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A potential deal between China and Iran worries African oil producers

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A potential deal between China and Iran worries African oil producers

Praatha News Agency
286 2020-07-18


News of a potential huge deal between China and Iran that includes massive Chinese investment in Iranian infrastructure in exchange for Beijing obtaining crude oil from Tehran for 25 years has sparked a wave of concern within the oil and energy sectors on the African continent, which has known an unprecedented flow of Chinese investment over the past two decades.,

Fearing that Beijing's dependence on Africa's oil will diminish for the benefit of its suppliers in the Gulf and other parts of the world.

The "New York Times" newspaper reported in a report published this week that China and Iran are about to complete a potential huge deal to exchange "oil for infrastructure", under which Beijing will pump billions of investments in Iran's energy, telecommunications and financial services sectors in exchange for China obtaining oil supplies Iranian crude for 25 years.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hua Shunyin, declined to comment on a question from a radio by Radio China International regarding the report of the American newspaper.

The newspaper "New York Times" that the two parties acknowledged the existence of talks between them in this regard, but they were reluctant to go into details.

There is widespread speculation about the deal, which some say could be worth more than $400 billion, which observers say will be a lifeline for Tehran, whose economy is suffering due to US sanctions imposed on it.

Observers are wondering, would such a possible deal between Beijing and Tehran amount to a Chinese aversion to African crude oil?

Former US ambassador and prominent researcher on China-Africa relations, David Chen, noted in a testimony he gave to the US-China Economic and Security Relations Review Council last May that, during 2008, China acquired 30 percent of its oil needs from Africa, but it After 10 years, that number fell to just 18 percent, and if that deal continues with Iran and comes into existence, it highlights China’s continued diversification of crude oil supplies away from Africa.

The figures indicate that China has become dependent on its new move on Gulf oil.

Chinese oil imports from Saudi Arabia jumped sharply by 47 percent last year, making Beijing the largest single customer to the queen.

Likewise, China is investing heavily in the oil infrastructure in Iraq and is eager with its eyes to increase its imports of Iraqi oil.

Therefore, observers consider that the Iranian deal will enhance China's dependence on the Gulf to import an important share of its oil needs from there, which is likely at the same time to reduce its dependence on its supplies of Angolan and Sudanese crude.

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