Chinese oil interests attacked in Libya

On dirait que les Libyens soient allergiques au libre-échange avec les Chinois, remarque, ils ne sont pas les seuls.

Extrait de: Chinese oil interests attacked in Libya , By Leslie Hook and Geoff Dyer in Beijing, FT, February 24 2011

China rushed to evacuate thousands of workers from Libya on Thursday, after CNPC and other Chinese firms were attacked in the waves of unrest sweeps the country.

Officials say 30,000 Chinese are in the country and the scramble to evacuate them—in what may be the country’s largest overseas evacuation ever—is posing a new foreign policy dilemma for China, which has for decades supported the Gaddafi regime.

De plus en plus, il va avoir de sérieuses contestations avec les dirigeants politiques, aussi bien dans le monde musulman que dans les pays démocratiques, ce qui se passe en Grèce ou en Irlande
n’est que le début.

C’est comme une compagnie quand ça va bien, on ne pose pas trop de questions, mais quand ça commence à aller mal,
tout est en remise en question.

M. Politiciens, vous allez devoir de plus en plus
vous justifiez devant vos peuples.

The violence in Libya poses a new test for China’s foreign policy in the region, which has centred around the concept of non-interference. That policy has become increasingly difficult to maintain as China’s commercial engagement with Africa deepens and Chinese workers decamp by the thousands to build infrastructure projects on the continent.

Ma Zhaoxu, Foreign Ministry spokesman, acknowledged that some Chinese companies in Libya “had their local camp sites raided by gangsters and some people got hurt.”

One Chinese railway worker painted a vivid picture of those attacks in his microblog posts on Chinese website Sina. Raiders set fire to equipment and cars and injured Chinese workers in an attack on his work camp on Monday, said the blogger known as “Happy Xufeng,” posting pictures of the inferno as well as desperate calls for help.

“We are in great danger,” he wrote on Monday night, describing a group of more than 500 Chinese workers who lacked basic supplies. “Chinese companies in Libya are in a state of emergency, our projects are being raided and communications are down.” By Wednesday the blogger, whose internet records indicated he was an employee of China Railway 11th Bureau, reported that he and his colleagues were being evacuated to safety.

Évidemment, voler la richesse d’un pays, n’est pas la meilleure solution pour maintenir une bonne relation avec sa population locale, il semble que le seuil de tolérance de tous les peuples soient de plus en plus mince.

In an unusual statement on Tuesday, China’s President Hu Jintao ordered government workers to “spare no efforts to ensure the safety of life and properties of Chinese citizens in Libya.” China has dispatched charter flights, COSCO transport ships and Chinese fishing boats to travel toward Libya. Hired buses will also stand ready to enter Libya to help with the evacuation if necessary, the foreign ministry said.

There have already been signs of resentment in Libya at China’s growing economic clout in the region. At the end of 2009, Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa said in an interview: “When we look at the reality on the ground we find that there is something akin to a Chinese invasion of the African continent. This is something that brings to mind the effects that colonialism had on the African continent.”

Dockers at the main Greek port of Piraeus have called off a strike over government moves to grant Chinese firm Cosco

Greek dockers

Newly elected Socialist government renegotiates the terms of a 35-year concession of the port's container terminal to Chinese company Cosco Pacific

Ce n’est pas juste en Libye, où il y a un ressentiment contre les Chinois, prenez un exemple quand les Chinois ont décidé de prendre en partie le contrôle du port Piraeus en Grèce.

Évidemment, on achète une partie de la dette grecque en contrepartie on veut avoir un bonbon, petit problème les débardeurs grecs n’ont pas apprécié.

The forced evacuation of such a large group of overseas Chinese has exposed one of the new vulnerabilities of China’s foreign policy as its interests expand rapidly around the globe.

There are now tens of thousands of Chinese migrants working in potentially volatile places such as Sudan, Congo, Burma and Pakistan. Chinese diplomats worry that high-profile cases of kidnapping or violence towards Chinese workers overseas could provoke nationalist reactions at home and push the government, which prides itself on a policy of non-intervention, to become much more involved in the domestic political affairs of crisis-ridden countries.

To the intense discomfort of Beijing, a defiant Colonel Muammer Gadaffi has used the example of China’s violent crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989 to justify his own use of military force against domestic opponents. “The unity of China was more important than those people on Tiananmen Square,” he said earlier this week.

The evacuations of oil companies have caused Libya’s oil output to fall by half, sending oil prices higher amid global fears that unrest in the Middle East will lead to shortages.

News of the attack on CNPC will heighten concerns among oil industry executives that the turmoil in Libya may lead to widespread sabotage of oil facilities and that it would take many months or even years to return the country to full production capacity, even if a semblance of peace returns.

In a speech earlier this week, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Col Gaddafi, warned that in the event of a civil war, Libya’s oil wealth would be “burned”.

Oil experts in Beijing have said that unrest across the Middle East is likely to prompt Chinese authorities to accelerate oil purchases in an effort to fill reserves, a move that would put further pressure on global supplies of crude.

“Recent events made them very nervous and they believe the oil price may be on an upward trend, so better to buy sooner rather than later,” said K F Yan, director of IHS Cera in Bejing. “With or without events in the Middle East, China needs to refill the tanks after depleting supplies at the end of 2010.”

China’s trade with Libya centres mainly on oil, but the $6.6bn in bilateral trade also includes companies in a wide range of other businesses, thanks in part to China never having imposed sanctions on the Gaddafi regime. Chinese rail companies have signed lucrative railway contracts with Libya, agreeing in 2008 to build a rail line between Tripoli and Sirte for $1.7bn, according to reports.