Chinese military donation contributes to Bolivian peace, development: Morales
English.news.cn 2010-03-31 09:45:06
LA PAZ, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Bolivian President Evo Morales on Tuesday thanked the Chinese government for donating military equipment, saying the move will help promote his country's peace and development.
At a ceremony here attended by Morales, Chinese Ambassador Qu Shengwu and some Bolivian ministers, China handed over 37 buses, 21 vans, and 40 outboard engines for boats to the Bolivian Armed Forces.
The donation, worth 2.6 million U.S. dollars, marks the third Chinese contribution to the Bolivian military in recent years.
"It is the authorities' obligation to equip the Armed Forces to serve the Bolivian people. These engines will be of much help to the social programs, to the combat against illegal trafficking and to safeguarding the security of the citizens," Morales said.
Qu said that the donation is a part of the "friendship and cooperation protocol" of the armed forces of both countries.
"Both countries have common interests in safeguarding peace and promoting development. China has always given its support to Bolivia in its development," Qu said.
China donated two modern patrol boats to the Bolivian army in 2009,after its previous delivery of 34 trucks, five buses and three vans in 2007.
Bolivia creates space agency for Chinese satellite
LA PAZ, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia said Wednesday it will create a space agency to manage and execute a satellite project of Chinese companies to improve communications in the country.
The Bolivian Space Agency will promote technology transfer, human resources training and the application of satellite communication programs in education, defense, medicine and detection of climate phenomena, said Public Works and Services Minister Walter Delgadillo at a press conference.
Bolivia opts for Chinese military equipment
Published: March. 31, 2010 at 3:34 PM
LA PAZ, Bolivia, March 31 (UPI) -- Military suppliers hoping to take part in Bolivia's military regeneration program have been beaten to the game by the Chinese, who are supplying the Latin American country with military vehicles and possibly more.
Military and security industries, often backed by governments, have been pursuing Latin American markets to expand their customer base on the continent. Both France and Russia sent high-powered delegations to South America in 2009 to pitch for lucrative arms sales on preferential credit terms. Russia signed deals with Venezuela and France initialed agreements in Brazil worth tens of billions of dollars.
Brazil insists on transfer of technology and deals that will enable it to develop its own defense manufacturing industries. The smaller countries, however, lack both financial and human resources to take on technology-transfer arrangements and prefer instead a straightforward import of manufactured defense items.
The China-Bolivia agreement is one such deal, in which the Chinese have begun supplying Bolivia with military vehicles and spare parts and more, possibly on easy repayment terms, analysts said.
Bolivian President Evo Morales said China would also help Bolivia launch a low-orbit satellite to fight drug cartels.
Bolivia has been struggling with outmoded defense equipment but its deal with China sparked speculation that military modernization signaled border problems with neighboring Paraguay.
Bolivia and Paraguay went to war in the 1930s over rumors of oil deposits in the bordering Gran Chaco region, a find never confirmed with a discovery. In the fighting, the bloodiest in South America in the 20th century, Paraguay captured some Bolivian land, which it continues to hold. The loss of land to Paraguay is a sore point with Bolivians who officially mourn each year the loss to Chile of their access to the sea in the 1883 War of the Pacific.
Despite a return to peacetime conditions, any military armament triggers tension between the two countries, which Morales was keen to defuse in comments this week.
He denied that Bolivia's military purchases from China were a provocation to Paraguay,
and condemned critics for trying to stir up trouble between the neighbors.
He called for peaceful coexistence to deliver more effective economic programs to the people of the two countries.
Paraguay media reported Bolivia has eight bases and 9,000 troops near the Paraguayan border. Morales said Bolivia needs to strengthen its border security against drug smuggling and armed militants usually working with drug smugglers.
In provincial polls scheduled for Sunday, Morales expects to consolidate power in elections to governors' posts, provincial assemblies and other local posts.
About 5 million Bolivian registered voters will elect provincial governors, members of regional legislative assemblies, mayors, councilors and local indigenous authorities.
This will be the first time that voters will be able to elect autonomous provincial governments in Bolivia under its new constitution. The government says it wants to restore normal security conditions, eradicate crime and drug smuggling with the cooperation of all citizens.