China’s CGTN Runs EIR Coverage of Transaqua on Eve of Xi’s Visit to Italy
March 19, 2019 (EIRNS)—China Global Television Network (CGTN) today published an op-ed by EIR Washington Bureau chief William Jones on Transaqua as a model for Italy-China cooperation in Africa, which has attracted major attention in Italy on the eve of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Rome on March 22. In the op-ed, “China’s Experience: Helping Transform an African Desert into a Garden,” Jones writes:
“With the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Italy, there will no doubt be some discussion of cooperation between the two nations on the African continent. For Italy, helping to resolve the dire economic situation in Africa is both a humanitarian and an economic concern. The devastated economy in many African countries is bringing more and more refugees to Italy’s shore, and the burden is taking its toll on the Italian economy. For China, Africa has always been a particular concern having shared in the condition of underdevelopment for so many years. Even when both were clearly developing countries, China offered its assistance to its African brothers.
“One of the most significant projects in that regard is the Transaqua project,”
the article states and goes on describing Transaqua as a project to refill Lake Chad but also to create a waterway, hydropower and agro-industrial development in Central Africa.
“The Italian engineering company, Bonifica SpA has been instrumental in working out the plans for this project and is fully committed to it. In 2017 Bonifica and PowerChina entered an agreement for the joint development of the project. China, with its own extensive south-to-north water diversion project, possesses a good deal of expertise in dealing with such a project. Such collaboration also fits in nicely with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has received strong support from the Italian government. The Transaqua project developed by Bonifica has in part been developed by PowerChina.
“While China has been ground-breaking in returning to the long-awaited—and much-delayed—project of African industrialization, the enormity of the project is of such a magnitude, that China alone cannot do it. But the BRI opens the possibility of working together with other Western nations in realizing this goal. And the cooperation with Italy on the Lake Chad project can serve as a paradigm for how the BRI must work.”
CGTN identifies Jones as “Washington Bureau Chief for Executive Intelligence Review and a non-resident fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.”