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Ethiopia expels US poll officials

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Ethiopia expels US poll officials


The Ethiopian government has expelled six officials from United States organisations helping to prepare for general elections due in six weeks.


They were given 48 hours to leave because they did not have a permit to work and were interfering in local matters, an Ethiopian official said.


One of those expelled said the government was aware of their work.


They were working for the US aid agency, USAids, on voter education ahead of the 15 May poll.




Those expelled, from the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and IFES, have been in Ethiopia for between one and two months.


One of them, who did not want to use his name, told the BBC's Mohammed Adow as he packed his bags that the government's decision had come as a surprise.


He said they had been working closely with the Ethiopian National Elections board.


"I am very surprised and disappointed because my understanding is that they were all aware of our projects. We had approached the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington months before coming over and we thought that our work here was appreciated," he said.




But a senior official at the ministry of foreign affairs denied his government's knowledge of the presence of the officials and what they were doing.


He said they had started setting up offices in the capital, Addis Ababa without the permission of any government institution.


US embassy spokesman Robert Arbuckle called the expulsion "shocking".


He however said it would not affect the commitment of the US to helping all parties involved in the elections.


Beyene Petros who heads the 14-party opposition coalition United Ethiopian Democratic Forces said the expulsion was "a very bad sign".


He said the government's excuse was "flimsy", because the officials had gone to help.


Earlier this week, 15 people were arrested for allegedly registering children as young as three years old to vote, polling officials said.


Some 25 million Ethiopians are able to vote in the 15 May parliamentary and regional assembly elections. MPs then choose a prime minister.


Some 35 political parties will contest the polls, although to date the elections have always been won by the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front.

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Where's my good pal Tolstoy/(Oodweyn :D )? Are my predictions not coming true? Is Ethiopia finally helping ice their relationship with good ole uncle sam? All I can say is, it will have positive repercussions in Somali internal affairs.

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Some 25 million Ethiopians are able to vote in the 15 May parliamentary and regional assembly elections. MPs then choose a prime minister.

Election xaal qaado, what kind of election is when over 5 million of people, the third majority ethinic, second largest autonomy in the country are not allowed to vote? :eek: :eek: waa yaab! anyhow..


Hornka, lately the relation b/n Amxaro and the yankees is at its lowest point for many reasons. That is why they (Ethiopian MP) are the first to support the new Chanise anti secession law, which upset the uncle sam. Read what WSJ wrote on 3/29/05






ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Mar 29, 2005 -- When this east African country went to war against neighboring Eritrea in the late 1990s, the U.S. responded by evacuating its Peace Corps volunteers, scaling back military aid and issuing a security warning to U.S. citizens and companies.


The Chinese government had a different reaction. Beijing saw the war -- and the reduced U.S. presence -- as an opportunity to expand its influence. It dispatched even more diplomats, engineers, businessmen and teachers to Ethiopia. New aid grants soon rolled in, followed by bank credits for Chinese companies operating there.


Today, China's influence in Ethiopia is overwhelming. Its embassy is among the largest in the country and hosts more high-level visits than any Western mission. Chinese companies have become a dominant force, building highways and bridges, power stations, mobile-phone networks, schools and pharmaceutical plants. More recently, they have begun exploring for oil and building at least one Ethiopian military installation.


It's all part of Beijing's broad push into Africa. Aiming to secure access to the continent's vast natural resources, China is forging deep economic, political and military ties with most of Africa's 54 countries. There's more at stake than just fuel for an economic juggernaut, however, say senior Chinese officials, executives and Western diplomats. In Africa, as in many other parts of the developing world, China is redrawing geopolitical alliances in ways that help propel China's rise as a global superpower. China is courting other countries to support its plan to reassert political authority over Taiwan and seeking a counterweight against U.S. power in global bodies such as the United Nations. It's also thinking long-term, cultivating desperately poor nations to serve as markets for its products decades down the road.


For the U.S., China's Africa initiative poses new challenges. Despite a landmark trade pact signed with Africa in 2000, U.S. influence has leveled off in many African countries and in some cases declined. Now, as Washington focuses its attention on the Middle East, it faces a formidable player in a region key to future U.S. economic and security interests.


In oil-rich Nigeria, China is rebuilding the railroad network. In Rwanda, Chinese companies have paved more than 80% of the main roads. In more than a dozen African countries, Chinese firms are searching for oil and gas and rebuilding electricity grids and telephone networks. Chinese companies own one of Zambia's largest copper mines and run a major timber operation in Equatorial Guinea. In tiny Lesotho, Chinese businessmen own and operate nearly half of all the supermarkets and a handful of textile companies.


