Bolivia signs lithium exploration deal with China
Bolivia signed an agreement with the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) Aug. 10 to conduct lithium exploration in the Andean country's Coipasa salt flats. The deal comes as Bolivia's President Evo Morales is visiting Beijing. Morales said that his government is "looking for allies from countries that aren't just interested in our natural resources, but rather have a political and ideological affinity," the official Bolivian Information Agency reported. (Dow Jones, Aug. 10) Morales has in the past refered to China as an "ideological ally."
Morales is officially in China to attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. But he also discussed his country's satellite deal with the China Great Wall Industry Corp. Bolivia's first satellite—dubbed Tupac Katari after the 18th century Aymara anti-colonial rebel—is to be launched in 2013 from the Xichang space center in Sichuan province. (Xinhua, Xinhua, Aug. 12)