations (Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon). This research group’s interest in this region denotes the great importance of this part of the world, which has great potentials that are very promising mainly in the sector of energy in the near future.

        West Africa (African coast states) represents, for the US policy, a crossroads between many regions that possess great oil reserves and vast desert spaces. Hence, it becomes impossible to slacken the reins, or leave the region without security surveillance especially under the threat of radical movements. The aim is, thus, to consolidate stability in this part of the African continent.

        Overall, Morocco, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Chad and Tunisia are participating in the American initiative to combat terrorism. It is noted that since 2002, the USA has reassessed its strategic interests in the African Saharan Coast region within its overall strategy “Global War on Terrorism”. In this context, we can understand the quick action the US has adopted in the African coast since 2002 to combat terrorism and to set up two programs for military action and cooperation, the first called: Pan-Sahel Initiative, and the second, Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism.

        The first program entered into force between November 2002 and June 2005 through a US State Department funding that amounted to US $ 5 million, to benefit army troops in Niger, Mauritania, Mali and Chad. The programme was designed to combat terrorism, ensure training in the chase of Al-Qaida elements in the Sahara and make use of transport vehicles and logistic support for participating countries.

        The programme includes border protection and the containment of all sorts of smuggling, especially the smuggling of weapons. However, the programme was limited to equipping some units in the four countries and training them via special American troops from EUCOM whose headquarters are located in Stuttgart- Germany. The limits of those tasks were outreached, as it appears that the tasks were not limited to supplying such units with vehicles, equipping and training. The establishment of a Watch Station presumably backed the programme on the borders of Algeria’s Sahara overseen by regional Echelon in southern Spain.

        The second column in the axis of the Algerian diplomacy is France, as the European country believes that that competing with the USA and China in the field of equipment and communications is worthless. France hence is allocating more attention to other sectors that yield higher surplus. France opened for example a great mall as a branch of the Carrefour Company in January 2006. This confirms the new trend the French are adopting to affirm their economic presence. Algeria’s engagement in the market economy and its expected joining of the WTO presages privatisation of more lucrative sectors such as banking and tourism. French groups bet on compensating for what they have lost to Beijing and Washington. Such sectors are not well known to Beijing and are remote from assimilating the Anglo-Saxon system. They are rather notorious to France, in their system and dealings. The fact that the adopted language in Algeria is French may be also a positive aspect.

        As far as Moscow is considered, we can assert that the positions bequeathed by the Cold War, namely concerning the Western Sahara are still having heavy consequences on bilateral relations. Moscow played the role of a major supplier of weapons to Algeria, especially after selling Sukhoi 30 aircrafts, Mig 29 fighters and anti-missile systems to the North African country worth US $ 7.5 billion. Currently, Algeria, which has concluded a contract to get two submarines model Kilo from one of the Russian workshops, wants to upgrade its marine fleet.


        • #5

          December 4, 2007 -- Algeria ranked fifteenth on the scale of oil-producing countries in 2005 that’s to say it supplies 2.2% of the world production, in addition to that it is classified sixth in the production of gas. Its buffer stocks are estimated at some 2.3% of world reserves (fourth in the world). Because of this, Algeria has the USA and the EU as traditional clients. OPEP data show that Algeria has exported 1.8 million barrels a day; the EU share of those exports amounted to 45% (Italy, Spain and Germany are key clients). Algerian exports to the USA have reached 27.6%, while its exports to Asian-Pacific countries together barely exceeded 4.2% (BP Statistical Yearbook). This explains why China is trying today to get rid of the attribute of the marginal client by multiplying investments in the Algerian fuel sector.

          We point, in this context, to the $525 million contract signed by giant Chinese company “China Petroleum & Chemical” in 2002 in view of upgrading Zarziteen fields near Hassi Massoud deep in the Sahara. It is noted that 75% of the project financing has gone to Sinopec whereas 25% is held by the Algerian national company Sonatrach. In addition to that, another Chinese company (China National Petroleum Corporation, CNPC) has undertaken the construction of an oil refinery in the Adrar region not far from Sbaa Basin. In 2004, both Sinopec and CNPC managed to win oil exploration concessions in Wadi Maya Basin, where the first is operating in Al Hujaira and Jarara complexes, and the second in the Almazid Basin.

