Why Beijing opposes Guinea’s coup


News analysis

Guinea, a West African country, experienced a military coup on September 5 when Guinea’s special forces defeated and detained President Alpha Conde and hijacked the country’s government.

The next day, a spokesman for the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Foreign Ministry said, “China opposes a coup attempt to seize power.”

Some press critics took note of this statement, taking into account that the Chinese Communist Party has always claimed to not interfere with the internal affairs of other countries.

The Republic of Guinea was founded in 1958 after independence from France. The 83-year-old Alpha Condé came to power 11 years ago after the country’s first democratic elections.

Guinean special forces soldiers poured into the capital of Conakry on September 5 and engaged in a few hours of shootouts. They blocked the main road and detained Conde.

The coup was headed by Colonel Mamadi Dunbowya, the head of the Guinean Special Forces and a former member of the French Foreign Legion. Dumbouya appeared in the national mass media that day carrying the Guinean flag, announcing the abolition of the Constitution, the dissolution of the government, and the closure of the border until further notice.

Doumbouya also said military junta would work to establish a provisional government to transfer power “from one person to the people.” He did not mention what the transition would entail, nor did he give the date of a democratic election.

As president, Conde promised stable democracy. But in power, he was unable to use violence to suppress his enemies and reduce poverty. Last year, Conde decided to run for the third term, but many considered it illegal.

The coup was welcomed by many in Guinea, but it panicked the country’s mining industry. Guinea has the world’s largest bauxite reserves, the ore used to produce aluminum. Although there are no signs of supply disruption, bauxite prices soared to their 10-year highs on September 6.

Beijing’s featureless stance

At a featureless turning point, Beijing openly opposed the coup.

“China is opposed to the coup and demands the immediate release of President Conde,” CCP Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told Bloomberg at a press conference on September 6.

The Beijing-based Chinese Communist Party overseas Chinese media, Duowei News, said in an article on September 7: A stance on the Guinea issue. “

When the coup d’etat took place in Thailand in 2014, Zimbabwe in 2017, and Sudan in 2019, the CCP’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on all parties to exercise restraints and strengthen dialogue and consultation, “non-other countries. Interference with domestic affairs. “

This shows that, according to the article, CCP’s resolute opposition to the coup in Guinea is very different from previous statements that it would move away from the situation in other countries.

Zhang Tianliang, an associate professor at Fei Tian College in New York, explained in a YouTube channel on September 8 that Guinea has one-third of the world’s aluminum reserves and 15 times that of China. Aluminum ore is needed by many of China’s manufacturing industries, which China usually imports from Australia and Guinea. However, the relationship between CCP and Australia has recently become hostile, importing more aluminum ore from Guinea.

“So, for the first time after the Guinean coup, the CCP changed its usual statement,” Zhang said.

“When there was a coup in another country in the past, the Chinese Communist Party usually supported the country’s” national choice “and insisted that it not interfere with the domestic affairs of that country, the standard answer. Was issued. However, this time, CCP spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Fumitan Mio, acted against the usual response. [the Chinese regime] I’m against the Guinean coup, “Zhang said.

“It’s very rare for the CCP to suddenly, seriously and clearly oppose a coup in Guinea. Isn’t this an interference with the internal affairs of another country? The Communist Party’s mask has come off,” Zhang said. ..

Mr Zhang said there were two reasons Beijing opposed the Guinea coup.

One is that Guinea was an important country in the Belt and Road Initiative, and the exiled President Conde was near Beijing.

The second reason can be inferred from the photos in Conde’s Twitter account. In this photo, the commander of the special forces Mamadi Dumbouya, the mastermind of the coup, is shown at a public event wearing an umbrella. Former coup by the most trusted person and was the Danbouya of Conde, it might give fear in the hearts of the leaders Xi Jinping of China.

“Do you know who in the Central Security Agency is really loyal to you? You don’t know when someone who is usually loyal to you might one day try a coup,” Zhang said. .. “If there are strong anti-Xi forces within the Chinese Communist Party, I don’t know if anyone at the Central Security Agency could commit a flaw.”

This analysis provides circumstantial evidence that the CCP’s Western Theater Command has four new commanders a year. The first two commanders, Zhang Xudong and Xu Qiling, disappeared after the change. “It’s either does not mean that there is something wrong with the army? Xi Jinping is facing a big opposition within the Chinese Communist Party. After Guinea coup, he may not have much trust the leaders of the surrounding I have.”

Xi frequently changed commanders at Western Front Command

Xi promoted five more generals on September 6th. Wang Kaie, commander of the Western Theater. Shoyo Hayashi, commander of the Central Theater. Navy commander, Dong-jun. Air Force Commander Chang Din Kiu. According to China Central Television (CCTV) News, Xu Xueqiang, president of PLA National Defense University.

Of these five generals’ predecessors, four are below retirement age, but Shen Jinlong, a former commander of the Navy, will be 65 next month. Xu Qiling, a former commander of the PLA Western Command, had been in office for only two months.

In December 2020, former Western Theater commander Zhao Zongqi retired and replaced Zhang Shudong. Six months later, in July 2021, XuQiing replaced Zhang Xudong as commander of the Western Theater Command. Xu was replaced by Wang Haijiang just two months after taking office. All three have been promoted to general, but Zhang and Xu are still missing.

In the editorial of September 7, the Epoch Times columnist, Shen Zhou is, three of the commander of the change of the western theater headquarters, it has not been at least army generals is 100% reliable to Xi Jinping, or someone is still I’m trying to stir up the problem. Therefore, it is worth checking if Xi is reelected as desired.

Jessica Mao