Though these interests stretch from massive state-funded projects to small private ventures, they all share a common thread: Beijing's policy of actively encouraging its companies and citizens to set up shop in Africa at a record pace.


"China has simply exploded into Africa, as in 'Katie-bar-the-door stuff,' " says Walter Kansteiner, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs. Adds Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican and vice chairman of a House subcommittee that deals with Africa: "China's increasing engagement in Africa is a concern and we need to focus on it before Beijing becomes fully established."


Last year, Africa supplied more than 15% of U.S. oil imports, and the figure is forecast to rise sharply in the decade ahead. Africa is also becoming a major global supplier for metals, timber and other natural resources.


Yet in some of Africa's most promising commodities markets, China is now challenging U.S. and other Western firms for access to these goods. Since 2000, China's trade with Africa has nearly tripled to almost $30 billion. Last year, China spent almost $10 billion on African oil, accounting for nearly one-third of its total crude imports. That's twice as much as it imported from Saudi Arabia, traditionally one of Beijing's biggest suppliers. In oil-rich Angola, where ChevronTexaco Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. have large operations, China has become a major buyer and an increasingly active investor.


Unlike the U.S., which bars U.S. companies from doing business with some outlaw regimes, Beijing expresses no qualms about dealing with the continent's most brutal and corrupt leaders. Instead, Chinese leaders prefer to view their relationship through a North-South prism, emphasizing the need for developing nations to band together against the industrialized West. "China is ready to coordinate its positions with African countries...with a view to safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries," said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a 2003 speech in Ethiopia.


What's more, many Chinese companies operating in Africa are government-owned and less concerned with near-term profits. Indeed, by reaching out to African leaders who are shunned by Western nations, and throwing money at projects Western companies avoid, Chinese officials and businessmen say they are able to secure more business deals and build political influence at a far more rapid pace.


Consider Sudan , a war-torn nation set across from Saudi Arabia on the coast of the Red Sea. In 1997, the U.S. passed a law barring U.S. oil companies from investing there, saying Sudanese leaders had engaged in human-rights abuses and sponsored terrorism. In the years that followed, China invested more than $2 billion in Sudan's oil industry. Today, Sudan provides China with nearly 5% of its annual oil imports. Beijing, meantime, has become one of Sudan's largest arms suppliers, according to foreign diplomats and aid workers in the region. China's foreign affairs ministry declined to comment.


More recently, the U.S. sought to impose United Nations sanctions on Sudan amid continuing violence in the Darfur region, where pro-government militiamen have raped and murdered civilians while suppressing a rebel uprising. Beijing deflated these sanction efforts by threatening to use its veto power in the U.N. Security Council. Yet far from seeing itself as complicit in Sudanese violence, Beijing sees the oil project as a symbol of China's reliability when others have left. "It's part of our policy of long-term cooperation that helps both sides," says Li Xiaobing, a senior Africa official at China's Ministry of Commerce.


A similar dynamic is now playing out in Zimbabwe. Over the past three years, the U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and dozens of his closest government officials. In power for 25 years, Mr. Mugabe presides over what is widely regarded as one of Africa's most corrupt and ruthless regimes. Human-rights organizations and Western governments regularly cite his regime for its use of arbitrary arrests, torture and murder to suppress political dissent.


By sanctioning Zimbabwe, the U.S. and EU hoped to isolate and ultimately unseat Mr. Mugabe. China, as a matter of policy, has worked to blunt the impact, boosting aid and investment. Last year, it opened direct flights between the two countries. Chinese leaders still afford Mr. Mugabe huge respect. Since 1980, Beijing has invited the president to China seven times, feting him at banquets. Dozens of Chinese leaders, including former Communist part boss Jiang Zemin, have visited him.


The close ties are now paying dividends for such companies as China National Aero-Technology Import and Export Corp., or Catic. A trading company jointly owned by two large Chinese aerospace concerns, Catic between 2003 and 2004 signed a series of contracts valued at $300 million to rebuild Zimbabwe's electricity grid. It has a raft of other deals in the pipeline -- including possible military aircraft sales, company officials say. "We see Zimbabwe as a great opportunity, a great place to make money," says Wang Dawei, the company's vice president.


A spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to discuss Mr. Mugabe's human-rights record, saying "China and Zimbabwe have a traditional friendship and a relationship based on cooperation."


There is also a softer side to China's pursuit of Africa, one that could help Beijing if regimes that it's closely associated with, such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, are toppled. In 2000, Beijing voluntarily waived $1.2 billion in sovereign African debt and it recently agreed to bring some 10,000 African students to China on scholarships. Across Africa, it has dispatched hundreds of doctors and teachers in recent years.


