Chinalco inks African JV with Rio
By Zhang Qi (China Daily)
BEIJING - Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco) on Thursday signed a $1.35 billion agreement with global miner Rio Tinto to develop the Simandou iron ore project in the West African country of Guinea.
The move also marks the end of the stalemate between China and the global miner on cooperation after ties soured in June this year.
The agreement was signed by Chinalco Chairman Xiong Weiping and Rio Tinto Chairman Jan du Plessis in the presence of several senior government officials including Zhang Xiaoqiang, the vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission and Huang Danhua, vice-chairwoman of State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission
Du Plessis said he expects the agreement to bolster Rio's relations with China. "This project will take our relations with China, and Chinalco, our largest shareholder, to a new level," he said.
Rio Tinto will look to expand its relationship with China and also seek more cooperation opportunities, he said.
"The Simandou project is in a mature exploration period, and will have an annual production capacity of 70 million tons in the first stage," Xiong said.
Rio's relations with China hit a rough patch after it walked away from $19.5 billion investment deal with Chinalco in June last year. Ties soured further after four Rio Tinto employees from Shanghai, including an Australian Stern Hu, were detained for bribery and commercial espionage during the annual iron ore price talks. more
The Dragon's Embrace
China's Soft Power Is a Threat to the West
By Erich Follath
China may have no intentions of using its growing military might, but that is of little comfort for Western countries. From the World Trade Organization to the United Nations, Beijing is happy to use its soft power to get what it wants -- and it is wrong-footing the West at every turn.
Former Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen once told me, half with amusement and half with resignation, that military people around the world are all more or less the same. "They can only be happy when they have the most up-to-date toys," he said.
If this is true, Beijing's generals must be very happy at the moment. China has increased its military budget by 7.5 percent in 2010, making funds available for new fighter jets and more cruise missiles. Beijing's military buildup is a source of concern for Western experts, even though the US's military budget is about eight times larger. Some feel that China poses a threat to East Asia, while others are even convinced that Beijing is preparing to conquer the world militarily.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike, say, the United States, the People's Republic has not attacked any other country in more than three decades, not since it launched an offensive against Vietnam in 1979. And even though Beijing's leaders periodically rattle their sabers against Taiwan, which they refer to as a "renegade province," they have no intention of entering into any armed conflicts.
Unlike many in the West, they have long since recognized that bombs are little more than deterrents these days. In today's asymmetric conflicts, it is difficult to hold on to territory captured in bloody battles. War is an instrument of the past, and Mao's argument that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun" no longer holds true today. more