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B3W vs. BRI

Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) richest democracies unveiled a highly-anticipated plan over the weekend for how they intend to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative and stem Beijing's growing influence in Africa and other developing regions. The ...

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 ...

Biden to Attend G7 Summit With China on His Mind. Africa and Other Developing Regions Need to Brace For What Comes Next.

U.S. President Joe Biden arrived in the United Kingdom on Wednesday ahead of a three-day G7 summit, where confronting China in various arenas will be among the top issues on the agenda. The President hopes he will be able to rally the ...

Is the Nigerian Twitter Ban Similar to China’s Restrictions on Foreign Social Media Platforms? Yes… and No.

Lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa is adamant that Nigeria's recent crackdown on Twitter is nothing at all like what authoritarian governments in other parts of the world restrict access to social media platforms. “I do not agree," he said in a story that is widely circulating today on ...

Can the G7 Imagine a Different Relationship With the World?

This week, the prominent Financial Times commentator Gideon Rachman argued that the upcoming G7 summit in Cornwall could be ‘the west’s last chance to lead.’ He acknowledged that the seven rich democracies that make up the group (the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and Canada) have seen ...

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 ...

Nigeria’s Twitter Ban is a Big Win For China

Chinese officials are no doubt celebrating Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's decision late last week to ban Twitter.  The move marked the most important endorsement in Africa to date of Beijing's long-held view on "internet sovereignty." The Chinese have never accepted the ...

Biden’s Chinese Tech Dilemma

This week the Biden administration announced an expansion of a Trump-era ban on U.S. investment in 59 Chinese companies seen as having ties to the Chinese military and surveillance sectors. The announcement is another confirmation of how ex-president Trump’s vision of a U.S.-China rivalry has ...

U.S, China Exchange Jabs Over Vaccine Deliveries to the World’s Poorest Countries

The battle over so-called "vaccine diplomacy" between the United States and China is beginning to intensify as Washington moves closer to finally shipping surplus jabs to developing countries around the world. Foreign policy leaders from both countries issued veiled critiques of ...

With a Second Chinese Vaccine Getting the Nod From the WHO, Pressure Mounts on the U.S. to Get Its Own Vaccine Distribution Drive Going

The World Health Organization granted emergency use approval to Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine, the second Chinese jab to get the global health body's seal of approval. In a statement on Tuesday, the WHO said Sinovac “meets international standards for safety, efficacy, and ...

Diplomatic Fishing Expeditions

This week provides numerous examples of China's complex presence in West Africa. Take Ghana for example:  even as Chinese entities are building multiple vocational training centres across the country, Chinese citizens are being rounded up for illegal gold mining and Ghanaian cocoa farmers are grappling with the implications ...

Better Late Than Never: Can China Help Kenya Break The 2% Vaccine Wall?

After walking out of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Nairobi, with my arm slightly sore after receiving my first free dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, I felt hopeful that this reflected a new stage in Kenya’s COVID-19 response. However, a few weeks on, it has become clear ...

OPay Seeks to Raise $400 Million For Expansion Signaling Chinese VCs May Be Ready to Return to Africa

The Chinese-backed African fintech platform OPay is reportedly in talks with investors to raise as much as $400 million at a valuation of more than $1.5 billion, according to a report in The Information. That valuation, by the way, is three times higher than the ...

Don’t Worry America, Africans Aren’t Going to Start Using China’s New Digital Currency… At Least Not Right Away

There's growing unease in Washington that last month's launch of a new Chinese digital yuan threatens the dollar's preeminence as the world's reserve currency. Questions about the new cryptocurrency have come up repeatedly in recent weeks during Congressional testimony, particularly regarding places like Africa, where U.S. anxieties ...

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 ...
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