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The Winding Road of the COVID Crisis

One of the pandemic’s many challenges is how it outflanks our attempts to impose narratives on it. Humans are storytelling creatures – we use narrative to make sense of chaos and to prioritize threats. Each new phase of the pandemic scrambles the stories we used to make ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Commodity Supercycle Blues

The editorial board of Financial Times published an op-ed yesterday announcing a new commodities supercycle. They argued that the global pivot towards climate-friendlier technologies like electric vehicles is pushing demand for metals like cobalt, lithium and palladium (used in catalytic converters.) In addition, the Biden administration’s new commitments to building infrastructure at home (and possibly abroad) will further boost demand for steel, with iron ore futures hitting record prices in Singapore this week.Where FT ...

China’s Global Vaccine Distribution Drive Appears to Have Come to a Halt… At Least For Now

China's once frenetic global vaccine distribution drive appears to have come to a grinding halt, at least temporarily, amid a push to gets jabs into the arms of its own people (photo). As of Sunday, China had inoculated 275 million people domestically.

The Man Who Came Up With the Now-Debunked Chinese “Debt Trap” Theory Still Trying to Convince Official Washington that It’s a Thing

Commentator and author Brahama Chellaney is determined to keep his Chinese "debt trap" theory alive regardless of whether or not there's any credible evidence to support his assertion. Chellaney first introduced the idea in ...

COVID and the Emerging Global Landscape

This week saw a small, but notable indicator in my corner of the global COVID landscape. South Africa announced that it will import 10 million doses each of China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines. South Africa is hardly the first country in the Global South to ...

Quad Queries

I’ve wondered in the past whether ‘the Quad’ – the alliance among the United States, Japan, Australia and India dedicated as a counterweight to China’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region – has taken on such prominence simply because the word is so fun to say. Quad quad ...

China, Africa and the Fast-Changing Geopolitics of Vaccines

Public health authorities across Africa are scrambling to find new sources of vaccines now that the supply of jabs they had been counting on from the global Covax alliance has all but come to a halt due to the unfolding disaster in India.

If You Aren’t Terrified About What’s Happening in India, You Should Be

Watching the calamity unfold in India from here in Vietnam feels like staring at a category 5 typhoon that's barreling straight at you. There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. With 350,000 infections a day, which is probably just a fraction ...

With the COVID Crisis Exploding in India, More Countries Turn to China to Fill the Vaccine Void

The vaccine distribution dynamic is rapidly changing in response to the unfolding calamity in India, where the country's healthcare system has collapsed due to an explosion of infections across the country. Experts say the Indian ...

Seems Like Building an Alternative to China’s BRI is the Thing to Do. Now, the EU and India Want to Give It a Try.

The European Union and India are reportedly in talks to develop a new partnership to build infrastructure around the world in an effort to provide an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative. If this sounds familiar, well, it is. U.S. ...

The Impact of India’s Surging COVID-19 Infection Rate Will be Felt Throughout the Developing World

A massive surge of COVID-19 infections in India threatens to make worse what was already a difficult situation for developing countries in Africa and around the world in their efforts to contain the pandemic. A record 274,000 infections were reported yesterday, a figure that ...

India, Africa, and the U.S.-China Rivalry

The United States government is stepping up its effort to mobilize its friends and allies to challenge China's growing influence across large swathes of the Global South. While Southeast Asia is the primary front in this burgeoning rivalry, Africa and the ...
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