Thanks China, now go home: buy-up of Zambia revives old colonial fears – Chris McGreal

The Guardian reports on the frosty welcome President Hu Jintao received during his recent visit to :

Hostility is such in some quarters that the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, on an eight-country tour of Africa to promote Beijing’s blossoming trade relationship with the continent, cancelled plans to launch a $200m (¬£100m) smelter at a Chinese-owned Zambian copper mine at the weekend because of miners’ anger at working conditions. He also faced protests from the sacked Mulungushi factory workers.

President Hu rejected accusations that China was exploiting Zambian labour and resources. “China is happy to have Zambia as a good friend, good partner and a good brother,” he said, adding that the relationship between the two countries “represents a new type of strategic partnership” in Africa.

The growing Asian presence in Zambia even became an issue in last year’s presidential election, with the opposition threatening to throw out of the country large numbers of Chinese traders and labourers who have become an increasing source of agitation for taking business and jobs. [Full text]

– See also “Zambia: Cold Reception for China’s President” on AllAfrica.com, and the official Zambian view in an editorial in the Times of Zambia.

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