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G20 Reps Close Another Meeting Without Any Firm Commitments on Vaccines or Debt Relief For World’s Poorest Countries

In what's becoming a predictable routine, high-level representatives from the world's wealthiest countries get together, express anguish over the rapid spread of COVID-19 in developing countries, issue a call for more equitable distribution of vaccines and then restate longstanding positions that bilateral creditors (read China) and bondholders ...

Scholar: G7’s B3W is Just a Bad Copy of China’s Belt and Road

It's been a month since the G7 unveiled its new "Build Back Better World" (B3W) initiative that aims to rival China's Belt and Road Initiative by providing an alternative source of infrastructure development financing that is presumably more transparent and sustainable. So far, ...

Leading Development Experts Try to Decipher the B3W and Whether It Can Present a Viable Alternative to China’s BRI

There's been a lot of discussion since the Group of 7 countries announced the creation of the new Build Back Better World (B3W) initiative. It is nominally intended to help developing countries build badly-needed infrastructure. But B3W also includes an underlying political objective: presenting an alternative, some ...

Chinese Social Media Uproar Over Allegations of Chinese Illegal Fishing

A massive social media uproar is underway in China over allegations made by leading online (Chinese) influencers and the Beijing-based, European-funded China Dialogue environmental news website that have brought attention to the issue of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) Chinese fishing around the world.

Nigeria Gives Up on Chinese Lenders to Finance Two Railway Projects, Talks With Standard Chartered Now Underway

The slowdown in Chinese infrastructure development lending in Africa is on vivid display in Nigeria, where the country's Transportation Minister acknowledged that he's no longer counting on Beijing to finance a pair of multi-billion railway projects, according to a Bloomberg report. ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Reading the Smoke

As things slowly settle down in South Africa after the last ruinous week, the debates about who’s really to blame are catching fire. It’s now being called an insurrection attempt, and President Ramaphosa has referred to those responsible for fueling the protests as ‘enemies of democracy.’ One of the problems underlying the current crisis is that he’s both right and wrong. South Africa is indeed, as Ramaphosa called it, a ‘hard-fought-for democracy.’ ...

Everyone, Not Just the Chinese, Are Playing the Game of Vaccine Diplomacy Says SOAS Prof Stephen Chan

Acclaimed China-Africa scholar and University of London professor Stephen Chan pushed back on the narrative that China alone is using vaccines to gain political advantage in its foreign policy. "To be fair, everyone's playing this game of vaccine diplomacy," he said on the latest episode of the ...

Be Wary of All Those “Hyperbolic” Reports Warning of the Dangers of Chinese Technology

The fear that China is going to export digital authoritarianism and repression to Africa is way overblown and oversimplified in Western media reports and think tank analysis cautions Iginio Gagliardone, a media scholar at Wits University in Johannesburg and one of the world's foremost scholars ...

China Tops the Agenda at G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting

China topped the agenda at Tuesday's G7 foreign ministers meeting in London, the first time envoys from the world's seven wealthiest countries have met in person since the COVID-19 outbreak. The ministers spent two hours, four times longer ...

Most G7 Countries Really Do Want to Challenge China’s BRI, They Just Can’t Agree How

It looks increasingly likely that infrastructure development in the Global South is going to be quite high on the agenda at the upcoming European Union and Group of 7 (G7) meetings in May and June. Specifically, U.S., European and Japanese leaders seem intent on elevating the ongoing ...

Q&A: China Likely to See the Cut in UK Aid Spending as Both an Opportunity and a Loss

The British government's decision to slash its overseas aid budget from $21.3 billion in 2020 to $13.8 billion this year is prompting heightened anxiety within the U.S. and European development communities that the move will provide a new opening for China to expand its influence in Africa ...
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