China's ties to Africa date back to the 1950s, when Beijing threw its support behind African independence movements as a way to counter U.S. and Soviet influence in the region. These days, Beijing's emissaries to Africa have swapped their uniforms and weapons for business suits and name cards. In 2000, China established the pro-business China-Africa Cooperation Forum with 44 African nations, paving the way for a free-trade and investment pact with the region.


Few countries have felt China's influence as much as Ethiopia. Though China established relations with Ethiopia in 1970, ties were limited until the mid-1990s. That's when Beijing initiated a broader push across Africa in an effort to secure natural resources and political influence on the continent.


A decade later, Ethiopia has become a reflection of China's wider ambitions in Africa and the changes it portends for the region. A poor, landlocked nation of 68 million people, Ethiopia lacks the vast natural resources that have drawn China's interest in other countries. But it has something else Beijing craves: geopolitical clout in the region. Ethiopia is the source of the Blue Nile, the river that slakes Egypt's thirst. It is the meeting ground between largely Muslim north Africa and the Christian south. And it's the seat of the African Union, the political body that represents the continent.


Wu Ping, a tall man in his mid-40s, was one of Beijing's pioneers in Africa. In 1993, he was dispatched to Ethiopia by Catic, the state firm rebuilding Zimbabwe's electricity grid. His simple orders: open a trade company and develop political relationships. Mr. Wu began by selling things like milling equipment for sugar cane. Later he branched into tractors. Though he made little money, he forged close relations with Ethiopian officials, partially, he says, by paying the occasional bribe. "Sometimes it's the only way to get things done in Africa," he says. A Catic spokesman in Beijing says the company has a strict internal policy against paying bribes and denies it's a widespread problem.


Today, Mr. Wu cruises around Addis Ababa in a Toyota Land Cruiser and presides over a growing business empire. His latest project: an $11 million airport hanger that, when complete later this year, will be able to house the world's largest aircraft.


To secure the contract, Mr. Wu beat out an Australian company by deliberately underbidding the contract. Though he will lose money on the deal, he says it's all part of Catic's strategy. "Almost every African leader passes through this airport to attend meetings at the African Union," he says, standing a short distance from dozens of Chinese and African workers working at the construction site. "So they will all see our hangar."


Even more important, Mr. Wu says the owner of the hangar, Ethiopia Air, is mulling a large order of propeller aircraft, and the hangar contract has opened the door with officials who will play a role in that decision. "That's my company's real goal in Africa -- to sell airplanes, both commercial and military," he says.


Unlike Mr. Wu, Deng Guoping, general manager of China Road and Bridge Corp. in Ethiopia, says he's not sure his company will ever make money here. In the past six years, Mr. Guo has paved five highways stretching more than 300 miles. Three more roads are under construction and he's bidding on another three.


In all, Chinese contractors have stitched together a road network that reaches Ethiopia's northern border with Sudan to the eastern seaport of Djibouti to the southern border area with Kenya. China Road secured most of its contracts through public tenders. Yet Mr. Deng says he is instructed to slice projected profit margins so thin -- about 3% -- that losses are inevitable, given perennial cost overruns in Africa. Western businesses, by contrast, typically pad bids with projected profits of 15% and more. Even so, Mr. Deng has his eye on a range of new projects, including water reservoirs, airport facilities and a railway project. "We're a government company and the Chinese government wants us here building things," he says.


The U.S. still provides Ethiopia with more assistance than any other nation, nearly $500 million last year. But for U.S. companies, Ethiopia's small market, uncertain legal system and sometimes fast-changing political currents make the country a risky place to do business. One of the only U.S. companies with substantial business in Ethiopia is Boeing Co., which supplies Ethiopia Air with the passenger jets for its international routes.


In contrast, Chinese companies say these factors sometimes helps advance Beijing's wider goals. The story of Jiangxi International Economic and Technical Cooperation Co., another state firm active in Ethiopia, explains how. A few years ago, a flood in Ethiopia left a few hundred people homeless. Not long after, Beijing pledged about $4 million to build them new homes. It hired Jiangxi International as contractor. At a ground breaking ceremony, China's ambassador and Ethiopia officials shook hands and smiled for photographers.


About a year later, eight modern apartment buildings, each five floors with pink walls and blue-trim windows, were completed. But the homeless families never moved in. Instead, the complex was handed to Ethiopia's Ministry of Defense, which used them to house its own personnel. Today, a corrugated metal fence rings the complex, with a small group of guards stationed at one corner. "We don't really care who uses it," says a senior executive at Jiangxi International, requesting his name not be used. "It was a political task for us and so long as Ethiopia officials are happy, our goal is fulfilled."


