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US Diplomat: China Displays 'No Morals' in Africa

Published on Thursday 9th December 2010

A diplomatic cable leaked by WikiLeaks quotes a senior U.S. official as saying China is acting aggressively and "without morals" in Africa. The cable, which was widely distributed Thursday, was sent earlier this year by the U.S. consulate in Nigeria's business capital, Lagos. It quotes from a meeting between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson and a group of oil company executives. In the cable, Carson describes China as a "very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor." He adds that Beijing has "no morals" and "is not in Africa for altruistic reasons." China has made a major increase in its investment and development assistance in Africa in recent years, with one research institute estimating it had pumped more than $9 billion into the continent by the end of last year. Human rights groups have complained of China's support for authoritarian leaders in Africa, such as presidents Omar al-Bashir in Sudan and Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. While criticizing Chinese economic practices, the cable said U.S. diplomats had detected no signs of a Chinese military presence in Africa.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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