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DRC Take Note: China’s BYD Says It’ll No Longer Used Cobalt in Its Electric Vehicles

Shenzhen-based electric vehicle giant BYD (aka Build Your Dreams), the world's second-largest EV-maker, recently made a stunning announcement that it will no longer use cobalt in any of its vehicles. Instead, the company is going all-in on LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) batteries in place of ...

Africa Check (Again) Tries to Debunk Misperceptions About Nigeria’s Debts to China

Concerns over Chinese debt sustainability in Nigeria have resurfaced recently due to the government's jump-starting the construction of a $5.3 billion standard gauge railway that will be built and financed through concessional lending by the Chinese government.  Also, a ...

China CDC Director’s Vaccine Efficacy Admission Could Have Profound Implications For Africa

Gao Fu, the head of China's Center for Disease Control, appeared to have inadvertently set off an international controversy when he admitted, for the first time by a Chinese official, that China's vaccines are less effective than the messenger RNA vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech ...

Controversy? What Controversy? Somalia Enthusiastically Welcomes the Arrival of Chinese Vaccines

While the controversy over the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines raged back in China and online, Somalis seemed either blissfully unaware or simply unconcerned when a shipment of 200,000 Sinopharm jabs arrived at the airport in Mogadishu on Sunday. (@CHINESESOMALIA).

Building an Alternate BRI Will be High on Japanese PM Suga’s Agenda When He Meets With Biden on Friday in DC

The Japanese Prime Minister's office is indicating that infrastructure and building an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative will be high on the agenda when Yoshihide Suga visits Washington on Friday for talks with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Sanctions and Anti-Sanctions

For those tracking the development (and high-level normalization) of ‘the new cold war,’ this week has been a doozy. U.S. President Joe Biden departed for the G7 summit in Cornwall with a rare bipartisan win in his pocket. His U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, a $250 billion bill aimed at countering Chinese competition in a number of hi-tech areas like semiconductors and robotics, passed with a 68-32 majority. Some predict that it could ...

U.S. Senate Proposal to Fund “Independent Media” to Report “Negative Impact” of BRI in Developing Countries Generates Some Giggles in Washington

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee wants to give a lot of money to local media in BRI member countries "to raise awareness of and increase transparency regarding the negative impact of activities related to the Belt and Road Initiative."