          CNPC managed in March 2005 to win over a contract to renew a refinery located in Skikda. Algerian corporation Naftal, in cooperation with Soralchin, took the initiative of amalgamating in January 2006 to form a cartel dubbed Naftachine specialized in distributing refined oil products (Kerosene and benzene). Soralchin is a joint venture that unites Algerian national corporation Sonatrach (with a 30% share) and Chinese firm CNPC with a 70% share in the capital.

          Nonetheless, in competition, the American interests remain vigorously present through Anadarko and Amerada companies operating in the fuel sector. We should not neglect the debate that blemished the fuel laws recently and made many foreign investors hesitate in implementing their projects. We recall how the Parliament passed in March 2005 a law enabling foreign companies to acquire majority or dominate all the capitals of the well they explore. Nevertheless, this policy has been criticised and opposed severely in a way that led to a substantive adjustment to the core of this liberal policy in October 2006, through a decree 10-06, July 2006 that provides that national corporation Sonatrach holds the biggest share in the capitals of extraction projects.

          Irrespective of this review that has set limits to the openness and privatisation policy witnessed by the fuel sector, Algeria’s interest lies now in setting up good infrastructures to convey fuel, namely the recent project (Transsaharan Gas pipeline= TSGP) to lay a fuel conveyance pipeline linking between Beni Saf in Algeria and Wari city in Nigeria.The project is expected to begin its activity around 2015. The aim of the project lies in carrying the oil extracted from Niger and Mali through Algeria to Europe. Asia is expected also to have a good share (through the Swiss channel and the Bad El Mandeb straits and then off to China), especially that Chinese companies are very active in Western Africa (we have pointed to this in articles published by the Weekly 'Alarab' paper “We … and China”, and the file on the African Oil Stakes). In Niger, CNPC owns an oil exploration concession in two promising regions: Blima and Ténéré. Therefore, the transport of fuel to China through Algeria can reduce the distance by the fifth. That is, instead of shipping oil through Harcourt port in the Atlantic then through South Africa to the Pacific, the new pipeline seems a magic solution to the problem.


          • #6

            Algeria - China: Military cooperation

            by Dr. Hassan el-Msaddeq

            December 4, 2007 -- Military cooperation can be considered the last diplomatic axis in terms of significance. It is an evident issue in the Sino-Algerian diplomatic relations. This was made clear in the speech delivered by Algerian President, Abdul Aziz Buteflika (November 2006) in Beijing where he underlined that “The People’s Republic of China, after becoming a Super Power, has managed to preserve its identity and a sensitivity that makes it capable to consider the interests of developing nations. It is in fact a great partner interested in opposing the attempts of setting up a unilateral world, in which all great decisions are imposed”.

            Therefore, it becomes obvious that Algeria sees in China a great diplomatic support that would enable it to overcome western pressures; it is in fact widely known that China offers subtle support to Algeria regarding the Western Sahara issue.

            A statement by Chinese Ambassador Liu Zhenmin in October 2006 noted China’s support of the organisation of a referendum for a final settlement, a solution rejected altogether by Morocco.

            China is also a military ally in this divergence. However, trade with China in the military field remains weak, because the Chinese military industry is a developing one that is still medium in size. The problem with the Chinese military industry is relevant when we consider Beijing’s ongoing dependence on Russia as far as this sector is considered. Nevertheless, China has approved to build a training ship for the Algerian marines. A contract was signed therein in December 2002, and the ship was actually handed over in June 2006. It is worth noting here that in the military field, and contrary to all other cooperation files, there is a close cooperation in the nuclear domain, a fact that has been raising great concern for Washington since 1990, and that has resulted in its accusing Algeria of making a nuclear bomb with Chinese technical help (see Washington Times, 11 April 1991).

            The Sino-Algerian cooperation in the nuclear sector dates back to 1983, and has resulted in the building of a nuclear complex in the southern part of the country in Ain Ousara region with a reactor dubbed “peace reactor”. It was inaugurated in 1993. In addition to that, since 1989, Algeria has possessed a low capacity nuclear reactor that it has received from Argentina. It is located in Drarya station not far from the capital. However, in 1995, Algeria refuted the rumours launched by many American papers and signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, opening its nuclear stations to be monitored by the IAEA.