A spokesman for Ethiopia's Ministry of Defense said the flood victims didn't like the apartments and were relocated to another neighborhood, and that the Ministry later purchased the apartment block.


Lately, Beijing has begun winning projects that have geopolitical relevance, such as Ethiopia's Takazee Dam -- a massive, $300 million hydro-power station that is rising on the headwaters of the Blue Nile River. Set deep in a mountainous region near the border with Sudan and Eritrea, the Takazee Dam has been on Ethiopia's drawing board for over a decade. But getting it off the ground hasn't been easy, thanks to Egypt. Cairo has long feared any project that could affect the flow of the Nile, viewing its own access to those waters as a matter of national security. Indeed, so great was its concern over Takazee that Egyptian officials have made clear that any attempt to divert Nile water could result in military action, according to senior Chinese and Egyptian officials.


That warning scared off the World Bank and other international financial organizations, and also raised concern among potential foreign contractors. Several years ago, Ethiopia announced it would finance the project on its own. Though a handful of Western contractors submitted bids, the Ethiopian government awarded the project to Chinese companies. Since then, Egypt has taken a more low-key attitude toward the dam. Chinese engineers say there are no immediate plans to divert the dam's waters for other uses, such as irrigation.


Today, the Takazee Dam is inching toward completion. Already, hundreds of Chinese engineers have carved out a vast administrative camp, an underground tunnel nearly a mile long and deep caves that will hold massive power turbines. Later this year, they will begin pouring the 600-foot-high cement dam. Once complete, the Takazee dam will stand as one of Africa's largest, and will help change the lives of those who live in northern Ethiopia, where electricity is often nonexistent. Ultimately, some of the power could be pooled into a regional power grid.


That would allow neighboring countries to tap into the power. And it would also further China's ambition of expanding oil and mineral exploration in the region, particularly in southern Sudan . Says Girma Biru, Ethiopia's Minister of Trade: "China has become our most reliable partner and there is a lot we can learn from Beijing, not just in economics but politics as well."

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As the article correctly states, Ethio-Chinese relations have been warming up since the late 90's. There are thousands of Ethiopian students in china enrolled in universities and even some in the military schools. The Ethio Embassy in Beijing is huge. Most Chinese analysts think Ethio holds the keys to better economic/political ties with Africa because of the AU, and its 'glorious' history. Zenawi was in Beijing last fall and met President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao. They sign several accords that dealt mostly with promises of future Chinese investments in Ethiopia.

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A growth of strength in Ethio-Chinese relationship will inevetably harbour geopolitical and strategic threats for all members of the Horn and N.Africa. In a word, a formidable improvement of Ethio-chinese partnership will place our country, Somalia, in a position of global difficulty. This is if the Chinese government succeeds in extracting efficiently its economic and AU-related strategic interests from Addis-ababa.


History, thus, seems to be repeating itself as we re-visit the blunderous proxy Cold-War conflict, between our Fatherland and Ethiopia, which resulted in the Soviet's switch from Somalia to Ethiopia and the US's refusal to support our Cause smile.gif . We now face the same danger of being marginalised or totally excluded from both the chinese and the American 'spheres of influence', as another new proxy-cold-war heats up between these two powers.


A TFG government official, has several weeks ago been quoted emphasizing the age-old relationship between the Punt and China. Age-old being the keyword, China's leap to forwardly regain its old-age prestige may render old histories obsolete. A clear trend in China's push to procure sources of energy and other vital raw materials, shows that its approach is highly of Realist nature, and of no regard to old historical ties.


This can be seen in China's disregard for the ruling class of countries in which it seeks its interest. The American foreign-policy makers have for long adapted such an approach under the rubric of "dual morality". One moral system for domestic of a country and another for the statesman in pursuit of the NATIONAL INTEREST (Survival). As mentioned in the New Wall Street journal, the Chinese offical says: "so long as Ethiopia officials are happy, our goal is fulfilled.". Unfortunately this Chinese attitude applies to relationships between African countries implicated in these new developments.


More generally, if Ethiopia installs 'friendly Somali government' in Somalia, my fears are that Ethiopia may become the sheperone figure in dealings that may take place, in the future, between Somalia and China. China and Somalia historically had close and strong deplomatic relationship, specially in the pre-civil war years. An example of this is that most of the completed infrustractural projects within Somalia had been done by China. This close relationship may never be achieved again in most circumstances, except for one. Only if Ethiopia brokers a reasonable deal with Somalia of non-interference and good pay in the transportion of Ethiopia's newly-found gas (in the Ogden mostly) via pipe-lines planned to go across Somalia and, be exported from new-port to be built in the Somali coast. Thus in a fair economic agreement, may we derive some taxation and autonomy over our land.


