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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?" ...

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.  ...

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 ...

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 ...

China, Africa, and the Future of the Internet

Blessed with generous government-backed loans and low-cost, high-quality equipment, Chinese technology companies have transformed African telecommunications. Millions can now connect for voice and data using devices made by Tecno, Huawei, and ZTE among countless others. Similarly, in media, private companies like StarTimes and state-backed ...

The Beginner's Guide to China-Africa Relations

While there are a growing number of books that explore the China-Africa relationship, most are written either by scholars or journalists who are experts in the field and are written in a style that is often inaccessible for people new to this subject.
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