            Algeria has also committed itself in 2004 to sign the additional protocol that allows the IAEA inspectors to conduct surprise visits without prior notice. However, the North African country commitments were not materialised giving, hence, full reins to new doubts around the current researches. Doubts grew stronger especially after Algeria expressed its support, during a recent visit by the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to the endeavour of Tehran to acquire civil nuclear energy.

            However, Algeria moved forward after that to express its goodwill signing with the USA a cooperation agreement in the civil nuclear sector, in June 2007. Algeria expressed its desire to continue its nuclear project, but in exchange it has granted Washington the right to inspect its researches.

            Many Algerian decision-makers consider that keeping the nuclear research will help Algeria regain the status it had in the golden epoch of the 1970s, when it was the spokesperson for many developing countries in international forums. Attempts to continue the nuclear work are considered by Algerian diplomacy as a way to get back to the potent Algerian role in international relations.

            Thanks to its good relations with the Human Rights Committee (early 2007), Algeria managed to refute the allegations of western powers who depict the violations happening in Darfur as an “extermination of an unarmed people”, on the basis of conclusions included in a report presented by American Judi Williams to the Council.


            • #7

              December 4, 2007 -- Historically, China has rushed to conclude close ties with Algeria ever since the latter got its independence in 1962; however, those relations have witnessed an obvious revival in the last five years, when Algeria has become China’s first class economic and political partner in Africa, a situation that serves the interests of both parties. Nevertheless, some look at the situation from a conventional perspective highlighting the issue of access to raw materials and energy. Nonetheless, one cannot ignore the existence of political, economic and geopolitical objectives as well.

              In December 1958, China took the initiative of recognising the ad-interim government of the Algerian Republic. This step was soon strengthened by visits by Zhou Enlai, Chinese Premier, to Algeria (1963 and 1965), followed by the visit of Houari Boumédiènne to Beijing in 1974. After eight years, Chadli Bendjedid visited China. Then, President Jiang Zemin visited Algeria in 1999. Former Premier, Li Peng visited the North African country in 2001. Chinese President Jintao paid a visit to Algeria in 2004. Algerian Foreign Minister, Mohamed Bedjaoui, paid a visit to Beijing in April 2006 to pave the way for the visit of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in November of the same year.

              The truth is that Algeria has always occupied a distinguished status namely in the Chinese strategy in the Arab Maghreb. Bilateral trade relations testify to a perpetual growth that has leapt from $191 million in 2000 to $1.75 billion in 2005, and to $2 billion in 2006. China occupies the fourth rank on the list of countries that provide Algeria with basic needs and commodities, after France, Italy and the USA in a row. But this rank is liable to leap to number one as China’s imports from Algeria (6.84 % of the total imports) has witnessed a quality leap that reached 42% in comparison with the rate of 2005. China climbed to the third rank with a quota of 8,1 % of the market after it has displaced the USA coming hence after Italy (8.84 %), and France which occupies the first rank with 20.75% (Source: Algerian Ministry of Commerce - Ministère du commerce Algérie). Trade between Algeria and China remains tilted to the interest of the latter as the Chinese have realized a trade surplus of 1 billion Dollars in 2005, a surplus that increased to 1.49 billion in 2006. It is expected this trade surplus will exceed 2 billion Dollars in 2007.

              China’s imports from Algeria are weak if we exclude fuel, whereas its exports, to satisfy many of Algeria’s needs, are very significant, notably concerning many commodities such as textiles, and household gadgets and appliances. In this context, the Algerian President, in his address in Beijing in November 2006, considered China “a friendly country and a special partner”.

              The dynamism known at the level of the Chinese-Algerian trade sector cannot obscure the truth of the weakness of Chinese investments that did not exceed $600 million in 2005. Compared with the size of American and French investments, Chinese ventures remain inconsequential. Statistics of United Nations’ CNUCED note that Algeria got $1 billion of direct investments in 2005. Direct investment savings reached $ 8.2 billion. Nevertheless, the rise scored in direct investments is attributed to the increase in the rate of investments flowing from Gulf countries in 2006 and 2007.

