Monday, December 14, 2009

Next Stop, Ecuador

Together with Bolivia and Peru, China has reached another arms agreement (and another PLAN goodwill visit) with a South American nation, Ecuador.

Details of this 52 million USD credit, out of the package of 442 million, is still largely unknown. Some has suggested that it is geared for four civilian MA60 transports instead of warplanes. Previously, China has been reluctant to push too hard into the South American arms market fearing negative response from Washington (here), the recent string of deals could signal a shift in policy.

In January 2009, Ecuador imported a 60 million USD air defense radar system from the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation. Prior to 2009, the Chinese military sales to Ecuador was minimal (Type 85 AAA, HJ-8 ATGM and 30 HN-5A MANPOD)

Ecuador buys Chinese warplanes

by Staff Writers
Quito (AFP) Nov 24, 2009
Ecuador and China signed three cooperation agreements on Tuesday worth 442 million dollars and obtained credit to buy four warplanes, officials here said.

The agreements were signed during the visit of Jia Qinglin, chair of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, who met with President Rafael Correa as part of a tour of Latin America.

According to Correa's office, the economic and technical cooperation agreements include a 1.4 million dollar donation, as well as two lines of credit -- one for 2.9 million dollars payable within ten years, and another for 438 million dollars to buy the four Chinese military planes, destined for Ecuador's Air Force.

Beijing's direct investment in Ecuador has reached 2.2 billion dollars, making it one of the top targets of Chinese investment
in Latin America, Qinglin told reporters through an interpreter.

Trade between the two countries reached 2.4 billion dollars in 2008, a 50 percent jump compared to the previous year, he said.

Meanwhile some 300 Chinese investors and business people are set to meet in Bogota Wednesday and Thursday with their counterparts from eight Latin American countries in a bid to drum up business.

The event, the third of its kind, seeks to "promote Chinese investment in Latin America, identify Latin American products they may be interested in importing, and those that we want to buy," said Alejandro Ossa, a Colombian trade official.

Latin American exports to China reached 68.6 billion dollars in 2008, according to official figures, a 42 percent increase over 2007.

China's main imports from the region include iron, soy beans, oil and other minerals.

Chinese navy fleet arrives in Ecuador for goodwill visit

2009-12-11 03:45:03 GMT2009-12-11 11:45:03 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese navy fleet arrived Thursday in Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, to begin a four-day goodwill visit.

Major General Wang Fushan, vice-commander of the North Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, led the two-vessel fleet composed of missile destroyer Shijiazhuang and supply ship Hongzehu.

This was the Chinese Navy's second visit to Ecuador since 2002, Wang said, adding that the visit would be conducive to deepening the friendship and understanding between the two countries' militaries.

Chinese and Ecuadorian navy soldiers will conduct a series of exchange activities during the visit. The Chinese vessels will also be open to local visitors.

Departing from Qingdao, eastern China on Oct. 18 for a four-nation tour, the Chinese navy fleet has visited Chile and Peru. It will also visit French Polynesia.

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