China does not support rogue African states, it creates them —new study says | Mail & Guardian Africa (Mobile edition)

WITH China’s flagship event showcasing how its influence has grown in Africa set for the continent this year, the focus will inevitably be on the amount of new aid and loans Beijing dangles at the continent.

The last summit of the triennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) saw president Hu Jintao put on the table $20 billion in loans to African countries, doubling its previous offer.

As bilateral trade volumes have grown, Beijing will be expected to offer billions more at this year’s forum in South Africa, despite its domestic economy having cooled in recent months.

However, Africa can also expect to witness notably more incidences of state-sponsored domestic violence, both against civilians and competitors such as rebel groups, as Chinese aid increases, a new study shows.

Authors Roudabeh Kishi and Clionadh Raleigh, of the University of Sussex’s Department of Geography, say this effect is largely because aid from China is fungible, with its use determined by recipient countries.

Their working paper, titled Chinese Aid and Africa’s Pariah States, finds that political violence by the state increases with receipt of Chinese aid.

The same is not observed with aid from ‘traditional’ or Western donors, which comes tagged with conditions.

via China does not support rogue African states, it creates them —new study says | Mail & Guardian Africa (Mobile edition).

transatlantic trade agreement & toxic chemicals

Posted Jun. 21, 2013 / Posted by: Bill Waren

On July 8, in Washington, D.C., trade negotiators from the United States and the European Union are expected to open the first round of talks for a Trans Atlantic free trade agreement TAFTA or as it is formally known, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP.  The United States is pushing for a transatlantic deal that not only integrates the trade policies of the U.S. and E.U., but also deregulates their economies.Because tariffs are already relatively low between the U.S. and Europe, TAFTA negotiations will instead focus on regulatory “barriers” to transatlantic trade and investment.[i] This may result in dangerous deregulation of environmental and public health safeguards – including those related to toxic chemicals, and will likely have a chilling effect on any future efforts to enact similar protections. Specifically, the E.U.’s more precautionary approach to chemicals management system should not be “harmonized down” to low U.S. standards.

via Updates: news releases and updates.

Chile’s ex-chief negotiator drops a bombshell on TPPA | Scoop News

Chile’s ex-chief negotiator drops a bombshell on TPPA | Scoop News.

‘Here is an insider who knows the texts. Rodrigo Contreras has sat in the negotiating room for several years and tried to get the US and others to back off their most damaging demands. He now believes the current direction of the TPPA poses a threat to his country’s economic and social development’.

‘The evidence continues to mount against this agreement every day. New Zealand cannot continue to negotiate the TPPA under the shroud of secrecy. With many chapters nearing closure, it is way past the time to release what is on the table so we can evaluate and debate its implications’, Kelsey said.
*For an English translation see: The New Chessboard – English Translation of Rodrigo Contreras 

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