              Overall, China was classified among the top ten countries investing in Algeria in 2001, whereas the USA, Egypt, France and Spain represented 40% of the direct investment savings in the country. After 7 years, China’s investments are still weak as one reviews the movement of investments flowing into Algeria. Nevertheless, what counts is to investigate the nature of the Chinese-Algerian cooperation touching on three dimensions: oil, commerce and politics.


              • #8

                Algeria - China: The future relations

                by Dr. Hassan el-Msaddeq

                December 4, 2007 -- In brief, the close relations with China enabled Algeria to choose an ambitious diplomacy. In the current stage, Algeria is a friend of the US and a loyal partner of Russia which has close ties with France and China. The statement by the Algerian Foreign Minister during his visit to Washington in June 2006 reflects this idea. “Algeria is seeking to establish and consolidate various friendships and cooperation ties within mutual respect and balance of interests”, he said.

                Algeria thinks that the diversification of partners, nowadays, is the best way to preserve the independence of the country. Nevertheless, Washington still eyes this endeavour with doubt; particularly that the Algerian president had received Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez three times, and discussed with him a number of common issues to coordinate positions (OPEC policies, and the role of non-aligned countries). Moreover, Algeria has expressed its positive response towards the initiative of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to set up a new international community gathering all gas–producing countries and including Russia, Qatar, Venezuela and Iran. This move, indeed, engendered a great concern in US-European circles.

                As far as Beijing’s opinion is concerned, we notice that China has been eyeing Putin’s initiative with satisfaction, especially since 90 % of Algerian gas and 65 % of Russian gas are currently exported towards Europe. Beijing sees that in order for Moscow and Algeria to control the gas prices, they have to liberate themselves from their commercial dependency on Europe, which is their first client. Therefore, setting up an international cartel for gas in the fashion of OPEP, will make Russia and to a lesser degree Algeria supply Asia more than Europe with gas, particularly China and India, reducing hence their subordination to the European market. This is a demand that Beijing was reiterating. Yet, there has been no response on the part of Moscow. Arab diplomacy has recently been aware of the increasing Chinese role that can be of great significance as far the Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Palestine crises are concerned. China has recently received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

                This was a strong indication that was loaded with many suggestions for western diplomacies that have refused to open dialogue with Hamas under US pressure. This came at a time when Beijing was setting up close relation with Israel particularly after the resumption of diplomatic relations in 1992. The collaboration between China and Israel is now growing rapidly mainly in the domain of military cooperation.

                Algeria is not keen on preferring China, as it wants to keep cooperation with India in the field of energy, especially in the sector of liquefied natural gas and benzene fuel. Algeria received in April 2007 an Indian delegation chaired by Murli Deora, Oil Minister in India, who visited Algeria to conclude a number of agreements.

                Algeria and China have always had close ties since 1950. They share many strategic interests, mainly in the sector of energy. We can therefore deduce that even though Sino-African relations are subject to many criticisms, China’s relations with Algeria remain relatively balanced as they take into consideration the Chinese diplomacy approach, which does not aim at establishing subordinate relations with Algeria. On the contrary, China is seeking, as it is the case with Venezuela and Brazil, to create strong regional poles to find the geopolitical support for a multi-polar world.


                • #9
                  NANNING, December 17, 2007 -- More African students are coming or planning to come to China for higher education because of the country's fast-growing economy and warmer ties with Africa.

                  "China is becoming one of the strongest economies in the world. It will be important to know the country and its language, so I am planning to come as soon as possible," said Maurice Okande Alcula, a journalist from Kenya's National Development Radio, who is among a 100-member delegation to China.

                  Most people in the delegation, which comprises youths from 10 countries in Africa, expressed interest in studying in China after visiting universities in Nanning, capital of South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

                  "The curriculums in the universities are very good, and they have many associations and clubs for students to develop their interest. I am planning to apply to a Chinese university after my graduation," said Djohor Fateh, a student from the University of Boumerdes of Algeria.

