The Secretary of State for Social Communication, Nuno Caldas, spoke to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting with media professionals organized by the Chinese embassy in Luanda, where he highlighted the role of the Asian country in the "crucial moments" that followed the Angola achieve peace in 2002.
Asked about the transfer of the share of LLI - linked to China Sonangol, which was chaired by the former vice-president and strongman of Sonangol, Manuel Vicente, currently in the sights of justice - to the Government, Nuno Caldas said that they are not at issue. relations between the two countries.
"On the contrary, we have had, especially in recent years, an expansion of cooperation [involving] mainly companies in the private sector, with Chinese companies investing in Angola, especially in the productive sector. This has given a greater and positive impetus to the program of diversification of the economy. This is an isolated process", which is being dealt with by Organs competent bodies, said the minister.
"Let us have confidence, hope, in this good relationship with China, a country with a vocation for peace, progress and development," he added.
Nuno Caldas recalled that China "reached out its hand so that Angola could rebuild, towards the development process", and stressed that the two countries will celebrate, in 2023, the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
The Chinese ambassador, Gong Tao, also downplayed the matter, stressing that "China and Angola are partners in various economic, trade and investment areas" and also stated that "it is not a Chinese company that is being questioned", so the embassy would not address the issue.
China Sonangol International Holding (CSIH), created in 2004, was 70 percent owned by Hong Kong-registered Dayuan International Development Limited and state-owned oil company Sonangol, with a 30 percent minority stake.
In 2020, the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Angola seized dozens of properties from the companies China International Fund – CIF, Limited and China International Fund Angola – Cif, Limitada for allegedly having been built with public funds.
In the order that formalized the nationalization of LLI's quota, announced on Wednesday, President João Lourenço justified the decision by saying that this company was "subject to strong restrictive measures in the country and abroad, which led to the seizure of its social participation by the National Asset Recovery Service and the establishment of sanctions by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control".
The presidential decree stated that "the maintenance of LL Internacional Holding BV in the corporate structure, with the current legal and reputational problems, calls into question the strategy of Sociedade Mineira de Catoca Lda, since it makes it impossible to access vital operations for the development of current and future mining projects".
The participation of Leviev International - LLI (China), which held 18 percent of the mining company, was blocked in 2021 and its control transferred to the Instituto de Gestão de Activos e Participações do Estado (IGAPE), at the request of the Attorney General's Office. of the Republic.
This Thursday's meeting also served for Ambassador Gong Tao to explain his views on the results of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China, and to launch a plan to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-Angola diplomatic relations. , which takes place on January 12, 2023.