Rising Chinese debt may Congo to set up monitoring station
China has been using predatory debt trap model to force Democratic Republic of Congo to set-up a telecom factory through Huawei in the country.
The Chinese telecom company Huawei, has been vying for setting up a research and marketing centre in Congo for some time. The proposal has been presented to Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso. However, no decision has been taken so far for granting a green signal to the project. There is all likelihood that it would be given concurrence for set-up a monitoring station in Congo at a remote location under the garb of a Huawei telecom factory.
The Chinese have also been lobbying hard to gain similar project in Gabon through Huawei as well to cover the whole of South Atlantic region to keep an eye on United States or its adversaries’ ship movement towards Indian Ocean, challenging his supremacy in the region.
The French are very wary of these projects as they would be predominantly involved in espionage and interception activities in the African continent, in a way challenging the French presence in these Francophone countries.
With a view to raise concerns on Huawei company’s dubious designs, the French Foreign Minister met Congolese President in late October 2020 to apprise him of the rising Chinese projects in the country, primarily focussing to establish monitoring station for espionage activities under the garb of telecom project for improving connectivity in the remote Congolese regions.
President has promised to look into the concerns showing his unawareness on Huawei’s dubious ambitions.
As per the statistics of June 2019, Democratic Republic of Congo is under heavy debt from China, to the tune of US Dollars 2.56 billion and under pressure, it may bow to allow Chinese telecom giant Huawei to built a facility in the country.
To counter any negative propaganda against its monitoring station projects worldwide, China has hired UK-based consultancy firm, Cornerstone, to lobby in favour of its Huawei proposals.
In the process, China would again emerge victorious in its predatory debt trap policy in African continent and Democratic Republic of Congo would become the latest prey.