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Why the Era of Low-Cost Imports From China May be Coming to an End in Africa (At Least For Now)

The ongoing supply chain disruptions are having a profound impact on the types of goods that consumers in Africa and other Global South countries can access. It used to cost just $1,000 per container to ship low-cost socks, shoes, electronics, and other ...

The Different Readings of FOCAC

One of the intriguing results of last week’s FOCAC meeting has been a narrative pushed by key English-language publications that it represents a reduction in Chinese engagement with the continent. Bloomberg set the tone in its initial report which counted the sums mentioned in President Xi Jinping’s speech and ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Different Readings of FOCAC

One of the intriguing results of last week’s FOCAC meeting has been a narrative pushed by key English-language publications that it represents a reduction in Chinese engagement with the continent. Bloomberg set the tone in its initial report which counted the sums mentioned in President Xi Jinping’s speech and came to $40 billion. Comparing it to the $60 billion funding targets of 2015 and 2018, it concluded that the summit represented a pullback from ...

Wang Yi Press Conference Provides Insights Into China’s Foreign Policy Agenda in the Year Ahead

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a wide-ranging press conference in Beijing yesterday on the sidelines of the ongoing National People's Congress, the annual rubber-stamp parliamentary event, that provided some of the clearest indications to date as to how Chinese foreign policy is going to ...

Hundreds of Thousands of Chinese Nationals in Africa Will Receive COVID-19 Vaccines

China will launch a new program to provide millions of COVID-19 vaccines to its nationals in Africa and elsewhere overseas, according to Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang added that Chinese expatriates would be vaccinated either by a Chinese-made jab or one from another country, but either way, ...

Online Tool: COVID-19 Chinese Vaccine Distribution Tracker

The team at the privately-run Beijing-based development consultancy Bridge Beijing launched a new interactive online tool to track global sales and donations of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines. Information is updated weekly. Check out the new COVID-19 vaccine tracker ...

China’s #2 at the Embassy in Zimbabwe Gets in a Twitter Feud Over Vaccines With Opposition Youth Leader and Media

The outspoken Minister Counsellor (similar to the role of Chargé d'Affaires at other embassies) at the Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe, Zhao Baogang, got into a high-profile Twitter smackdown with a youth leader from the opposition MDC Alliance over the efficacy of Chinese-made vaccines.

The Economist Intelligence Unit Mapped Out Chinese Trade and Investment in Africa

The London-based Forecast Director for the Economist Intelligence Unit, Agathe Demarai, has been posting quite a bit lately on China-Africa issues, albeit with varying degrees of accuracy (her assertion that Africa as a continent had a Chinese debt problem is not correct, for example) ...

South African Retailers Under Pressure to Ensure Supply Chains Free of Xinjiang Cotton

South Africa's major retailers are under scrutiny from civil society groups to ensure their supply chains do not contain any apparel products that use cotton from China's Xinjiang autonomous region. There are well-documented concerns that Uyghur minority populations are forced to pick cotton by hand.

Anti-Colonial Liberation Ideology Still Very Important in the Chinese Framing of Its Ties With Africa

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunyin posted a tweet on Sunday that reveals how important the anti-colonial liberation struggles of the 1960s and 70s are in today's framing of Beijing's ties with Africa. With the ascendency of President Xi Jinping as ...

China, Africa and the Internet, Again

The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa recently discussed African elections and, not surprisingly, the conversation became about China.  The lawmakers latched on to a narrative that the Chinese Communist Party is actively trying to ...