Furthermore, in one of other outstanding issues, Somalia must - and should- make its protestations known about Ethiopia's diversion (in Godey with the help of Scandenevian construction companies) of River Shabelle, which may result in the starvation of water from the Somali hinterland. The Shabelle dam project, according to secure sources, is already complete and holds the capacity to reduce River Shabelle to a trickle of water, with crippled velocity that hinders water travelling to Somali regions. This is not acceptable in any condition, and in any foreseeable future.


Lastly, China had proceeded in the project which other contractors had dared to, a project where the World Bank and others deemed suitable to abandon to safeguard the regional peace. The project is the 'Takazee Dam' project. What is China doing? However China seems supportive of the developing countries, it is fitting to recognize that, in its bid to secure its interests, China seems willing to reignite old enminites, to help create in African minds an elusive legitimacy to vie for China's allience and economic support.


That said, I am very anxious and at the same the time excited at the prospect of Third World development. Apart from being sceptical to China's help to Ethiopia, who knows, a new cooperative spirit between all TW countries may come to exist! As it stands, the only way for Africa is UP^ :D If China pulls a successful development and creates out of the third world a formidable ally, I say, the West's world dominion is set to crumble.

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A rising China counters US clout in Africa


Trade drives political role ahead of Zimbabwe's election.


By Abraham McLaughlin | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor


HARARE, ZIMBABWE – The Chinese economic juggernaut and its thirst for minerals and markets has increasingly brought it to Africa, including here to Zimbabwe. The fertile hills of this Southern African nation are rich with gold and the world's second-largest platinum reserves. In Sudan, Angola, and along the Gulf of Guinea, the Asian giant is guzzling the continent's vast oil supply.

But lately the Chinese are digging on a different front, one that could complicate the Bush administration's efforts to promote democracy here: African politics.



Last year, China stymied US efforts to levy sanctions on Sudan, which supplies nearly 5 percent of China's oil and where the US says genocide has occurred in its Darfur region. And as Zimbabwe becomes more isolated from the West, China has sent crates of T-shirts for ruling-party supporters who will vote in Thursday's parliamentary elections.


In addition, China or its businesses have reportedly:


• provided a radio-jamming device for a military base outside the capital, preventing independent stations from balancing state-controlled media during the election campaign;


• begun to deliver 12 fighter jets and 100 trucks to Zimbabwe's Army amid a Western arms embargo; and


• designed President Robert Mugabe's new 25-bedroom mansion, complete with helipad. The cobalt-blue tiles for its swooping roof, which echoes Beijing's Forbidden City, were a Chinese gift.


China is increasingly making its presence felt on the continent - from building roads in Kenya and Rwanda to increasing trade with Uganda and South Africa. But critics say its involvement in politics could help prop up questionable regimes, like Mr. Mugabe's increasingly autocratic 25-year reign.


"Suffering under the effects of international isolation, Zimbabwe has looked to new partners, including China, who won't attach conditions, such as economic and political reform" to their support, says a Western diplomat here. Of China's influence on this week's elections, he adds, "I find it hard to believe the Chinese would push hard for free and fair elections - it's not the standard they're known for."


Indeed, Mugabe often praises China and Asia as part of his new "Look East" policy. He responded to tough questions from an interviewer on Britain's Sky News last year about building his $9 million new home, while millions of Zimbabweans live on the verge of starvation, by saying: "You say it's lavish because it is attractive. It has Chinese roofing material, which makes it very beautiful, but it was donated to us. The Chinese are our good friends, you see."


China is becoming good friends to many African nations, as the US has been. Between 2002 and 2003, China-Africa trade jumped 50 percent, to $18.5 billion, Chinese officials say. It's expected to grow to $30 billion by 2006. US-Africa trade was $44.5 billion last year, according to the Commerce Department. As the world's largest oil importer behind the US, China has oil interests in Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Angola, and Gabon. The US is also hunting for oil in Africa, with about 10 percent of imports coming from the continent.


Not all of China's activities in Africa are controversial. Under the auspices of the UN, the China-Africa Business Council opened this month, headquartered in China, to boost trade and development. It has peacekeepers in Liberia and has contributed to construction projects in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zambia, though critics say it is using these projects to garner goodwill that it can tap into during prickly issues like Taiwan's independence or UN face-offs with the US.


