Thursday, November 3, 2022

China-Tanzania Joint Statement

 China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on 3 November 2022 a "Joint Statement on Establishing a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the People's Republic of China and the United Republic of Tanzania."

The joint statement resulted from the visit to China by Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan beginning on 2 November 2022.  There were surprisingly few new commitments in the joint statement and no direct reference to the controversial Bagamoyo port project.  The most important new development was the elevation of Tanzania's bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.  The other new developments were:

--Provision of duty-free treatment for 98 percent of tariff goods originating from Tanzania.  (This will have limited impact, however, because Tanzania does not have much that China wants to purchase.  Tanzania imports ten times more goods by value from China than it exports to China.)

--Upgrading and renovation of the TAZARA railway between Dar es Salaam and Zambia's copper mines.  (China has done this before; it is not clear who is paying this time.)

--Providing an undetermined number of additional scholarships for Tanzanian students.  (The joint statement provided no numbers on past scholarships or the future increase.)

--Invitation for Xi Jinping to visit Tanzania in 2024 as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China.