‘Impact of Guinea Military coup to Chinese projects manageable’

BEIJING: The coup in Guinea will test China’s ability to protect its overseas interests, Chinese analysts said on Monday, as the world’s second largest economy pours increasing amounts of resources into Africa, which totaled $110 billion as of 2019.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a routine press conference on Monday that China opposes any attempt to seize power via coup and calls for the immediate release of Guinea’s President Alpha Condé.
“We call on all parties to exercise restraint, bear in mind the fundamental interests of Guinea and resolve issues through dialogue and consultation,” said Wang.
As Guinea is abundant in iron and aluminum ore, some observers believed that Chinese projects in the African country are aimed at reducing its reliance on the ore imported from Australia. Observers also worry that the situation in the country will impact China’s cooperation with the previous government. However, Chinese experts noted that there is no need to be too worried.
The political change in Guinea has attracted worldwide attention, as the country plays a vital role in providing industrial feed material to China, the world’s factory. Roughly 50 percent of all China’s imported bauxite is shipped out of the country. Bauxite is the raw material for aluminum, the world’s most needed nonferrous metal used in a long list of modern products from iPhones and airplanes to cars and furniture.
The political unrest has already resulted in market jitters. Aluminum prices soared on Monday with the most traded contract for October delivery rising to its highest level since July 2008 during intraday trading on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
The coup has closed Guinea’s airport to foreign nationals but has so far not affected shipments at several ports involved in bauxite exports, an industry insider familiar with the matter told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Monday.
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of aluminum. In 2020, China imported 52.7 million tons of bauxite from Guinea.
A total of 14 Chinese state-owned and private companies are involved in the aluminum businesses in Guinea, according to aluminum industry research firm Antaike.
Besides aluminum, the coup has also put iron ore under the spotlight. Guinea is home to the Simandou project, the world’s largest undeveloped iron ore deposit. The project has accumulated reserves of more than 10 billion tons of high-grade iron ore, and Chinese companies have invested heavily in the mining project.
– The Daily Mail-China Daily News exchange item