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China’s Risky “Build It and They Will Come” Development Strategy

There's widespread speculation that Chinese financial support for its hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative may be waning due to the current economic crisis and the desire among senior Chinese policymakers to focus more attention on the domestic front. ...

African Diplomats in China Are Spending a Lot More Time These Days Talking About The Belt and Road Initiative

Ethiopia's ambassador to China, Teshome Tog Chanaka, shared his enthusiasm on Twitter Tuesday about his participation in the latest forum on how to integrate Africa into the Belt and Road. The event was organized by the Algerian embassy and the Taihe Institute, an international policy ...

Report: China Lacks Comprehensive Debt Relief Strategy

A new report by the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) at the Central University of Economics and Finance in Beijing appears to echo some of the same themes that emerged from Boston University's Overseas Chinese Lending Database, specifically related to an apparent sharp decline ...

The Chinese Are Changing Course in Africa

With the rise of the Belt and Road over the past several years, China's dependence on Africa for raw materials has been steadily diminishing. 15-20 years ago when China first embarked on its "Going Out" agenda, the barriers to entry into most African markets were low and ...

Peking University Professor: Chinese Loan Losses in Asia and Africa Reinforce Painful Lessons Learned in Venezuela

The following is a transcript of a nine-part Twitter thread posted by the prominent China economist Michael Pettis, a professor at Peking University. As I have been writing since 2011, China’s development lending was always likely to follow the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

How Will Biden Shake Up Africa Relations? Let’s Watch

Tomorrow, the whole world’s eyes will be on the inauguration of Joe Biden. Stepping into a moment of unprecedented domestic crisis, he will probably have relatively little bandwidth for Africa. Indications are that the Biden administration plans to steer away from the Trump era’s unilateralism. While the incoming Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs hasn’t been confirmed yet, many State Department appointments have been filled by veterans from the Obama era. ...

Senior Chinese Official Promotes Integration of Africa’s New Free Trade Area With the Belt and Road Initiative

The idea of linking China's Belt and Road Initiative with the new African Continental Free Trade Agreement appears to be gaining momentum among senior Chinese policymakers. Chang Hao, a high-ranking official with the influential National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) -- a powerful body that effectively sets macroeconomic ...

Report: Chinese FDI Trends in the COVID-19 Era Raise Implications for BRI Partner Countries

The London-based think tank Overseas Development Institute published its first Economic Pulse report detailing Chinese overseas investment patterns during the pandemic and what the implications are for countries along the Belt and Road. The report contains a mix of ...

Weaponizing China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Since its inception in 2013, Chinese government officials have insisted that the Belt and Road is solely an economic initiative and does not have any military motivations. But the BRI's civil-military distinction is no longer as clear cut as it used ...

How’s the Belt & Road Doing During the Pandemic? Well, the Answer Depends on Who You Ask

There are conflicting assessments of the health of China's Belt and Road Initiative and how it's fared during the past 7-8 months amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A new report from the London-based analytics and consulting firm ...

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?" ...
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