China–Mozambique relations

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China-Mozambique relations
Map indicating locations of China and Mozambique



China–Mozambique relations date back to the 1960s, when China began to support the struggle of Mozambique's Marxist-oriented FRELIMO party against Portuguese colonialism.[1] Diplomatic relations were formally established on 25 June 1975, soon after Mozambique gained independence from Portugal.[2] In November 2006, Mozambique became the thirteenth African country to be added to China's official list of tourism destinations.[3]

Bilateral visits[edit]

Hu Jintao, president of the People's Republic of China, made an official visit to Mozambique in February 2007, during which he and Armando Guebuza, the president of Mozambique, pledged further cooperation in the areas of economy, technology, agriculture, education and sports.[4] Shanghai and Maputo share a sister city relationship.

Movement of people[edit]

From 1992 to 2003, 22 Mozambicans went to China as international students. Estimates for the number of Chinese nationals residing in Mozambique as of 2007 ranged from 1,500 to 12,000.[1][5]

Trade and investment[edit]

China's pattern of trade with Mozambique differs from that with their major trading partners on the African continent, such as Angola, Nigeria, and Sudan. China mainly imports agricultural and fisheries products from Mozambique, but few raw materials, while exporting manufactured goods and machinery. Between 2004 and 2006, bilateral trade tripled in value from US$70 million to US$210 million, making China one of Mozambique's three largest trading partners, behind South Africa and Portugal.[1] China has also become a major buyer of Mozambican timber; despite local regulations forbidding the export of unprocessed logs, which aim to force foreign countries hoping to gain access to Mozambican resources to invest in setting up processing facilities in the country, many logs are exported illegally. Chinese businessmen are not typically involved in the actual practise of logging; instead, it is performed mainly by locals, who then bring the logs to buyers in port cities.[6] China has also become an increasingly important player in Mozambique's construction industry; over one-third of Mozambique's new road construction is now carried out by Chinese contractors. Contractors from other countries, who have been losing out on business due to their higher costs, complain that the Chinese contractors make no effort to transfer skills or technology to locals, and do not make use of local or regional labour subcontractors, instead preferring to import and manage their own workers. However, Chinese-run construction sites are better-organised and have a lower rate of pilferage.[7] In the first 10 months of 2012, the value of trade was US$1.1 billion, with Mozambique being the 23rd largest trading partner of China.[8]

Development aid[edit]

In addition to trade, China has begun providing development aid to Mozambique as well. The Export-Import Bank of China have made soft loans to Mozambique for infrastructure construction, for example providing US$60 million in 2006, and have twice cancelled large proportions of the country's debt to China, forgiving US$22 million in 2001 and US$30 million in 2007. They have also built a number of government buildings and public facilities free of charge, such as the national parliament building and the national stadium.[1] According to AidData, from 2000 to 2012, there are approximately 52 Chinese official development finance projects identified in Zimbabwe through various media reports.[9]



  1. ^ a b c d Horta, Loro (13 August 2007). "China, Mozambique: old friends, new business". ISN Security Update. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  2. ^ Diplomatic Ties Between China and African Countries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People's Republic of China
  3. ^ "China grants Mozambique tourism destination status". China Daily. 4 November 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  4. ^ "Chinese, Mozambican presidents pledge to uplift bilateral ties". Xinhua News Agency. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  5. ^ Jian, Hong (2007). "莫桑比克华侨的历史与现状 (The History and Status Quo of Overseas Chinese in Mozambique)". West Asia and Africa. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (5). ISSN 1002-7122. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  6. ^ "Mozambique: Chainsaws cut down more than just trees". IRIN Africa. 30 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  7. ^ Bosten, Emmy (19 January 2006). "China's Engagement in the Construction Industry of Southern Africa: the case of Mozambique". Asian and other Drivers of Global Change. Institute of Development Studies. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  8. ^ "Mozambique-China Trade Continues to Grow". 9 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  9. ^ Austin Strange, Bradley C. Parks, Michael J. Tierney, Andreas Fuchs, Axel Dreher, and Vijaya Ramachandran. 2013. China’s Development Finance to Africa: A Media-Based Approach to Data Collection. CGD Working Paper 323. Washington DC: Center for Global Development.