Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mozambique gets $3m in Chinese military aid

MAPUTO (AFP) — Mozambique will receive three million dollars in military aid from China under an agreement signed recently in Beijing, Mozambique's defence ministry said Wednesday.

A defence ministry spokesman said the money would be used to purchase logistical equipment.

"The Chinese defence ministry guaranteed that, despite the world financial crisis, it will continue to support the armed forces of Mozambique with logistical assistance and training," ministry spokesman Cristovao Artur Chume said in a statement.

China has taken a keen interest in Mozambique in recent years.

The country became Mozambique's second-largest investor last year, bringing in 76.8 million dollars (56 million euros) -- second only to neighbouring South Africa.

Chinese financing has funded such projects as a hydroelectric dam, a convention centre and a national football stadium.

China's role in Africa has expanded rapidly as its economy has boomed.

It is the continent's second-biggest trading partner after the United States, a relationship fuelled in part by petroleum imports from such oil-rich African countries as Angola and Sudan.

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