                  Figures from China's Ministry of Education showed that 3,737 African students came to study in Chinese universities last year, compared with 2,757 in 2005, marking a sharp rise of 40 percent.

                  Most people are here to study the Chinese language, and some are studying medicine, economics, management, and so on.

                  "A lot of Chinese companies are doing business in Africa now. Being able to speak the language will give me better chance of employment in big Chinese firms," said Shewit Falconi who is currently studying at Addis Abab University in Ethiopia.

                  Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised during last November's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to boost the number of scholarships for Africa from 2,000 to 4,000 annually. Alcula said he was happy with the Chinese government's decision and started looking for information about the government scholarship.

                  Since the 1950s, China has provided more than 17,000 scholarships for students from 50 African countries, according to the Ministry of Education.

                  However, African students are still minorities of foreign students in China, who accounted for only 2.3 percent of the total in 2006. The Ministry of Education said the percentage will rise distinctly as the number of scholarships increases.


                  • #10

                    ALGIERS, March 21, 2008 (Xinhua) -- This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Algeria. The bilateral cooperation in various fields has stood the test of time and has shown a strong momentum for further growth.

                    China and Algeria have all along offered mutual sympathy, enjoyed mutual understanding and supported each other.

                    In the 1950s, China, to the best of its ability, provided political, economic and military support for Algeria's liberation struggle against colonial rule, when China itself was experiencing a difficult time for its development.

                    Shortly after the Algerian interim government was formed in September 1958, China immediately recognized it, becoming the first non-Arab country to grant diplomatic recognition to the government. Later on, China and the North African country established full diplomatic ties on Dec. 20 that year.

                    Soon after Algeria declared independence, China dispatched a medical team to Algeria in April 1963. The medical team was also the first one China had sent to an African country. Since then, China has sent a total of 21 batches of medical staff to Algeria, numbering more than 2,800 Chinese medical personnel.

                    The local people were impressed by the professional dedication on the part of the Chinese doctors who have made their due contributions to Algeria's healthcare development.

                    In May 2003, a strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit northern Algeria, causing heavy casualties and property losses. China, shortly after the disaster, dispatched a rescue team to Algeria, the first one China had ever sent overseas.

                    Algeria, in the early 1970s, played an important role in the efforts to restore China's legitimate seat in the United Nations, as a major co-sponsor country for the draft resolution calling for the restoration of all China's legitimate rights in the world body.

                    For a long period of time, there have been frequent exchanges of visits between the two countries' top leaders, who have maintained close contact with each other.

                    At the invitation of his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to Algeria in February 2004, during which the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral ties and regional and international issues of common concern, signed several accords on boosting bilateral cooperation and announced the establishment of the China-Algeria strategic cooperation.

                    In November 2006, Bouteflika paid a state visit to China and attended the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The two presidents signed a communique on promoting the strategic cooperative ties.

                    The good political ties between the two countries have given a strong impetus to bilateral exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade and other fields.

                    According to the statistics provided by China's Commerce Ministry, bilateral trade reached 3.828 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, up 83 percent from 2006. China's exports to Algeria rose to 2.688 billion dollars, while its imports from that country hit 1.140 billion dollars.

                    There are some 40 large Chinese enterprises which are currently expanding business in Algeria, ranging from road and housing construction, telecommunications and energy, to water resources and transportation.

                    The Sheraton Hotel, built by a Chinese company, is now a major landmark in the capital city, while the expressway under construction that will link Algeria's east and west will also become a key strategic artery for the North African countries and the littoral states of the Mediterranean Sea.


                    • #11

                      ALGIERS, March 23, 2008 (Xinhua) -- Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said on Sunday China values relations with Algeria and will discuss new ways for further bilateral cooperation.

                      Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, made the remarks during a meeting with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem.

                      He said China would encourage capable enterprises with good reputation to invest in Algeria, and that he hoped Algeria would continue to support the Chinese enterprises in Algeria to upgrade the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

                      Reviewing the long-term traditional friendship, Li said China and Algeria have deepened political trust and economic cooperation, increased exchanges in the fields of culture, sports, public health and tourism, and strengthened consultation in international and regional affairs.

