Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, July 29, 2005

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China’s Influence in Africa
Smith Schedules Thursday Hearing

BACKGROUND: China – the world’s second largest consumer of oil products at 6.7 million barrels per day – is expected to double its daily consumption to 13.4 million barrels by 2025.  China’s increased need for oil explains why the Beijing regime has targeted resource-rich African nations for energy-related development.  Agreements on major business deals and costly projects have been an important tool in China’s efforts to strengthen ties with strategic African countries.  China’s deepest and most controversial engagement in Africa is in Sudan, where the Chinese National Petroleum Company has developed an oil field in the southern part of the country.  According to Human Rights Watch, China has supplied Sudan with ammunition, tanks, helicopters, fighter aircraft, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines.  Analysts are concerned that China’s growing role in Africa will undercut efforts by the United States and other Western countries to promote transparency, improved governance, and democracy.  Diplomatic and economic pressure to encourage reform, including sanctions, could have a reduced effect if regimes look to China as an alternative source of aid, trade, and investment. 

WHAT:                             Subcommittee Oversight Hearing:
                                          China’s Influence in Africa

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations
U.S. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

WHEN:                             2:30 p.m., Thursday, July 28, 2005

WHERE:                          Room 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

WITNESSES:                  Panel I:
                                          Michael Ranneberger
                                          Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs,
                                          U.S. Department of State;
                                          Panel II:
                                          Carolyn Bartholomew
                                          Commissioner, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (invited);
                                          Allen Thornton
                                          President, Environmental Investigation Agency; and
                                          Ernest Wilson
, Ph.D.,
                                          Assistant Professor in the Departments of Government, Politics and Africa-American Studies,
                                          University of Maryland, College Park.

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