C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 BEIJING 007364
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/05/2036
TAGS: PREL ENRG ETRD EAID APEC SENV CH XA
SUBJECT: U.S.-CHINA POLICY PLANNING TALKS: AFRICA, ENERGY
REF: A. BEIJING 7253
Â¶B. BEIJING 7262
Â¶C. BEIJING 7363
Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Aubrey Carlson.
Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (C) During the U.S.-China Policy Planning dialogue in
Beijing in November, MFA Director General for Policy Planning
Ma Zhaoxu said the United States and China have common
concerns on African development issues. He expressed hope
for the region and noted the importance of China as a model
and a growing source of assistance, which, he added, comes
"without conditions." Director Gordon stressed the United
States does not oppose increasing Chinese involvement in the
continent, said he hoped U.S.-China cooperation would expand
beyond the political, and described new developments in U.S.
assistance for Africa. Ma said that Chinese energy
development in Africa is a part of overall PRC cooperation
with the continent, with the goal of "mutual development."
Agreeing on the need for close cooperation on energy, the two
sides discussed possible international frameworks under which
cooperation could take place. End Summary.
Â¶2. (C) State Department Policy Planning Director David Gordon
and James Green of the Policy Planning Staff visited Beijing
November 12-15 for Policy Planning talks with MFA Director
General for Policy Planning Ma Zhaoxu. On the Chinese side,
Counselor Tang Guocai, Division Director Zhou Jian and First
Secretary Yin Chengwu (of the North America and Oceania
Department's Fourth Division) also participated. Director
Gordon's discussion with Beijing University scholars on
Taiwan, democracy, Asia policy and alliances is reported Ref
Â¶A. Aspects of the dialogue touching on Chinese foreign
policy and "hotspots" such as Iran and the DPRK are reported
Ref B. The discussion on trends in East Asian regional
architecture and Russia is reported Ref C.
Africa: Governance Remains a Challenge
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Â¶3. (C) Director Gordon noted that currently there are
positive trends toward more effective government in parts of
Africa, and Africa has also become a new focal point for
energy resource development. Political stability remains a
challenge in many countries, however. Sudan is of particular
international concern, he noted, adding that international
cooperation is important for resolving such crises, as seen
in the deployment of UN/AU forces to the Darfur region.
Gordon expressed hope for Nigeria and other resource-rich
countries, but noted that historically such resources have
not often been used to enhance the welfare of citizens.
Transparency and accountability remain a particularly acute
challenge in Africa, and the United States looks forward to
discussing with China energy, financial stability and the use
of resources in Africa. The United States has endeavored to
reduce the debt burden on some African countries, Gordon
noted, and has concerns about the acquisition of new debt in
Â¶4. (C) DG Ma responded that China and the United States have
many common concerns in the region. He said that it is
"emerging as a hopeful continent" and that he expects to see
continued growth in the region. Ma added that Africa is also
experiencing improved peace and security and is increasingly
important in regional and international issues, through both
the AU and the UN. Many challenges remain, including
persistent poverty, the debt burden and the potential for
Â¶5. (C) Ma stressed the shared history of China and many
African countries as former colonies and suggested that China
and Africa share similar positions on many international
issues, especially involving economic development. As the
PRC has opened up, Ma said, it has sought to establish a new
strategic relationship with Africa "based on common
interests," and he stressed that "mutual responsibility and
mutual benefit" form the foundation of the relationship. As
an example, Ma noted President Hu Jintao's announcement at
the November 2006 China-Africa Summit of an eight-point
assistance plan that includes economic assistance, measures
to reduce Africa's debt burden and training programs.
BEIJING 00007364 002 OF 003
Â¶6. (C) Because of the "brotherly" relationship that China
feels toward the continent, Ma said, China attaches no
conditions to the assistance it provides Africa. Beijing
emphasizes programs that support local development in
specific ways, he added, such as building bridges, roads and
schools, drilling wells and supporting healthcare
initiatives. He further stressed the importance for China of
multilateral initiatives for African development.
Â¶7. (C) Ma said that China shares U.S. concern for African
governance and transparency and supports "democratic
development." He expressed hope that Africa will view China
as a model for its development, not to be copied wholesale,
but as a source of ideas and inspiration for sustainable
development. Gordon agreed that African countries could draw
some useful lessons from the Chinese experience, especially
the importance of integration with the world economy.
