China opens mission in Sao Tome and Principe

14 November 2013

China plans to open a trade mission in Sao Tome and Principe, 16 years after diplomatic relations broke down between the two countries, Minister Osvaldo Abreu said Wednesday in Sao Tome.

The Sao Tome Public Works, Infrastructure and Natural Resources minister, said that the “link of a commercial nature” with Beijing had been made official Tuesday at the former Chinese embassy in the Sao Tome capital.

The minister said that “the move is intended to safeguard the interests of the people of Sao Tome and Principe,” from an economic point of view and noted that the mission was related to a number of trade and business projects between the two States.

The minister said that Chinese traders and businesspeople from the industrial sector were due to visit Sao Tome and Principe within the scope of the new mission, and mentioned that construction of a deep water port, costing over US$400 million.

The new trade mission follows a visit by Sao Tome’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities, Natália Umbelina, to China in October and the Minister for Planning and Finance, Hélio Almeida, to take part in the 4th Ministerial Conference of the Forum for Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, at the beginning of November, as an observer.

China cut off diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe in 1997 when the West African archipelago established diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Diplomat Zhang Hanwu was nominated to head up the mission in Sao Tome and Principe. (macauhub)