                      He noted that the visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Algeria in 2004 and the Beijing summit of the China-Africa cooperation forum in 2006 opened a new chapter for the bilateral ties.

                      Belkhadem said China's eight measures agreed at the Beijing summit on China-Africa cooperation helped develop Africa and benefit its people.

                      "We hope China would play a bigger role in the international and regional affairs," he said.

                      Belkhadem, also Secretary-General of the Algerian National Liberation Front, discussed with li exchanges between his party and the CPC. They agreed to improve the party-to-party communications to fuel the development of state-to-state relations.

                      He reaffirmed that Algeria would adhere to the one-China policy. He also voiced his belief that China would remove all obstacles and render the upcoming summer Olympic games a great success.

                      Li also met with Abdelaziz Ziari, Speaker of the Algerian National Assembly on Sunday afternoon.

                      Li said China and Algeria have maintained mutual understanding and trust since they forged diplomatic ties 50 years ago, and in the new era, Sino-Algerian relationship has made new progress and become a good example for south-south cooperation.

                      Li praised Algeria's adherence to the one-China policy, while expressing hopes to boost the strategic cooperation relationship, which he believed would benefit the two peoples and help promote world peace and stability.

                      Li encouraged more parliamentary exchanges and vowed to push forward contacts between the special committees in the parliaments.

                      Ziari expressed gratitude for China's support on Algeria's revolution and economic construction. He hoped to learn legislative experience from China.

                      After the meetings, Li visited a highway which was being constructed by Chinese companies.

                      On Sunday morning, Li laid a wreath to Algeria's Martyrs' Memorial, and witnessed the signing of several documents on cooperation.

                      Li arrived in Algiers, capital of Algeria, on Saturday night to kick off his five-nation tour, which will also take him to Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Syria.


                      • #12

                        Lundi 24 Mars 2008 -- M. Li Changchun, membre du comité permanent du bureau politique du comité central du parti communiste chinois a entamé depuis hier une visite de travail de trois jours en Algérie. Une visite qui s’inscrit dans le cadre du renforcement de la coopération bilatérale dans les différents domaines. A son arrivée samedi soir à l’aéroport international Houari-Boumediène, M. Li Changchun a souligné dans une déclaration écrite qu’il comptait échanger lors de son séjour en Algérie, des points de vue avec les autorités algériennes sur, plusieurs questions, notamment, les moyens de renforcer l’amitié traditionnelle et la coopération économique et commerciale, la mise en œuvre des décisions adoptées lors du forum sino-africain de Pékin et les questions internationales et régionales d’intérêt commun. Dans le même contexte, il a affirmé que l’établissement de relations stratégiques entre les deux pays en 2004 a permis de développer des relations bilatérales.

                        Par ailleurs, le responsable chinois a mis en exergue l’importance que revêt l’Algérie dans les mondes arabe, islamique et africain sans oublier son rôle “particulier” sur les scènes internationales et régionales. M. Changchun n’a pas manqué de saluer les acquis “remarquables” réalisés par l’Algérie ces dernières années à l’effet de préserver la stabilité et la consolidation de la réconciliation nationale et la relance économique nationale sous la conduite du président Bouteflika. En outre, il a ajouté que la Chine et l’Algérie sont liées par une profonde amitié traditionnelle en mettant en avant “le soutien réciproque” des deux peuples dans leur lutte contre l’impérialisme et le colonialisme et pour l’indépendance et la libération nationale.

                        Le responsable chinois a également rappelé le développement “continu” de la coopération bilatérale dans tous les domaines depuis l’établissement, il y a 50 ans des relations diplomatiques entre les deux pays. Il y a lieu de souligner que le président Bouteflika a effectué une visite en Chine en octobre 2000 au cours de laquelle il a participé à la première Conférence du Forum Chine-Afrique tenue à Beijing et a effectué une visite d’Etat au cours de laquelle plusieurs accords de coopération économique et technique ont été signés. Suivie en février 2004, par la visite du président chinois Hu Jintao, au cours de laquelle, les deux pays ont signé une série d’accords de coopération, et annoncé l’établissement des relations de coopération stratégique bilatérales. En 2006, le chef de l’Etat s’est rendu à Pékin pour une visite d’Etat et où il a pris part au sommet du Forum de coopération Chine-Afrique, au cours de laquelle la “déclaration sur les relations de coopération stratégique bilatérale” a été signée.

