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The Legend of Hambantota and China’s “Debt Trap” Diplomacy

China's critics, largely in the U.S., often hold up the Sri Lankan port in Hambantota as the cautionary tale of what purportedly can happen when a developing country fails to pay back its loans to Beijing. Because Sri Lanka fell behind ...

Ready, Aim, Fire! China’s Outspoken Ambassador in South Africa Shoots Back Against Critics in US & EU

China’s ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, helmed a characteristically shoot-from-the-hip session at a recent conference on China’s impact on African industrialization at the University of Johannesburg. Lin accused Western countries of misrepresenting Chinese financing to the continent as a trap, continuing: “Sometimes

Florida Governor Calls China an “Adversary” Determined to Control Resources in Africa

Florida governor Rick Scott is by no means an important voice on foreign policy matters but he does offer some insight here on how a lot of senior US politicians now consider China to be an "adversary" who's determined to exert influence around the world.

Kenyan Borrowing From Japan Surges as Chinese Lending Slows

New data from the National Treasury in Nairobi revealed a dramatic surge in borrowing from Japan, up 162% to more than $1.3 billion during the period of June 2018 to June 2019. The increase in Japanese loans comes as China is slowing its lending to Kenya. "China’s ...

Sinohydro Stops Work on Zambia Hydroelectric Dam

Citing "difficulties beyond its control" (translation: they haven't been paid), China’s state-owned Sinohydro has stopped work building the 750mw Kafue Gorge hydroelectric dam in Zambia, dealing a major blow for the country's drive for energy self-sufficiency and the livelihoods of thousands of workers on the project.

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

FOCAC’s Powerful Optics Present a Challenge to China’s Rivals

FOCAC is for me what the Winter Olympics is for a curling fan – the one moment every few years when the world briefly shares one’s obsession. So it was interesting (and revealing) how relatively muted the coverage of the triennial meeting has been this time around.

In part, this is due to the fact that FOCAC 8 itself has been slightly smaller than usual. It was held at the ...