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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?" ...

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 ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Commodity Supercycle Blues

The editorial board of Financial Times published an op-ed yesterday announcing a new commodities supercycle. They argued that the global pivot towards climate-friendlier technologies like electric vehicles is pushing demand for metals like cobalt, lithium and palladium (used in catalytic converters.) In addition, the Biden administration’s new commitments to building infrastructure at home (and possibly abroad) will further boost demand for steel, with iron ore futures hitting record prices in Singapore this week.Where FT ...

“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.

Author Mukuka Chipanta's Fictional Portrait of China-Zambia Ties

Given the tensions and controversies that have shaped China's decades-long engagement in Africa, it's a bit surprising that there are so few fictional books on the subject. For some reason, Africa's deep reservoir of talented writers has largely avoided using the Chinese presence on ...

China-Africa Relations in the Xi Jinping Era

For much of the past twenty years, China's strategy in Africa could easily be summarized in two words: invest and extract. Today, that is no longer the case as China's agenda in Africa, and throughout much of the global south, has ...
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