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US diplomat tells China to act responsibly in Africa
by Staff Writers
Johannesburg (AFP) Nov 22, 2011

Algerian workers strike over Chinese company's conditions
Algiers (AFP) Nov 22, 2011 - Workers at a Chinese telecommunications company in Algeria went on indefinite strike Tuesday, calling for higher wages, better career opportunities and a collective bargaining agreement.

Ninety of Huawei Telecommunications' 120 workers were taking part in the strike, Salim Khalifati, a member of the national union UGTA told Algerian news service APS.

"The strike will last until our demands are met," he said.

Khalifati accused the company of illegally employing Chinese labourers in Algeria and several unfair dismissals.

An after-hours call to a Huawei spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

The top US diplomat for Africa said Tuesday that China should act responsibly on the continent as it buys up African oil, gas and minerals to fuel its booming economy.

Speaking after his return from US-China talks on Africa, Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said his message to Beijing is: "Act as a responsible player."

"We hope that as they invest... that they will employ African labour, that they will follow local labour standards, that they will pay decent wages, that they will train their personnel, that they will impart technology," Carson told journalists in Africa on a conference call from Washington.

China-Africa trade soared more than 40 percent last year to $126.9 billion (93.8 billion euros). The country has bankrolled sorely needed infrastructure projects across the continent, but has been criticised for supporting unsavoury regimes.

The growing relationship has at times made the United States uneasy.

Last year, Carson was quoted as saying in a diplomatic cable published by whistleblower website WikiLeaks that China had "no morals" in Africa.

"China is a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals. China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons. China is in Africa for China primarily," the cable quoted him as saying.

He said Tuesday that the United States does not see China as an adversary in Africa, but called for Chinese firms operating there to create more local jobs, amid growing concern on the continent over the use of imported workers.

"American companies invest extensively in and across Africa, but they don't bring thousands and thousands of American workers to do unskilled labour jobs," he said.

He also said Beijing needs to help fight corruption.

"We hope that China's engagement in Africa will be responsible, and that they will not engage in bribery," he said.

"It is also very, very important that African countries hold China to the same high standards of operation that they hold American and European countries to."

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Bush to visit Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia
Washington (AFP) Nov 22, 2011 - Former US president George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush will visit Tanzania, Zambia, and Ethiopia next month to promote efforts to battle diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, his office said Tuesday.

The December 1-5 trip -- his first overnight stay in Africa since leaving office in January 2009 -- will also serve to "celebrate the remarkable progress made over the past decade to address the challenges of disease, poverty and security," his office said in a statement.

The visit will also highlight efforts by the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon partners program that battles cervical and breast cancer, the leading causes of cancer death among women in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

As president, Bush ramped up US efforts to battle HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases in Africa, such as malaria, and promoted economic development and democratic reforms there as well.


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China says Mugabe 'old friend' as Zimbabwe head visits
Beijing (AFP) Nov 16, 2011
China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping called Robert Mugabe "an old friend of China" Wednesday, state media said, as the Zimbabwean president visited the country to attend his daughter's graduation. At a meeting between the two in Beijing, Mugabe - who has been accused of widespread human rights abuses in his country - also said he appreciated China's support, the official Xinhua news agency ... read more

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