China hosts Africa summit with eye on oil

Oct. 24, 2006 at 2:52 PM
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BEIJING, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- China, which is actively courting Africa as a source of its oil, is organizing a summit of African leaders in Beijing next month.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation scheduled to be held Nov. 3-5 will bring two sides that have increasingly looked to each other. China sees Africa as a source of energy and resources. Africa views Beijing as a major investor and one that does so without lectures on human rights and governance.

Last year, China imported 38.4 million tons of oil from China - some 771,000 barrels per day, according to the Wall Street Journal's Tuesday editions. That is dwarfed by what nations such as the United States receive from the continent's oil producers - 2.4 million bpd, but still represents a significant source of supply for Beijing.

"Many nations want to transform their oil into a strength through our cooperation," Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhain Jun told the paper. "We are helping them meet such a goal."

During the summit, agreements are expected on debt forgiveness, human-resource development and training, investment, import tariffs and aid, the newspaper said.

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