China sells satellite to Bolivia

Sep 25, 2009

LA PAZ – CHINA plans to sell Bolivia a US$300 million (S$426 million) telecommunications satellite it will build and send into orbit for the poor Andean country, President Evo Morales said on Thursday.

China might also finance the project, Bolivia’s leftist president said three days after meeting with Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in New York.

‘The Chinese president has vowed to build and launch a satellite for all Bolivians,’ Mr Morales said in a speech in the central Oruro region.

The technology could help improve Internet access and help isolated and poor citizens get connected to the modern world, the country’s first Indian president has said.

The United Nations this month pledged to provide Bolivia with technical help on orbital positions and frequency bands.

State news agency ABI has reported the government could spend up to US$300 million for the satellite. Mr Morales said Bolivia may ask China for help to finance the project.

China has sought to strengthen ties with Mr Morales’ leftist Latin American allies, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Rafael Correa of Ecuador.

Venezuela this month signed a US$16 billion deal with China over three years that will allow the South American country to raise oil output by several hundred thousand barrels per day.

In July, oil-rich Ecuador signed a deal to export crude oil to China and received US$1 billion as an advance payment.

The three leaders are fierce critics of the United States and have strengthened ties with Iran and Russia as well. 

Source:  REUTERS

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