As the U.S. tries to pull out the last of our troops in Iraq, here’s the irony of all ironies. From Gulf News:
Baghdad seeks investments from Beijing
Baghdad : China may write off all of Iraq’s $8.5 billion (Dh31.2 billion) of debt accrued under the rule of Saddam Hussain, Iraqi finance minister Baqer Al Zubaidi said yesterday.
“The Chinese government expressed readiness to write off $8.5 billion of debts owed by Iraq,” Al Zubaidi said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website yesterday.
Iraq is keen to see China play even a bigger role in the reconstruction of the war-torn country, the country’s top envoy to Beijing told the China Daily in an interview last week.
“After 2003, China has supported us very much and reduced Iraqi debts by 80 per cent, which is greatly appreciated,” Iraqi Ambassador to China, Mohammad Sabir Esmail, told the paper, referring to a $6.8-billion debt cut announced by China last month.
Esmail also invited Chinese companies to invest and operate in the country.
“I call on all Chinese companies to come and take up projects in rebuilding Iraq,” he told China Daily.
“China has many giant companies qualified to participate in rebuilding Iraq and… our country will remain a big workshop in the next 20 years,” he said.
Some Chinese firms, mainly in the energy and retail sectors, are already operating in Iraq.
These companies include oil giants such as PetroChina, Sinochem, CNOOC and Sinopec subsidiary Addax Petroleum.
Well, how about them apples? All that killing of civilians, torture, multiple tours of duty, brain-traumatized U.S. soldiers returning home…and the Chinese are strolling into Iraq?
This comes on the heels of U.S. companies being shut out of oil contracts in December 2009:
By Vivienne Walt Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009
Those who claim that the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 to get control of the country’s giant oil reserves will be left scratching their heads by the results of last weekend’s auction of Iraqi oil contracts: Not a single U.S. company secured a deal in the auction of contracts that will shape the Iraqi oil industry for the next couple of decades. Two of the most lucrative of the multi-billion-dollar oil contracts went to two countries which bitterly opposed the U.S. invasion — Russia and China — while even Total Oil of France, which led the charge to deny international approval for the war at the U.N. Security Council in 2003, won a bigger stake than the Americans in the most recent auction
So, it looks like Iraq has a budding friendship with China which continues to grab commodities with its masterful use of “soft diplomacy” (already doing the same thing in Africa) and now has a nice firm foothold right in the center of the action in the Middle East.
So, after seven years of mayhem and the draining of our national treasury, that’s the result.
Good work, Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Condi.
Condi is now regretting that the U.S. didn’t work more closely to rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam, but states that she’d still “liberate” the Iraqis and that George W. will be vindicated for his actions in the future.
More irony: she made her comments during a talk on “The Future of Asia” at the Chinese University of Hong Kong…
Filed under: Current Politics, World News | Tagged: China, China writing off Iraqi debt, Chinese soft diplomcy, CNOOC, Condi, Conoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, Gulf News, Iraq war, Iraqi Ambassador to China Mohammad Sabir Esmail, Iraqi reconstruction, Middle East, Petrochina, Rummy, Saddam Hussein, Sinochem, Sinopec subsidiary Addax Petroleum | 2 Comments »