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Even If the DRC is Able To Re-Negotiate Its Mining Contracts With The Chinese and Others, It’s Still Not Going to Help Ordinary People, Says Expert

A leading Congolese mining expert wants to dispel the notion that President Félix Tshisekedi's efforts to renegotiate foreign mining contracts is going to benefit ordinary people. "It is, of course, a first step," acknowledged Jean Pierre Okenda, a well-known expert in DRC mining issues and head of the extractive ...

Almost a Third of the World’s Cobalt, Mostly From the DRC, Went to China Last Year

32% of the world's cobalt output went to China, according to the latest annual report published by The Cobalt Institute, an industry-financed organization. In addition to being the largest consumer of cobalt, China is also the dominant producer of refined cobalt that is used ...

China’s Role in the Complex, Brutal History of Cobalt Mining in the DR Congo

The New Yorker magazine published a sweeping long-form article in its latest edition that delves into the painful history of Congolese cobalt -- a metal that is now indispensable for any consumer who owns a mobile phone and a strategic resource that is in the ...

China Controls 90% of the World’s Manganese Market, Another Strategic Ingredient for Electric Vehicle Batteries

Governments and automakers in the U.S., Europe and Asia have become steadily concerned in recent years over China's dominance of the strategic minerals and metals supply chains that are used to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles. Their primary concern ...

With Iron Ore Mines in Guinea and Sierra Leone Now Coming Online, China is Making It Clear That It Wants to End Its Dependence on Australia

The Chinese government is signaling both through its actions and propaganda messaging that the days of being overly reliant on Australian iron ore are coming to an end. When precisely? Well, no one knows for sure, but given the burst of ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

China’s Climate Role in the Global South

I don’t know about you, but I’m suffering from COP26 stress. There’s so much riding on the global climate summit happening in Glasgow at the end of the month that it’s sometimes difficult to remember we face a few other pressing issues too. 

To this point, Foreign Affairs this week published a poll asking a stellar group of experts whether American foreign policy is too hostile to China. Not surprisingly they got ...

Chinese Officials and Environmentalists Exchange Fire Over That Controversial Fish Port in Sierra Leone

China's ambassador to Sierra Leone, Hu Zhangliang, paid a visit on Monday to the Foreign Ministry to rally support with the government for a controversial development project to build a fish port in the environmentally pristine Black Johnson beach area. After the meeting, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mamadi Gobeh ...

The Other Side of Agency

Last week I ran into a friend who’s a media studies scholar. We caught up about our work – she’s busy with a paper about the media representation of face masks. What am I working on? A paper on China’s provision of coal-powered electricity in Africa. Oh, ...

The China-Mediterranean Observer: Mixed Feelings in Iran and China About Strategic Cooperation Deal

We start this issue of the ChinaMed Observer with the debate in Iranian media over the signing of the Iran-China 25-year Cooperation Program. In this regard, Abolfazl Olamayifar, Director of the China Desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from the pages of the economic newspaper Donya-ye ...