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Beijing’s “Mask Diplomacy” Now a Simmering Issue in the Increasingly Acrimonious U.S.-China Relationship

U.S. policymakers, journalists and other Washington, D.C. stakeholders have noted with growing alarm how China is leveraging the distribution of masks and other PPE used to contain COVID-19 to advance its diplomatic agenda around the world. There is a sense of ...

The U.S. Wants to be Very Clear That It, Not China, is the World’s Largest Provider of Humanitarian Aid

Amid headlines of Jack Ma's donation of COVID-19 PPE in Africa and a steady stream of news stories characterizing the U.S. as going "AWOL" in the fight against the global pandemic, the U.S. Department of State wants to remind everyone that America remains ...

China Ramps Up “Mask Diplomacy” in Africa 

The Chinese government appears to be taking full advantage of the country's newfound ability to produce extraordinary amounts of masks and other COVID-19 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and using that gear to advance its diplomatic agenda in Africa and other regions around the world. ...

COVID-19 and the Crisis of National Development

COVID-19’s rapid move from warning sign to global pandemic has yanked the spotlight onto a number of questions humanity has been uneasily avoiding for years. Beyond the human-focused ones like how to keep a global economy running when flights are shut down, it has also drawn attention ...

How COVID-19 Will Change Global Perceptions of the U.S.: Perspectives From an American Student

“At this point, we’re probably better off spending spring break in Wuhan.” As a college freshman who returned home for spring break on March 6th, I fully expected to return by the 16th. Within days, however, updates cascaded ...

Africa’s Knocking on the Wrong Door for Debt Relief

The whole discussion going on today over calls from African leaders to write off or reschedule their countries' debts feels completely disconnected from reality. For some reason, they're focusing all of their attention on the G20 leaders summit that's going to take place today and comments ...

DRC President’s Refusal to Wear Mask in Meeting With Chinese Ambassador Sparks Concern

China's ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo met with President Félix Tshisekedi yesterday in Kinshasa and while they did maintain a proper distance from one another, the president's refusal to wear a mask prompted concern among Congolese Twitter users. ...

African Twitter Responds to Hantavirus Death in China

A Tweet by the Chinese state-run Global Times newspaper about a man dying from Hantavirus on a bus going to Shandong province in China sparked fears -- unfounded -- on African Twitter of "Coronavirus 2.0." ...

Ethiopian PM Abiy Puts Debt Relief on the COVID-19 Agenda. Now the Multi-Billion Dollar Question is How Will China Respond?

Confronted with an "existential threat," Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed issued an urgent plea to G20 countries for immediate debt relief. The "dramatic decline in exports, disruption of global chains, and the sudden drying up of travel of tourism are sure to wreak havoc to our economies," 

China’s Former Ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, is Officially Gone

Despite his reputation as brash, outspoken and confrontational, Lin Songtian, the former Chinese ambassador to South Africa, quietly left the country on Monday.  His sudden departure is a bit surprising given the enormous role he played in shaping ...
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