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China's Former Premier Wen Jiabao

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Wen Jiabao

Former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao

(Credit: Liu Jin/Getty Images)

Who Is Wen Jiabao?:

Wen Jiabao was China's Premier since 2003 - 2013. He was second in power only to China's President, Hu Jintao. Premier Wen was responsible for implementing policy set by President Hu. In this capacity, he took the lead in driving China's phenomenal double-digit economic growth.

Premier Wen Was Responsible for Driving Trade Alliances:

Premier Wen strengthened trade relations with key energy and commodity producers in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America. Instead of aid, China offers technical assistance and acceptance of political structures that the West denounces. By offering long-term assurances of demand for goods, trade agreements provide protection for the countries which produce the commodities. The result is higher commodity prices for countries not part of the agreements.

Premier Wen personally visited the heads of state of Egypt, Ghana, Republic of Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. More than 71 trade agreements were signed, which include China’s continued support for infrastructure construction, medical care and technical training. China uses its position on the UN Security Council to draw attention to conflicts in Africa. President Hu also negotiated trade alliances with African heads of state, including Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya.

China and Africa combined contain one third of the world’s population. The China-Africa Cooperation Forum, established in 2000, resulted in a trade volume of $40 billion, with China’s trade deficit at $2.4 billion. China has remitted 10.5 billion yuan of debt, removed tariffs for 190 commodities, and trained 10,000 Africans. China invested in over 900 infrastructure projects, including a railway from Tanzania to Zambia. It dispatched 16,000 doctors who provided medical treatment to 240 million Africans.

Other Chinese investments include:

  • In Ghana, construction of the road linking the capital Accra with inland Kumasi.
  • Angola is China's second largest African trading partner, and largest supplier of oil. China will provide technology training.
  • South African trade agreements in the areas of technology, health, infrastructure construction, biotech, training for 300 in the next three years, and Chinese language teaching.
  • In Tanzania, construction of an agricultural demo center, an anti-malaria demo center and production of anti-malaria drugs.

Premier Jiabao Has Driven Growth in Aircraft Manufacturing:

A few years ago, Premier Wen announced China's entry into jumbo (150+ passengers) aircraft manufacturing. China is looking for foreign partners to build upon the elementary technology it already possesses.

Jumbo aircraft manufacturing will speed up technology advances in China's aviation industry and related industrial sectors. Boeing predicts that China, with the second largest aviation market after the U.S., will need more than 2,600 new airliners, worth $213 billion, in the next 20 years. About a quarter of Airbus airliner parts and a third of Boeing's parts are currently manufactured in China.

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