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China’s Rapidly Evolving Relations in the DR Congo

Foreign Minister Wang Yi's stopover in Kinshasa on his latest Africa tour highlights the growing importance of the DR Congo in Chinese foreign policy. During his visit, Wang announced a modest debt relief package and that the DRC would become the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Unpacking the Chinese Government’s New Development Vision

This weekend the Chinese government released a new white paper on development. It comes in unassuming guise – it’s basically a MS Word Doc with the workaday title of China’s International Development Cooperation in the New Era. But in its own way it’s eye-popping.If (like me) you have an irrational fetish for long lists of country names, this document is for you. The bulk of the white paper outlines the different kinds of ...

With New Lockdowns in South Africa Threatening to Slow Cobalt Exports to China, Prices For the Strategically Important Metal Are Going Up

Investors are becoming increasingly worried that South Africa's recent decision to close 20 land ports will adversely impact the flow of cobalt from mines in the DR Congo to customers in China. President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a series of new lockdown measures ...

Wang Yi’s Busy Day in Kinshasa

On the second stop of his weeklong Africa tour, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spent a very busy day on Wednesday in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he met with President Félix Tshisekedi and Foreign Minister Marie Tumba Nzeza. ...

Congolese Reflect on the Stark Contrast Between the Violence in Washington and Wang Yi’s Visit to Kinshasa

Wednesday was a day of sharp contrasts for Congolese looking at the United States and China from afar. While pro-Trump extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol, China's Foreign Minister was in Kinshasa signing deals and relieving old debts. The stark contrast in ...

China Combines Military Outreach with PPE Diplomacy in the DRC

China's ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo handed over a donation on behalf of the People's Liberation Army to an officer from the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC). The donation of health supplies is part of a larger PLA engagement strategy to foster ...

Construction Begins on New Chinese-Financed Vocational Campus in an Important Congolese Cobalt Mining City

The Chinese embassy in Kinshasa announced that construction will begin soon on a new vocational education campus in Kowlezi, the capital of the southern Lualaba province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The new 15,000 square ...

Construction Begins on a Massive New Chinese-Financed Cultural Center in Kinshasa

The Chinese embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that construction had begun on an enormous new art and cultural center in the capital Kinshasa. Work on the enormous new facility had been delayed due to COVID-19.

Cobalt Prices Slump Even as China Ramps Up Imports and the U.S. Declares National Emergency Over Critical Materials Supply Chains

Neither China's recent cobalt buying binge nor a declaration of a state of emergency by U.S. President Donald Trump about securing the supply chains for strategic minerals, including cobalt, have been enough to boost the price of the chemical element, which is used to make batteries for ...

China’s “Cobalt Empire”

China's steadily deteriorating relations with the United States and European Union countries are prompting renewed attention on who controls the supply chains for the strategic minerals, elements, and metals that are essential ingredients in electronics and next-generation technologies. For the past ...

218 Chinese Blue Helmets Begin New Deployment in the DR Congo

The Chinese embassy in Kinshasa announced that a contingent of UN-commanded 218 PLA soldiers, who arrived in the country on September 30th, is now operational. The embassy noted that this is the Chinese military's 24th deployment to the DRC since 2003.

Africa’s Strategic Mineral Deposits Now at the Center of an Increasingly Fraught Great Power Competition

Iron ore, tantalum, cobalt, coltan, and a handful of other strategically important minerals and elements are at the center of an increasingly heated battle for the control of global supply chains among the world's largest economies. Leaders in Europe and the ...
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