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After Pakistan, Chinese companies face armed attacks in resource rich Africa

A file photo of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal (Image courtesy: Twitter/@GenJejeOdongo)

After Pakistan, armed attacks on Chinese workers are on a rise in resource-rich African countries where Beijing continues to increase its mining footprint.

On March 19, nine Chinese citizens died and two were seriously injured when unknown persons carried out an armed attack on workers of a Chinese private company in the Central African Republic (CAR), a landlocked country in the heart of Africa.

The company named Gold Coast Group operates in the field of gold mining at a mine located 25 km from the city of Bambari in the central part of the country – a region known for its impressive agricultural potential and vast mineral resources.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the country’s President Xi Jinping has given the incident “his full attention” and personally instructed that every effort be made to save the lives of the injured and make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Asserting that “some countries in Africa and elsewhere” are currently facing high-security risks, Beijing urged Chinese nationals and companies to leave high-risk areas “as quickly as possible” and keep themselves safe.

Chinese nationals in the Central African Republic continue to live dangerously after the country’s President Faustin-Archange Touadera joined Beijing’s much-criticised Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in November 2021.

Earlier this month, three Chinese citizens were abducted in Nana-Mambere, near the CAR-Cameroon border.

“In 2020, two Chinese nationals died when local residents led an uprising against a Chinese-operated mine in Sosso Nakombo. And in 2018, three Chinese citizens were killed by angry community members after a local leader died in a boating accident while accompanying Chinese miners to a site,” reports Africa News.

Africa China

While major powers like Japan have expressed concerns about China’s large presence and rising influence in Africa, Beijing has said that the “friendly cooperation” between China and African countries is mutually beneficial and fruitful.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin insisted that China’s cooperation with Africa has never been “closed and exclusive” and that the Xi Jinping government is willing to work with the international community to “inject more positive energy” into promoting peace and development in Africa.

“The Chinese side has repeatedly stressed that Africa is a major stage for international cooperation, not an arena where major powers play games, and cooperation between all parties in Africa should complement each other and interact positively,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

As reported by India Narrative extensively, China continues to suffer serious casualties in Pakistan as well where it has committed $60 billion to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Frequent militant attacks on Chinese engineers, massive corruption and political instability in Pakistan has Beijing worried big time.

Recent reports have suggested that Beijing’s refusal to release the promised funds has affected the CPEC project implementation and at the same time, cash-strapped Pakistan is being compelled to repay Chinese loans procured so far.

“The ongoing financial crisis in Pakistan and the economic slowdown in China appear to have had bearing on the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) programme,” news agency ANI reported quoting Islam Khabar.