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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ecuador will not forget China's "mistreatment": president, March 22, 2010

Ecuador will not forget the "mistreatment" by China in failed talks to finance a hydroelectric station, President Rafael Correa said Saturday, threatening to seek financing from Taiwan.

Correa said that he "unilaterally ended" talks on Wednesday with the Chinese bank Eximbank "due to the mistreatment and the rudeness" that the Ecuadoran negotiator endured.

"We will not forget this," Correa said in his weekly broadcast presentation.

Correa said that there were "many alternatives" to obtaining financing for the hydroelectric project, including from Taiwan.

"We have shown much solidarity towards China, supported the policy of one China, have supported China, but we will not forget how they treated us," said Correa.

Correa's leftist administration considered "unacceptable" China's conditions for a 1.7-billion-dollar loan to build the Coca Codo Sinclair hydroelectric plant.

Eximbank had demanded that Ecuador's Central Bank put its assets up as collateral for the loan. "Never before," said Correa, had anyone made such requests, which in any case are forbidden by law.

If the Chinese "are going to treat us like another transnational corporation, with more rigor than the International Monetary Fund ... we will seek financing elsewhere. We are not going to surrender our sovereignty, even to a country as beloved as China," he said.

The comments came after Ecuador and China signed 4.7 billion dollars' worth of cooperation agreements in November during a visit by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Story from AFP.

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