Here in Zimbabwe, China also may be helping to support one of Africa's more oppressive regimes. The radio-jamming equipment that has prevented the independent Short Wave Radio Africa from broadcasting into the country is Chinese, according to the US-funded International Broadcast Bureau.


Reporters Without Borders, a group dedicated to freedom of the press, based in Paris, had this to say about the jamming: "Thanks to support from China, which exports its repressive expertise, Robert Mugabe's government has yet again just proved itself to be one of the most active predators of press freedom."


A Chinese diplomat here insists the equipment didn't come from China. And he says the T-shirts, which reportedly arrived on Air Zimbabwe's new direct flight from Beijing, were "purely a business transaction." But he adds that China-Zimbabwe relations have recently "been cemented in the field of politics and business."


In return for its support, China has received diplomatic backing on Taiwan's independence, as it has from many African nations.


Ultimately, China's expansion into Zimbabwe and Africa is more narrow than the 1800s colonization by European powers, when "Christianity, civilization, and commerce" were the buzzwords. For China, it's all about economics. "They've said: 'If you agree to privatize and sell to us your railways, your electricity generation, etc. - we will come in with capital," says John Robertson, an economist based in Harare.


With an economy that has shrunk as much as 40 percent in five years, Zimbabwe's government uses these promises to put off critics. "The government says, 'The Chinese are coming, and they'll bring in billions of dollars in investment, and soon everything will be fully restored,' " Mr. Robertson says.

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^^^ Thank you for the article. It is, to say the least, illuminating. Thank to HornAfrique, Bachelor and Garyaqaan.


PS: GarYaqaan, after SOAS & Boston it seems you've become adventurous. Update us on this Chinese phenomenon sxb. How long, do you think, till another bi-polarity? Afterall, Huntington's rise of Confusianism coupled with Islam as the next power-bloc appears to be partly self-fulfilling :D .

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The Chinese influnce is in this part of the continent is undeniable and one need to be skeptic when you see Ethiopia and China forging a strong alliance as this. But lets hope it is for good. And i agree with J11, Somali in general should play their card cleverly this time around. No doubt, Ethiopia is becoming another Chian in the horn Africa.

Only if Ethiopia brokers a reasonable deal with Somalia of non-interference and good pay in the transportion of Ethiopia's newly-found gas (in the Ogden mostly) via pipe-lines planned to go across Somalia and, be exported from new-port to be built in the Somali coast

That is their main reason and something they couldnt resist, to be even an "UNINVITED" peace keeper its tempting for them. Its in thier best interest for them to establish some form of pupit goverment that will allow things to be thier way.

Furthermore, in one of other outstanding issues, Somalia must - and should- make its protestations known about Ethiopia's diversion (in Godey with the help of Scandenevian construction companies) of River Shabelle, which may result in the starvation of water from the Somali hinterland. The Shabelle dam project, according to secure sources, is already complete and holds the capacity to reduce River Shabelle to a trickle of water, with crippled velocity that hinders water travelling to Somali regions. This is not acceptable in any condition, and in any foreseeable future.

What is your solution for that J? Do you know that, the people of Godey have never seen any benefit of webi shabelle yet? As far as i am concern, lack of water is the major problem in that region. I believe if that water adiquately utilized the entire region will change for better. The poeple of Godey have been suffering God knows for how long and while there is a valuable resouce in their own back yard. Its about time to utilize that by any means. I hope presidant A/Y wont threaten to invade Ethiopia on this issue this time :D:D

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Jamal it’s nice to hear from you sxb. Yes I figured if my yankee Asss could navigate through the streets of Kings Cross at night, I could conquer Beijing! But to tell you the truth China can be described as two countries. One is very modern, industrial, and could rival any developed country. The other is where 75% of China's people live—in the countryside where conditions are not far better than those of the poorest African countries.


What you read in the Western press in indeed true. China has over the past two decades embarked on a daring experiment with market liberalizations that propelled it to become one of the top ten trading nations in the world, and achieved the fastest economic growth of any national economy—GDP averaging nearly 10 percent per year and foreign trade at 15.5 percent per year. China’s economic transformation hence, has been successful compared to other developing nations. Accordingly, hundreds of millions of China’s citizens have risen out of poverty. This is confirmed by China’s phenomenal growth, and its rapid integration into the world economy, reflected not only in vastly increased per capita incomes and trade flows but also in record levels of inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and unparallel access to international capital markets.


