Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wolfowitz slams China banks on Africa lending - Financial Times

David Seaton's News Links
Once, upon a time little grasshopper , the United States, like the British Empire before it, was the "lender of last resort" for the world. The IMF and the World Bank were designed to give a more impersonal form to American hegemony. Now the Chinese, using the US dollars they earn by replacing the American manufacturing sector subvert US influence. Thus the opponent's strength and greed is turned against him and his own power weakens and defeats his very strategy, while making the wise warrior's power greater and at the same time enriching him. DS

Abstract: Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank, has sharply criticised China and its banks for ignoring human rights and environmental standards when lending to developing countries in Africa.(...) Mr Wolfowitz said the World Bank had held "very direct" talks with the Chinese about problems that it had identified, but implied there had been no meeting of minds. "I hope in time our viewpoints will converge," he said. China's activities in Africa have begun to concern many officials from development agencies and campaigning organisations, who say Chinese companies are bypassing painstakingly constructed safeguards and guidelines designed to improve corporate governance. State-owned Chinese companies run oil operations in Sudan, for example, where US or Europe-based oil companies would find it impossible to adhere to standards of transparency and accountability that are demanded by western campaigners.(...) Commission officials highlight the agreement at a recent EU-China summit to hold regular expert-level meetings on Africa and development. But many EU diplomats complain that China is not observing the same rules as the rest of the world on development and will simply step in when other countries withhold their aid to African states.(...) The Commision notes that the EU's exports to China more than doubled in the five years to 2005, much faster than the rise in the bloc's exports to the rest of the world. The Commission also calls for the EU to "resolve" the stalled attempt to lift its arms embargo on China. Read More

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