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The Big Chill

Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing hand-wringing in Western capitals about how the money China is spending in the Global South translates into direct political influence. This week research was published that quantifies the issue. A new report ...

Head of U.S. Forces in Africa Repeats Unsubstantiated Claim that China Is Planning an Atlantic Military Base

The commander for U.S. forces in Africa (AFRICOM), General Stephen J. Townsend reiterated his assertion that China is looking to build a second military base in Africa, this time somewhere along the Atlantic coast. In a wide-ranging ...

How the Chinese Debt Trap Narrative Spreads in Washington

A webinar convened on Friday by the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, D.C. highlights how the Chinese debt trap narrative has become an accepted truth among U.S. stakeholders, despite a lack of evidence that Beijing intentionally loads up developing countries with unsustainable levels of ...

How China’s Economic and Security Interests Converge in Africa

China-Africa trade smashed a new record in 2021 and surpassed $250 billion. This was a dramatic increase over the $187 billion that the two sides the previous year. But those enhanced trade ties come as ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Big Chill

Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing hand-wringing in Western capitals about how the money China is spending in the Global South translates into direct political influence. This week research was published that quantifies the issue.

A new report by Foreign Policy Research Institute tracked how increased Chinese spending (both loans and foreign direct investment) in African countries aligns with those countries’ voting in the United Nations General Assembly ...

Right Now, It’s the U.S. Fed, Not China That’s Making African Borrowers Very Nervous

While one U.S. foreign policy analyst after another sounds the alarm on the threats posed by Chinese debt in Africa and elsewhere, the reality is that finance policymakers across the continent are currently more anxious about what's going to happen in Washington, specifically at the ...

Contrasting U.S. and Liberian Views on the Role of Chinese Lending in African

There's been a noticeable increase this year in the frequency of seminars (off and online) in the United States about the Belt and Road and China's role in Africa in particular. Generally speaking, the consensus among the participants, particularly those from the U.S., is quite negative towards ...

Report: Increased Chinese Economic Engagement in Africa Has Led to Enhanced Political Alignment

China is realizing significant political dividends from its steadily rising economic engagement in Africa over the past two decades, according to new findings by a trio of scholars in the United States. The researchers, Carla D. Jones, Hermann ...

A Flurry of China-Africa Webinars at Institutions Across the U.S.

Interest in China-Africa relations among scholars and institutions in the U.S. appears to be on the rise in 2022, at least as measured by the number of webinars on the topic over the past couple of weeks: THE HOOVER INSTITUTION ...

IMF = Good, China = Debt Trap 🤦🏾

The New York-based geopolitical consulting firm Eurasia Group's media unit, GZERO, published a new infographic on Thursday that sums up the deeply ingrained yet highly simplistic media narrative in the United States about Western institutions like the IMF versus China: A) ...

Africa Check Challenges a VOA News Report on the Share of Kenya’s External Debt Owed to China

The African fact-checking service Africa Check called out the U.S. government-run news channel VOA for mischaracterizing the share of Kenya's external debt to China. In an article published on January 6th about Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to ...

Howard W. French on the Similarities (and Differences) Between the Soviet Union’s Advances in Africa and China’s Engagement Today

Author and journalist Howard W. French prompted a lively discussion on Twitter this week following the publication of his weekly World Politics Review column that drew parallels between the Soviet Union's embrace of Africa during the Cold War with China's present-day engagement. ...

U.S., European Financial Media Struggle to Report the Chinese Debt Story in the Global South

A number of prominent U.S. and European financial news outlets including the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal among others are visibly struggling in their reporting of Chinese debt stories in the Global South. There's a certain formula that's emerged ...

It’s Difficult to Overstate Just How Much the “Debt Trap” Accusation Irks Chinese Officials

Wu Peng, China's top diplomat for sub-Saharan Africa, on Wednesday posted a tweet that featured a week-old video of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari defending his decision to borrow from China. Wu didn't include any other reference in ...

Professor Ding Long on Why the Gulf Foreign Ministers Visit is So Important

Professor Ding Long, a well-known Mideast scholar at Shanghai International Studies University, reflected on the significance of this week's landmark visit to China by four foreign ministers from Persian Gulf countries.  Writing for a domestic audience in the Chinese edition of ...
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