Nonetheless, China still faces huge challenges that threatens its domestic stability and if not addressed soon would lead to disastrous consequences. For example, the prevailing world consensus over the last 25 years—with few exceptions, has foresaw a Chinese economy that will be able to sustain high rates of economic growth for the indefinite future. This outlook of the Chinese economy is inconsistent with major economic and societal weaknesses that still remain in present-day China—mainly incomplete liberalization of the economy, chronic unemployment, growing individual, urban/rural, and regional income gaps. Rampant official corruption, environmental deterioration, reckless borrowing and distorted banking and financial systems are also other sources for potential domestic instability, especially if there is an economic downturn.


Therefore, I don’t think China is in a position to challenge the U.S. anytime soon. It would take China perhaps 50 or more years to become the next superpower, or at least reach parity with the U.S. I haven’t subscribed to Huntington’s thesis because A) there is nothing ‘Confucius’ about China. Confucianism has died long time ago in China, thanks to the Qing Dynasty, and later the Communists. Confucianism as a philosophy no longer holds any relevance to the average Chinese. And B) China is weak on most of the components that determines national power. Its political system is stable now, but could face problems in the future. The size of its economy is still 1/3 that of Japan (its historic enemy by the way). China also still depends on Russia, and increasingly Israel for most of it sophisticated military hardware.


China’s Foreign Policy for at least the next 20 years is basically straightforward: 1) Internationally isolate Taiwan to keep it from declaring Independence, and 2) Maintain year-to-year economic growth (GDP) to at least 7%. If the ruling Communist elite does not meet these two objects they would simply be overthrown.


There is no doubt the Chinese will increasingly gain more influence in global geo-politics. However, they would work with the EU, Russian, and maybe India to create a Multi-polar world. NOT a Bi-polar world as you have put it Jamal.

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President Abdulaahi Yusuf is not the only client of Ethiopia; in fact all so-called Somali politicians are all puppets for Mele Zanawi of Ethiopia. The president of self- declared Somaliland Daahir Riyaale said in interview "It's good. We have no better friend than Ethiopia; they always treat us as brothers, as young brothers. They help us better than any other country in the area."


However, Yusuf might be Ethiopia’s preferred client in Somali politics.

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Originally posted by GarYaQaaN:

But to tell you the truth China can be described as two countries. One is very modern, industrial, and could rival any developed country. The other is where 75% of China's people live—in the countryside where conditions are not far better than those of the poorest African countries.

^^This is what suprised me about China. One where poor and sometimes professional baggers chase foreigners almost a couple of blocks for pennies or to sell you something cheaply, and the other, where people drive nice cars and stay at huge luxuries hotels. The sad part is the poor people, mostly from the countryside, didn't even know they were poor until they arrived at the big cities and took notice of all the things they didn't have and couldn't afford. But if they stay at their own villages they could sustain confortable lives, I think.


China also aids Sudan. There was large convey of Sudanesse studying Urban Planning in Beijing and they told me everything was paid for by the Chinesse government. Good for them!


Garyaqaan...are u at BNU? although girls there didn't seem too familiar with black guys. They kept asking if I was good at basketball. I told them absolately, I'm MJ's cousin, it gave me celebrity status for few days :D . I would have liked to see somalis there, but didn't see any.

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Bachelor: What is your solution for that J? Do you know that, the people of Godey have never seen any benefit of webi shabelle yet?

Bachelor sxb, on the one hand, a solution to this issue needs a long and hard contemplation. Insha-allaah I will tell you more about my views towards this particular issue. One the other, a friend who arrived from Godey briefed me about the project and its potentialities for the locals. According to him, the project is at first an irrigation system. The central government has allocated thousands of acres to it and has distributed this land to the locals. He saw this move of the central government as a political move aimed at 'hearts and minds'.


The desired outcome is to provide local peoples with 'some' economic welfare, be it through subsistance farming. It follows the thought of a well-fed citizen is a happy citizen. So that when the old claim of Somaliweyn to this region reccurs, the peoples will hasitate and stick with Ethiopia. This has already been the case with 'some' NFD citizens who dismiss the entire Somaliweyn concept as ill-conceived.


Another consideration is that the object of Meles upon the implimentation of this project is a double-edged one. The public objective is ofcourse to show the world how Ethiopia is helping towards its food-security. But the other uderlying objective is said to be a case of 'luring' locals into a close coalition of governance. This has become the case since the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflicts. This particular conflict had created a reduction of Tigrinya loyalty for Meles. The Ethiopian capture of Eritrean land brought Meles under global spotlight, and the UN ordered Meles to retreat.


However, his Tigray tribesmen had no plan of retreating from what they believed to be their rightful land. Meles thus found himself in catch 22 situation. If he forces his tribesmen out of Eritrea he will loose their support, if he let them stay the world will condemn Ethiopia and cut off all international aid. He decided to favour the latter. Since then he has been trying to gain new support from somewhere else.


