China Geopolitical Watch – From 7 January to 13 January 2023

Watch contributors: Thomas Taochy, Vadim Leduc Argenta, Protasius Isyudanto, Anna Balawender (coordinator)

08/01/2023: China invests in vast Simandou iron ore mine in Guinea to secure supply -Thomas Taochy-

China invested more resources in iron ore mines on January 8. Located in the Simandou mountain range in the Nzérékoré region of southern Guinea, the mines are said to contain 2.4 billion tonnes of high-quality iron ore and are the world’s largest untapped reserve. According to the SCMP, the primary interest of the mines is to reduce China’s dependence on Australian iron in the face of geopolitical tensions. Indeed, nearly 60% of China’s iron imports come from Australia.

Already in September, the Global Times reported that China’s Baowu Steel Group Corp and the «Joint-ventures» of Chinese and foreign companies SMB Winning Consortium and Simfer had signed a first contract with the Guinean government. This agreement stipulated the construction of ports, railways and buildings by the Chinese companies.

The media outlet Caixin also reveals that the Simadou mines will be able to produce up to 100 million tonnes of iron per year, rivaling Australia’s Fortescues Metal or Vale’s mines in Brazil.  

09/01/2023: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Davos next week. -Thomas Taochy- 

Several sources announced on January 9 that outgoing Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Davos in Switzerland next week for the first World Economic Forum since the pandemic. It will also be the first time a senior Chinese leader has attended the event in person since the pandemic began.

The media outlet SCMP reports that the summit is expected to take place from Monday for five days. As yet, it is not possible to confirm meetings between the Prime Minister and other leaders. Several senior US officials

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