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Why Pragmatism, Not Ideology Drives Chinese Economic Engagement in Africa

In these contentious times, China is often accused of exporting its statist economic model to Africa and other developing regions as part of a broader ideological agenda to create a new Sinocentric international order. But Tsinghua University Professor Tang Xiaoyang argues 

Why Perceptions of China Vary So Much Depending on Where You Live

Public perceptions of China vary markedly depending on where you live in the world. In wealthy advanced economies in the Global North, negative sentiment towards China is now at all-time highs and ...

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 ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

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.

In the first place, it shows that Africa’s need for financing far outstrips both the available financing options and the continent’s current ability to repay them. The Calvinist logic that underlies much of ...

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 ...

“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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