In the place of his tribesmen, Meles surrounded himself with other Ethnicities to support his government. Many Ethio-Somalis are thus claimed to be his best pals in the power-steering wheel. To keep them happy he must show he is doing something for the Somali region of Zone 5 :D . So that is the result of the project. The aim to benefit local Somalis. Nothing more. A nice theory, isnt it?


In an interview with IRRINEWS, Meles was asked:



"Q: Former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi recently said the problem of peace in Somalia is due to regional neighbours who are afraid of the reconstitution of a strong and united Somalia. Is Ethiopia afraid of a united strong Somalia that may lay claims to parts of Ethiopia?


A: Well Salad [TNG president Abdiqassim Salad Hassan] raised this thing in Kampala and I said that while we respect Moi as an elder statesman, he doesn’t speak for Ethiopia.
If the Ethiopian Somalis want to secede they are free to do so any time of the day. That’s the constitution of Ethiopia. If the Somali people of Ethiopia wish to do so, that’s fine with me. That’s not an issue at all now

Is he for real, I wonder! Maybe we (Somalis) are a tad bit paranoid smile.gif . But hey! We will know the results when Somalia gets back on its feets. Insha-Allah soon. Aamiin.



Originally posted by GarYaQaaN:

But to tell you the truth China can be described as two countries. One is very modern, industrial, and could rival any developed country. The other is where 75% of China's people live—in the countryside where conditions are not far better than those of the poorest African countries

Garyaqaan, it is nice to hear from you too. Thanks for the information about China. Sxb your quote above reminds of theorist called Emanuel Wellestein, who depicts many South East Asian countries as having 'Core' urban environment and 'periphery' rural environment. His theory explains that if you are in some Asian cities, you might mistake them for Western cities. Everything looks and feels like a city in a developed country. However, the minute you step outside, you will feel as if you are in a Third World country.


He called countries such as these: Semi-Pheriphery. What distinguishes them from other pheriphery countries is that they are of 'skilled-labour' as opposed to the 'unskilled-labour' of other TW countries.

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The article below discusses Zenawi's visit to Beijing last fall. Personally I think it was a failure for Zenawi since many believed that the intended purpose of the trip was to get military aid. The Chinese are not willing to get involved in the Ethio-Eritrea arms race. Also the Chinese are already in trouble waters with the US over their close cooperation with the Sudanese. The only reason Sudan hasn’t been sanction so far is because of China’s ‘vague’ threats to veto such measures in the Security Council.


While at it Check out the link and explore the Fighting Capabilities of the PLA smile.gif


President vows to further ties with Ethiopia



PLA Daily 2004-11-04




President Hu Jintao shakes hands with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Nov. 3, 2004. ( Xinhua Photo)


  BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- China's President Hu Jintao said here Wednesday the country is ready to expand cooperation with Ethiopia and other African countries and make such cooperation more fruitful so as to bring benefits to the people of both sides.


  Hu made the remarks during his meeting with visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in the Great Hall of the People.


  Hu said China places importance on developing its relationship with Ethiopia and is willing to strengthen exchanges, enhance friendship and expand cooperation with Ethiopia and other African countries through the effective mechanism of the China-Africa Forum.


  Noting that the two countries have maintained sound relations since they established diplomatic relations, Hu said China and Ethiopia have achieved positive results in exchanges and cooperation in such areas as politics, trade, economy, culture, education and public health, as well as in international and regional affairs.


  In recent years, Hu said the two countries have stepped up their efforts to explore new ways to deepen bilateral relations and expand mutually beneficial cooperation, adding that bilateral relations have entered a new era.


  Hu highly praised the government of Ethiopia for its adherence to the one-China policy and its firm support to China on Taiwan and human rights issues.


  Meles described the Ethiopia-China relations as close, friendly and substantial, adding that marked progress has been made in various areas.


  He thanked China for the high quality assistance it offered to Ethiopia, saying that Ethiopia highly values China's experience in social and economic development and poverty elimination.


  Meles expressed the hope that the two countries will further increase exchanges and expand cooperation.


  He said China has earnestly carried out its commitment in Africa-China cooperation under the framework of the China-Africa Forum. He said Ethiopia and other African countries spoke highly of China's efforts in this regard.


  Ethiopia is ready to join efforts with China to push forward the friendly, cooperative relations between Africa and China, he said.


  Meles arrived here Tuesday for a six-day official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He held talks with Premier Wen Tuesday afternoon. During his visit, the two countries have signed agreements on economic, technological and educational cooperation.

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