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China’s Role in the Burgeoning Debt Challenge in Africa

The debt situation in Africa is changing very quickly as some countries race to negotiate urgent bailouts with the IMF while others are struggling to service their debts amid the ongoing pandemic. Pretty much every country across the continent is struggling ...

A Peek Into the Mysterious World of Chinese Diplomacy

Chinese diplomats around the world are comprised of a mix of reclusive bureaucrats who strenuously avoid public engagement and a new generation of assertive, sometimes even downright aggressive so-called "Wolf Warriors" who wage combat with Beijing's critics.

The Pushback Against China’s Coercive Diplomacy

Although China has successfully leveraged its strengths in COVID-19 vaccine production to replenish its reservoir of goodwill in many developing countries, elsewhere Beijing is facing growing resistance to its increasingly assertive foreign policy agenda. The ...

The Back Rooms in Johannesburg’s Chinatown

South Africa is home to the largest and one of the oldest Chinese diaspora populations in Africa, dating back hundreds of years. Although there are no precise figures, the ethnic Chinese population in the country is estimated to be at least ...

Deciphering China’s Belt & Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a central theme of China's foreign policy, particularly in developing regions like Africa where it's linked to billions of dollars of infrastructure development. But when you ask Chinese officials "what exactly is the BRI?" ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Grappling with African Success

This week saw the second China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo, held in Changsha, the capital of China’s Hunan province. As we’ve covered over the last few years, the city is rapidly emerging as a hub of Africa-China trade. It houses a new cocoa trading facility and is a destination for other African agricultural commodities. As an estimated $16 billion in deals were being signed, African commodities like pepper and butter sold ...

Book Review: “What Is China up To in Africa? Read This Book.”

Laura Seay, a well-known professor of African politics at Colby College in the United States, gave a glowing review in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage column this week to the new book by Wake Forest University assistant professor Lina Benabdallah.

New Book Explains Why You Shouldn’t Focus Only on Hard Metrics to Evaluate China’s Engagement in Africa

A highly-anticipated new book by acclaimed China-Africa scholar Lina Benabdallah went on sale today. "Shaping the Future of Power" details a key difference that distinguishes China's engagement strategy in Africa from that of other countries: its extensive professional and skills-transfer initiatives.  ...

Relationships: China’s Competitive Advantage in Africa

To many outside observers, Chinese engagement in Africa is often evaluated based on hard metrics like the amount of trade, the number of immigrants, investment figures. While those data points are no doubt important, Wake Forest University Assistant Professor Lina Benabdallah ...

The Bitter Life for Chinese Migrant Workers in Ethiopia

The presence of Chinese workers who are helping to build the billions of dollars of infrastructure across Africa is one of the most contentious points in the China-Africa relationship. These workers are often seen as unwelcome guests doing jobs that could ...

“The Belt and Road Is a Chinese Plan to Build a New World Order”

China's hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is often described as being more of an idea than an actual policy. Depending on whom you speak with, BRI is characterized as an economic plan to outsource China's excess domestic industrial output. Other people, notably ...
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