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There’s a Huge Difference in How China Responded to the Coups in Burkina Faso and Guinea

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded on Tuesday to the military overthrow of democratically-elected Burkinabé President Fas Roch Marc Christian Kaboré with a call to "restore normal order" and "resolve differences through dialogue."  Zhao, speaking at the ...

The Big Chill

Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing hand-wringing in Western capitals about how the money China is spending in the Global South translates into direct political influence. This week research was published that quantifies the issue. A new report ...

Head of U.S. Forces in Africa Repeats Unsubstantiated Claim that China Is Planning an Atlantic Military Base

The commander for U.S. forces in Africa (AFRICOM), General Stephen J. Townsend reiterated his assertion that China is looking to build a second military base in Africa, this time somewhere along the Atlantic coast. In a wide-ranging ...

How the Chinese Debt Trap Narrative Spreads in Washington

A webinar convened on Friday by the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, D.C. highlights how the Chinese debt trap narrative has become an accepted truth among U.S. stakeholders, despite a lack of evidence that Beijing intentionally loads up developing countries with unsustainable levels of ...

Kenya’s SGR Scandal Isn’t Going Away

This week saw the announcement that the United Kingdom’s international development investment arm, the CDC Group, will invest $1 billion in Kenyan infrastructure. This will include funding a new rail transit hub in Nairobi. It’s interesting that the UK is leaning into ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Big Chill

Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing hand-wringing in Western capitals about how the money China is spending in the Global South translates into direct political influence. This week research was published that quantifies the issue.

A new report by Foreign Policy Research Institute tracked how increased Chinese spending (both loans and foreign direct investment) in African countries aligns with those countries’ voting in the United Nations General Assembly ...

IMF = Good, China = Debt Trap 🤦🏾

The New York-based geopolitical consulting firm Eurasia Group's media unit, GZERO, published a new infographic on Thursday that sums up the deeply ingrained yet highly simplistic media narrative in the United States about Western institutions like the IMF versus China: A) ...

U.S., European Financial Media Struggle to Report the Chinese Debt Story in the Global South

A number of prominent U.S. and European financial news outlets including the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal among others are visibly struggling in their reporting of Chinese debt stories in the Global South. There's a certain formula that's emerged ...

The Long Arc of Chinese Lending to Africa

The biggest headline from November’s FOCAC meeting was China’s pivot away from infrastructure funding. But like many FOCAC headlines, it needs several asterisks. In the first place, the pivot might actually be away from a particular infrastructure model (massive projects funded with large bilateral Chinese policy bank ...

If You’re Going to Criticize China For Its Lending Practices, Make Sure to At Least Get Your Facts Right

The central bank in Sri Lanka will make a $500 million payment on Tuesday to bondholders, the first tranche of $4.5 billion in debt servicing obligations that Colombo is due to pay this year. The South Asian island state ...

Beijing’s “Wait and See” Approach in Kazakhstan

By Lukas Fiala and Hugo Jones, China Foresight LSE IDEAS Over the two weeks, we closely followed Kazakh people take to the streets to protest against increasing fuel prices after a government decision to lift a price cap. As the protests ...

It’s Difficult to Overstate Just How Much the “Debt Trap” Accusation Irks Chinese Officials

Wu Peng, China's top diplomat for sub-Saharan Africa, on Wednesday posted a tweet that featured a week-old video of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari defending his decision to borrow from China. Wu didn't include any other reference in ...

China’s African Debt Experiment

The Financial Times today published a deep dive into the issue of Chinese lending to African countries and what struck me was how it crystallizes some of the underlying issues that aren’t necessarily made clear in the debt debate. ...

Kenyatta to China’s Critics: “We Don’t Need Lectures”

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta hit back at critics of China's presence in Africa, presenting Beijing as a welcome alternative to Africa's legacy partners in the U.S. and Europe that too often, he said, lectured African countries and dictated the terms of engagement. 

Taking Stock of Wang Yi’s African Tour

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to East Africa and the Indian Ocean region is only halfway through, but it has already produced several interesting data points: In the first place, Wang made an oblique reference to China’s willingness to develop ...

Africa’s Muted Response to Wang Yi’s Tour

Despite the importance of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Kenya, Eritrea and the Comoros this week, African media coverage of the tour remains surprisingly scant. In the week after his visit was announced, very little has come from these countries in terms of agenda-setting, and ...
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