Â¶8. (C) DG Ma stressed that the strength of China's
interaction with the region lies in its policy of
non-interference in the affairs of other countries. For this
reason, he asserted, African countries welcome the PRC's
participation in development assistance.
U.S. Does Not Oppose Increasing Chinese Role in Africa
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Â¶9. (C) China's increasing interest in the region is good for
Africa, Gordon said, and the United States does not oppose
this involvement. He said that engagement on Africa at the
political level has been effective, and that the United
States hopes to expand this discussion to a broader range of
issues. The United States and China will need to cooperate
in the near term on issues such as AIDS and sustainable
Â¶10. (C) DG Ma noted that "some countries" are concerned about
Chinese cooperation on African development. Such concern is
unwarranted, he asserted, because China will coordinate with
the United States and other partners. However, Ma stressed,
the international community should be responsive to the views
of African countries on their own needs and deal with them as
equals in the name of mutual benefit.
Â¶11. (C) Responding to Ma's interest in the increase in U.S.
interest in Africa in recent years, Director Gordon replied
that the United States sees many challenges in the continent
in which the United States can play a constructive role,
including AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria eradication. U.S.
aid programs are more focused now to leverage greater
resource flows for countries that are more able to use them
for real gains, as is seen in the Millennium Challenge
Account program. The creation of the African Command
(AFRICOM) should similarly be seen as a push for better
coordination on counter-terrorism and counter-extremism, with
the focus on developing the capacities of African security
forces to respond to such threats. Gordon stressed that the
creation of AFRICOM reflects long-standing U.S. engagement
with the continent.
Energy Development a Part of African Cooperation
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Â¶12. (C) DG Ma said that with China's economic development has
come a natural increase in its demand for petroleum. Noting
that China is also an oil-producing country, Ma said that
China feels a need to seek opportunities for cooperation on
energy development with African countries. Stressing that
the United States and EU are already actively involved in the
development of African oil fields, and China is a relative
newcomer, Ma said that Chinese energy development in Africa
is a part of overall PRC cooperation with the continent, with
the goal of "mutual development."
Â¶13. (C) Ma stressed that private companies investing in
energy development do so under market conditions, and that
they "cannot be ordered" to support local development. He
added that U.S. and Chinese companies have shown willingness
to cooperate with each other, and that the government should
strengthen official dialogue in support of this. He added
that Chinese companies in Africa provide donations for
education, local development and clean water programs.
Energy: Fertile Ground for U.S.-China Cooperation
BEIJING 00007364 003 OF 003
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Â¶14. (C) Director Gordon responded that cooperation on energy
development shows the potential for the United States and
China to create win-win scenarios. In countries such as
Nigeria, for example, cooperation with the international
community is essential for reaching their development
potential. The United States and China share an interest in
the diversification of the world's supply of oil. Untapped
sources of oil are mostly in very challenging places, and we
have a shared interest in securing lines of transportation.
Gordon stressed that market conditions generate the needed
investments, given the growth in global energy demand.
Achieving the shared interest in reconciling the role of
energy in economic development and the global environment
will take strong U.S.-China cooperation.
Â¶15. (C) Concurring with the U.S. assessment that cooperation
on energy is critical, Director Ma said the international
energy market is linked to issues of governance and economic
development in producing countries. With the increasing
price of oil, the Untied States and China share an interest
ensuring stability in this market. He stressed that
President Hu's new conception of energy security includes a
move to increase international cooperation on energy security.
Energy: Institutional Framework Concepts
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Â¶16. (C) Gordon noted that the United States is considering
institutional mechanisms that could be appropriate for
expanding the membership of the International Energy Agency
(IEA) to key consumer nations, especially China. He added
that such a framework could provide an important
institutional focal point on many energy issues, as could the
OECD. DG Ma responded that China recently hosted a meeting
of energy-consuming countries to discuss economic development
and climate change, but that concerns of producing countries
also must be addressed. He added that major consuming
countries need to take the lead on cooperation.
Â¶17. (U) S/P did not have a chance to clear this message.