                        Avec ce rapprochement politique, la coopération économique et commerciale s’est renforcée. Le volume d’échanges commerciaux entre les deux pays a totalisé 3,828 milliards de dollars en 2007. Les exportations de l’Algérie vers la Chine ont atteint 1,140 milliard de dollars (+696% par rapport à 2006), tandis que ses importations étaient de 2,688 milliards de dollars (+38%).Les statistiques de l’ambassade de Chine à Alger révèlent également que le nombre de visas d’entrée en Chine accordés aux Algériens ne cesse d’augmenter pour atteindre 14.000 en 2007, tandis qu’une quarantaine d’entreprises chinoises sont installées en Algérie pour des projets de coopération couvrant les secteurs de la construction, de l’énergie, des télécommunications et des transports.

                        La coopération bilatérale existe également dans le secteur du pétrole ; la société chinoise des hydrocarbures ayant signé en octobre 2002 un contrat de développement du gisement pétrolier de Zarzatine, dans le sud algérien, d’un montant global de 525 millions de dollars. Ce projet devrait s’achever en 2008. De nombreux chantiers d’édification sont réalisés et d’autres sont en cours de concrétisation dans plusieurs régions par des entreprises chinoises.


                        • #13

                          Lundi 24 Mars 2008 -- La coopération amicale bilatérale entre l’Algérie et la Chine ne cesse de s’intensifier depuis l’établissement en 2004 des relations de coopération stratégique qui a hissé les liens bilatéraux à un nouveau palier. Pas moins de quatre conventions ont, en effet, été signées, hier, entre la Chine et l’Algérie. Ces dernières, viennent consolider l’amitié traditionnelle bilatérale et renforcer encore davantage la coopération économique et commerciale entre les deux pays dans les domaines, notamment, des télécommunications, l’économie, et le BTPH. Les trois premières conventions, qui ont été signées entre le ministère des Affaires étrangères, représenté par le secrétaire général du ministère, Madjid Bouguerra, et les représentants chinois, ont porté sur l’étude et la réalisation d’un opéra en Algérie, la coopération technique et économique et des télécommunications.

                          En ce qui concerne la quatrième convention entre le groupement chinois CITIC-CRCC et le ministère des Travaux publics, elle porte essentiellement sur le financement et la réalisation de l’Institut supérieur de gestion des grand projets, la formation dans le domaine des travaux publics et enfin un partenariat et investissement dans le domaine des travaux publics toujours. Ce groupe, rappelons-le, s’occupe déjà de la formation de plus de 70 ingénieurs algériens, qui se retrouvent actuellement en chine, pour approfondir leurs connaissances dans le domaine du BTPH.

                          Le groupe CITIC-CRCC, manifeste également son intérêt quant à la diversification de son activité en Algérie dans les projets d’investissement dans le secteur des ciments, la valorisation des mines, ainsi que la réalisation de grands ensembles. Une chose est sûre, à travers la signature de ces conventions, la Chine, qui suit de près les réformes économiques et s’intéresse de plus en plus, à l’ouverture du marché national, vient de concrétiser son engagement envers l’Algérie, notamment, dans le domaine de la formation. Envolée sur lequel l’Algérie a toujours insisté.

                          Concernant, par ailleurs, l’édification de l’Institut supérieur de gestion des grand projets, qui fait partie en réalité des mesures d’accompagnement incluses dans le contrat de réalisation des lots Centre et Ouest de l’autoroute Est-Ouest, ce dernier, sera implanté dans le pôle technologique de Sidi Abdellah sur une superficie de 10 hectares. D’un montant de 10 millions d’euros, cet institut se veut comme une plaque tournante de formation de haut niveau dans le domaine des travaux publics pas seulement en direction de cadres et techniciens algériens, mais aussi africains. Les travaux de cette grande école seront entamés incessamment, et ce pour une durée de 18 mois.


                          • #14

                            ALGIERS, March 24, 2008 (Xinhua) -- Li Changchun, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said here Monday that China is ready to boost cooperation with Algeria in the fields of energy resources, mining, and telecommunications.

