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The West’s Ignorance About What China’s Doing in Africa is a Feature Not a Bug

Those of us who concentrate on Africa-China relations have long warned that the current framing of the relationship as a zero-sum arena in a new cold war strips African states of agency. The problem isn’t only that it flattens the complex compromises African leaders have to make ...

Josep Borrell’s Misguided Views on Chinese Vaccines in Africa

European Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell is really unhappy with how the bloc's member states have hoarded vaccines for themselves at the expense of developing countries in Africa and Latin America. On Friday he criticized the EU's contributions to those regions as "insufficient."

Stop the Blame Game: The Complex Picture of China and Coal Finance

By Hugo Jones and Lukas Fiala Apocalyptic images reach us from China this week. The immense flooding in Henan province has come with tragic human cost, a typhoon has edged onto China’s eastern coast, and Shanghai is facing torrential rains and winds. These events have already stirred discussions ...

Why the Chinese Embassy in DRC Needs To Take Labor Abuse Videos Seriously

China's ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zhu Jing, is probably hoping that the fuss from the recent emergence of multiple social videos that depict violent abuse of local Congolese workers by Chinese managers will blow over. ...

Chinese Companies’ “Eat Bitter” Management Style Just Doesn’t Work in Africa

Forget debt traps, Huawei ‘back-doors' and vaccine diplomacy. They might be the disputes that define our current polarized moment. But I’m willing to bet they won’t have the staying power of the one – the original – dispute that has haunted Chinese engagement with Africa since the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The West’s Ignorance About What China’s Doing in Africa is a Feature Not a Bug

Those of us who concentrate on Africa-China relations have long warned that the current framing of the relationship as a zero-sum arena in a new cold war strips African states of agency.The problem isn’t only that it flattens the complex compromises African leaders have to make to meet development goals as financing options keep shrinking. It is also that it creates echo chambers in Washington, Beijing, and Brussels that make ...

Climate Suffering and Its Complications

This week, the climate crisis became a lot more concrete. Heatwaves and fire across North America overlapped with massive floods in Germany and China. I say ‘concrete’ but of course climate change has been pretty concrete for millions of climate refugees across the Global South for a while ...

The China-Mediterranean Observer: China Emerges as Key Mediator in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Standoff

Among the most interesting topics discussed this month in the media published throughout the wider Mediterranean region, the crisis over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia stands out. We also found a number of interesting reports regarding the relations between the countries of ...

Chinese Media Report on What Happened in South Africa, They Just Won’t Tell You Much About Why It Happened

Chinese media coverage of last week's violence in South Africa was notable for how it reported on the events that led to the death of at least 200 people and caused widespread damage in many of South Africa's largest cities including Durban, Newcastle, and Johannesburg among others. ...

Reading the Smoke

As things slowly settle down in South Africa after the last ruinous week, the debates about who’s really to blame are catching fire. It’s now being called an insurrection attempt, and President Ramaphosa has referred to those responsible for fueling the protests as ‘enemies of democracy.’ 

Why Does China Want to Cooperate With Europe in Africa?

What’s in a phone call? Well, when it’s from China’s leader to the presidents of Germany and France then maybe it's something beyond idle chit-chat. And, when it comes on the heels of the G7 summit which Xi Jinping dismissed as international politics of the past, then ...

Q&A: Kenya’s Ambassador to China Reflects on the Current State of Ties With Beijing

China-Kenya relations are at a critical stage as the two countries face enormous challenges related to debt sustainability, a severe trade imbalance, and the public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, Kenya remains a strategically vital country for China as a key hub on ...

Weibo User: Where Are the Wolf Warriors to Rescue Chinese Nationals in South Africa?

Where's Wu Jing and the Wolf Warriors to help overseas Chinese impacted by the violence in South Africa wondered Weibo user "Little Tiger" (某小老虎) in a post on the Chinese social network on Wednesday. Although "

The Fire Next Door

So…How have you been? Since we last spoke, my country exploded. If you’re not up on South African news, the current government has finally managed to get a charge to stick to its predecessor – former president Jacob Zuma. This took ...

An Agricultural Trade Comparison of Africa’s Development Partners: How Does China Measure Up?

Agriculture remains the backbone of many African economies since it accounts for approximately 60% of all employment, a main earner of foreign exchange, source of both savings and tax revenues and accounts for around 40% of the continent’s hard currency. The agricultural sector is the main source ...

eSwatini Could Soon Be in Play

Troops are out on the streets of the tiny southern African kingdom of eSwatini in an effort to quell anti-monarchy protests that look like they could precipitate the fall of King Mswati III. The precise whereabouts of the King are unknown at ...
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