Photos: Generous gifts of “friendship projects” to less developed countries from China
February 1, 2012Jing Gao4 CommentsAfrican Union, African Union Headquarters, checkbook diplomacy, chequebook diplomacy, China-Africa friendship, chinese aid, Chinese generosity, concessional loan, Diplomacy, foreign aid, friendship projects, Ministry of Sugar Daddies, money diplomacy
Since the 1950s when it was a newly founded nation still suffering from financial strain and resources shortage, China has been providing aid to countries it considers allies. Less developed countries, a majority of which are in Africa, have seen behemoth edifices meant as a friendly gesture spring up. Six decades later, the “gifts” from China only seem more generous than ever. (Read: China donates school buses to Marcedonia, sparking public anger.)
Yaoundé Multi-purpose Stadium, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The multi-purpose stadium situated in the downtown Yaounde, is the largest of its kind in Cameroon as well as in central Africa. It can hold up to 5,400 people. The 13,000-square-meter stadium is built on built on 40,000 square meters of land. The construction was started in January, 2006, and was handed over in December 2008. Total investment is estimated at 160 million RMB.
Stadium in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Construction of multi-functional stadium funded fully by Chinese government began in 2008. It was inaugurated in December, 2010. The 5,045-seat stadium has a total floor area of 15,304 square meters and occupies an area of 4 hectares. It is thus far the most versatile Olympic-standard, multi-use stadium with the highest capacity in Mongolia. The total investment approaches 110 million RMB.
The National Stadium, Maputo, Mozambique
The National Stadium of Mozambique is located in a suburb of Maputo, the nation’s capital city. The sports facility, with a floor area of 42,000 square meters on a land of 270,000 square meters, can accommodate 42,000 spectators, and was built to Olympic standards. Inaugurated on January 17, 2011, the project cost a total 500 million RMB, or 60 million US dollars.
The Estadio Nacional stadium, San José, Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Estadio Nacional, donated by the Chinese government, is the most modern, multi-use stadium to be built in Central America. Inaugurated on March, 24, 2011, the 35,000-seat stadium was built at a cost of 500 million RMB, or roughly US$100 million.
The National Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
The National Stadium was built under a Chinese aid program according to the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and Olympic standards. Its construction started in July, 2004 and completed in December 2008 . It is hailed as another monument of China-Africa friendship. The 60,000-seat cost over 400 million RMB, or roughly US$50 million.
Madagascar International Conference Center
The conference center, occupying an area of over 4 hectares, was donated by the Chinese government and built at a cost of over 14 million U.S. dollars for the scheduled African Union summit meeting in July, 2009. The center has one big meeting house with some 1,000 seats, several small meeting rooms and two separate buildings for media and for dining. It was officially handed over to Madagascar in May, 2008.
The National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
The project, funded by concessional loans from China, is located in the capital city of Port of Spain on a land of nearly 40,000 square meters, which is by far the most representative architecture in the Caribbean region. It was inaugurated in November 2009 at a total cost of US$100 million.
The National Grand Theater, Dakar, Senegal
The National Grand Theater in central Dakar with a capacity of 1,800 people is one of the most important Chinese donations to Senegal after the two countries restored diplomatic relations in 2005. The project, officially handed over to the Senegalese government in April, 2011, was modeled after the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The total cost was 233.5 million RMB, or roughly US$35 million.
The National Grand Theater, Dakar, Senegal
The theater covers an area of 3.442 hectares with a floor area of 20,671 square meters. In 2009, Chinese president Hu Jintao attended the cornerstone ceremony for this structure in February, 2009.
The Government’s Council, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Friendship Building, named by Cambodian leader Hun Sen, is built in the capital city Phnom Penh to house the Cambodian government’s council of ministers with aid provided by China. The structure has seven stories above ground and one below ground. Its total investment is estimated at 260 million RMB.
Sports facilities around the world with Chinese aid
Top left: The Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and Barbudato built in 2007 in preparation for hosting the Cricket World Cup.
Top right: China-aided stadium in Liberia in 1986, renovated in 2003 after diplomatic relations between the two countries were resumed.
Bottom left: Barbados Stadium built in 1990 with Chinese aid
Bottom right: The Moi International Sports Center in Kenya was built in 1992, the largest Chinese development project in Kenya.