                            Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, made the remarks during a meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

                            Li called upon Algeria to seize the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties to strengthen the political trust, economic cooperation and personnel and cultural exchanges with China.

                            "No matter how the international situation has changed, China and Algeria have maintained mutual support and trust," he said.

                            Bouteflika expressed his gratitude for China's helping African nations achieve national independence and development, and he pledged to enhance cooperation with China in all areas.

                            He reaffirmed Algeria would not change its stance on the one-China policy under any circumstances, and would support China's reunification cause.

                            Li also met with Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci. After Li briefed Medelci on the recent riots in Tibet, Medelci said that what China has done to improve Tibet's economic and social development is widely acknowledged by the whole world.

                            Medelci said China's publicizing the video of the violence in Tibet would help the people see the truth through their own eyes, and Algeria believed that the world would have a better understanding about China after the Beijing Olympic games are held successfully.

                            On Monday afternoon, Li met with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem and they agreed that the two parties would continue to promote high-level contact, and exchange the experience of administration management to benefit the two peoples.

                            The two sides signed two agreements on peaceful use of nuclear power between China and Algeria.

                            On the same day, Li visited a training center run by the ZTE corporation, China's leading telecommunications company, and held a workshop with some Algerian technicians who have studied in China.


                            • #15

                              March 25, 2008 -- Senior CPC official, Li Changchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau has met Algerian leaders. Li says bilateral ties between the two countries will be upgraded to a new level, celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations.

                              Searching for ways to deepen bilateral ties between China and Algeria highlighted the agenda during Monday's meeting between Li Changchun and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

                              Beginning the meeting, Li Changchun first conveyed Chinese President Hu Jintao's greeting to Bouteflika. He noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the forging of the formal diplomatic ties between the two countries. And China is willing to take this opportunity to push the bilateral ties to a new high. He says the two countries should continue strengthening high level exchanges, deepening mutual political trust and furthering reciprocal cooperation in more fields. To advance bilateral trade, he suggests the two countries expand cooperation in the fields of energy, mining, telecommunication and infrastructure construction. The two countries should also conduct more exchanges in culture, science and technology, education and tourism. He says China will help set up a Confucius Institute in Algeria.

                              Bouteflika has visited China several times in the past. He says the Algerian people appreciate the Chinese government's policy in supporting African countries' fight for national independence and their struggle for economic development. He says Algeria is ready to work closely with China, make the most of the huge potential in the bilateral ties and expand cooperation in all possible fields. He stressed that Algeria won't change its adherence to the One-China policy under any circumstances and will continue to firmly support China's reunification cause.

                              Prior to the meeting with the president, Li Changchun also met Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci at the hotel where he is staying. After hearing Li Changchun's introduction about the recent unrest in Tibet, Medelci says the whole world recognizes the Chinese government's efforts to promote economic development and social progress in Tibet. He says the Chinese media's reports and footage help people grasp the truth. He says Algeria believes with the success of the Beijing Olympic Games, the world will better understand China.

                              On Monday afternoon, Li Changchun met with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem. He says Chinese enterprises will be encouraged to invest in Algeria, And he hoped Algeria will continue to support Chinese enterprises in Algeria to boost economic and trade cooperation.

                              Belkhadem says China's measures agreed upon at the Beijing summit on China-Africa cooperation helped develop Africa and benefit its people. Belkhadem is also Secretary-General of the Algerian National Liberation Front. He discussed with Li exchanges between his party and the CPC. They agreed to improve the party-to-party communications to facilitate the development of state-to-state relations. He reaffirmed that Algeria would adhere to the one-China policy. He also voiced his belief the Beijing Olympic Games will be a great success.

                              Also on Monday, Li Changchun attended a signing ceremony to activate a bilateral agreement for the peaceful use of nuclear power. He also visited the training center set up by one of the largest Chinese telecommunication equipment provider, ZTE. On Monday night, he received the staff at the Chinese embassy in Algiers and representatives of Chinese enterprises and students.

                              Li arrived in Algiers on Saturday night to begin his five-nation tour, which will also take him to Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Syria.


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