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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 ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

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 loans and built by Chinese state-owned enterprises) rather than from infrastructure-building itself.

The larger question is what China is pivoting to. Instead of ...

The Social Media Managers Who Run Chinese Diplomatic Twitter Accounts in Africa Are Getting More Creative

The Chinese social media manager who runs the embassy Twitter account in Harare had a bit of fun playing on the word "Guardian" in their denunciation of a recent Guardian (UK) report that alleged forced evictions of residents in Zimbabwean mining zones managed by ...

Following Its Rather Dismal Coverage of FOCAC, the BBC Goes Back to Basics For Wang’s Africa Tour

The BBC used the occasion of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's three-nation African tour last week to reset its coverage of China-Africa relations. This follows a dismal performance during last December's FOCAC conference, when it sparked international criticism for poorly editing the comments of ...

Former Ambassador’s Column in Le Monde Highlights the Negative View of “Chinafrique” Among Political & Media Elites in France

Generally speaking, the widely-held narrative among media and political elites in France about the Chinese in Africa is very similar to that in the United States where the Chinese presence on the continent is viewed in decidedly negative terms.

When France Builds a Train in Africa, the International Media Coverage is Very Different Than When China Does

Senegalese President Macky Sall launched a new 40-kilometer commuter railway last week that will link the industrial city Diamniadio with the capital Dakar. The debut of the new Regional Express marked an important milestone for Senegal. It is the first rail line to be built in ...

The ‘China Building a Military Base in Equatorial Guinea’ Narrative is Fast Becoming Normalized… No Evidence Needed

The unsubstantiated claim by the U.S. military that China is considering Equatorial Guinea as the location of its next military base in Africa is widely gaining traction among U.S. and European journalists, scholars, and analysts despite the fact that there is still no evidence to verify the ...

U.S., European News Outlets Fail to Question Pentagon Assertion China Wants to Build Atlantic Base in Africa

The Wall Street Journal's report from December 5th that relayed Pentagon concerns about China's purported ambition to build a navy base on Africa's Atlantic coast in Equatorial Guinea has now spread so far across the media landscape, even to usually discerning publications ...

A DRC-Government Affiliate Forcefully Refutes Congo Hold-Up Allegations, Calling the Report a “Western Conspiracy”

An agency affiliated with the DR Congo government issued its most forceful denunciation to date of the Congo Hold-Up investigative report that detailed massive corruption related to the $6 billion 2008 Sicomines deal. John Omombo (photo), spokesman for the ...

The Different Readings of FOCAC

One of the intriguing results of last week’s FOCAC meeting has been a narrative pushed by key English-language publications that it represents a reduction in Chinese engagement with the continent. Bloomberg set the tone in its initial report which counted the sums mentioned in President Xi Jinping’s speech and ...

The Uganda Airport Story and FOCAC Spark More “Bad Takes” in Both Chinese and African Media

The editors at Nigeria's Punch newspaper are apparently still unaware that the story about Uganda's Entebbe International Airport being seized by China as part of a debt default is not true. If they knew that the rumor had been conclusively debunked, ...

BBC Apologizes to Professor Deborah Brautigam For Misrepresenting Her Views on “Debt Trap Diplomacy”

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) apologized to Professor Deborah Brautigam, director of the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, for editing an interview she did with the network last week in such a way that it sounded like she was a proponent of ...
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