“Friendship projects” around the world
Top left: The National Theatre, opened in 1992, was built by China and offered as a gift to Ghana. From 2005 to 2007, China provided funds to fully renovate the theatre.
Top right: A China-funeded international conference center in Mauritaria build in 1996.
Bottom left: Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre
Bottom right: An international conference center built in Guyana with Chinese funds; the largest Chinese development project in Guyana.
Government buildings built with Chinese aid
Top left: Côte d’Ivoire
Top right: Benin
Bottom left: Maldives
Bottom right: Guinea
African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The new African Union headquarters built and fully funded by the Chinese government at a cost of $200 million was inagurated on January 28, 2012. The towering building – Addis Ababa’s tallest – symbolizes China’s strengthening ties with Africa. Chinese generosity is likely to be continued.
Selected comments from NetEase:
齐天大圣AAA [网易山东省青岛市网友]：2012-01-31 08:28:19 发表
I can only heave a soft sigh…
秋飞天天 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]：2012-01-31 16:53:37 发表
Even though I knew this long ago, the sight of these pictures published here makes my heart dripping with blood.
网易北京市网友 [闷骚酱油男] 的原贴：1
Any aid comes at a price. You can’t only look at what the cost is without looking what we get in exchange for that.
网易浙江省台州市网友 [pingguo19831] 的原贴：2
So what have we got in exchange for that? Since you know it, tell me about it.
网易江苏省南京市网友 [V美丽的狗V] 的原贴：3
Some netizens say we got things like resources and oil in some countries in return. I would say this is nonsense. No more waste of words. My only question is: why the consumer prices are so high? Why are oil prices so high? These are on a par with those of a developed country, whereas (our average) income is on a par with that of an African country. Actually what we get in return is nothing but an empty promise: TW (note: suggesting Taiwan) is an inalienable part of…When a different head of state reigns, just wait for it, he will squander money again in return for this promise!
In return, African brothers pushed us into the United Nations. In return for support for China in the international community!
网易湖北省荆州市网友 [qw02416] 的原贴：5
Why the hell does support for China in the international community concern you! Will you then be able to afford housing and medical expenses if the support is strong? Will children have school buses to ride and be away from poisonous food every day then? Enough with your pathetic pride!
When some day, we are isolated as a result of the Yankees’ courtship (of other countries), and any small potato can come over to beat you, when you have no gut to live in your big house and need to hide in an underground air-raid shelter, when you don’t have the nerve to drive your luxury car during the day, you then will know how badly China needs support in the international community!
Why I have never heard about U.S. providing aid to any country? Is the so-called support as a result of diplomatic bribery really reliable?
网易河南省焦作市网友 [tdior] 的原贴：8
One’s own hildren at home are short of food and clothes, have to live with ailments because of having no money for treatment. But one takes out cash to build houses for his neighbors for the sole purpose of getting praised. What kind of human is he?
不顶我轮回天朝 [网易福建省厦门市网友]：2012-01-31 21:04:52 发表
The next step will be building affordable housing for the Africans. Cheers, Africans! (I) wish to be an African in the next life, because I would be aided by the responsible superpower.
网易北京市网友 [不要急] 的原贴：1
Now you understand why in the rest of the world they all consider Chinese upstarts/arrivistes?
南斗星 [网易福建省厦门市网友]：2012-01-31 10:19:29 发表
Our school which has been open for 50 years is to this day intolerably shabby. What is more outrageous is, ZF (note: slang for zheng fu, or government) wanted to sell our land!
网易日本网友 [哎呀吼] 的原贴：
Shitizens (Note: slang, citizens treated like shit) won’t understand it. So based on your argument, why did we fight the war to resist U.S. aggression and aid North Korea in Mao’s era when our stomachs were never full? Why we helped Africa build rail roads when we had no warm clothes?
网易福建省网友 [冲天烈焰] 的原贴：
The war to resist U.S. aggression and aid North Korea came at the cost of reunification with Taiwan. You think the decision was a right one?? Have kept feeding a rogue state when the price is incomplete sovereignty and separation across the (Taiwan) Strait.
ygpjob [网易陕西省西安市网友]：2012-02-01 13:07:20 发表
They hang out with those countries of poor niggers every day and turn a blind eye to its shitizens.
everynightsport [网易江苏省苏州市网友]：2012-02-01 13:01:01 发表
This article left out one item: aided North Korea with hundreds of thousands of lives before.