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The News Feed is a curated selection of the most important China-Africa news edited by CAP’s editors in Asia and Africa.

Pompeo Renews Attacks on China’s Engagement and Calls on African Leaders to Reassess Ties With Beijing

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched a new round of attacks against China and its presence in Africa at a recent press briefing for foreign journalists in Washington, D.C. The Secretary responded to ...

Pompeo’s Critiques of the Chinese in Africa Sparks Pointed Response From Beijing

Secretary Pompeo’s comments on Africa were just one of several U.S. critiques that dominated much of Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian’s regular press briefing on Friday. After responding to the Secretary’s announcement that 

China’s 3-Step Propaganda Response to U.S. Critiques

A predictable sequence of events now unfolds whenever senior-level U.S. officials, notably President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, launch new broadsides against China: Wait between 12 and 24 hours for the ...

With an Eye on Annoying China, the U.S. National Security Council Praises Taiwan’s Outreach in East Africa

Just hours after Secretary Pompeo’s critical comments of the Chinese presence in Africa, the U.S. National Security Council followed up with a provocative tweet that praised Taiwan’s recent agreement with the self-declared state ...

Washington’s Outspoken Ambassador to Kenya Doesn’t Think Too Highly of Chinese Universities

Never one to mince words, the normally outspoken U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter, got into a squabble over the weekend with a pair of Kenyans who were enquiring about the status of student visas ...

African Stakeholders May Want to Keep Close Watch on How Small South Asian Countries are Handling the India-China Conflict

Africa is by no means alone as a region where small countries are struggling to stay out of great power competition. In South Asia, smaller countries like Nepal, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka are doing ...

Reflections on the Coming Era of Great Power Competition in Africa

Given the heightened tensions between the United States and China and the corresponding implications for Africa, a new conversation is getting underway over what great power competition looks like in the 21st century and whether ...

Webinar: UK-China-Africa Infrastructure Cooperation in the Post COVID-19 Era

Amid increasingly tense UK-China relations, it was refreshing to watch a webinar dating from earlier this month focusing on how the two countries can work together with stakeholders in southern Africa to build new infrastructure ...

There’s Mounting Grassroots Opposition to a Chinese Mining Company’s Desire to Expand its Operations in Northern Ghana

A small-scale mining site once mined by Chinese miners is pictured on June 15, 2013 in Dunkwa-on-Offin in the center of Ghana. AFP PHOTO / CHRIS STEIN Chris Stein / AFP
A coalition of grassroots organizations that includes women’s groups, small-scale miners’ and human rights organizations are all protesting against the Chinese-owned Shaanxi Mining Company’s plans to expand its operations in the northern district of Talensi. ...

Two Opposing Views of the Controversial New $2.8 Billion Chinese-financed AKK Pipeline in Nigeria

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari launched production last week of a vast, new multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline that will cross almost the entire country. The 614-kilometer Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline is one of Nigeria’s largest ...

The Chinese Embassy in Abuja Blasts Nigerian COVID-19 Lawsuit as “Shoddy” and “Frivolous”

The Chinese embassy in Nigeria on Wednesday forcefully reasserted its objections to a $200 billion lawsuit against China for reparations for COVID-19 filed by a group of Nigerian lawyers in the High Court. “The attempt ...

Kenya’s Inability to Get Shippers to Use its New SGR Cargo Depot in Naivasha Raises Doubts About Debt Repayment

Unloading cargo at the Naivasha inland container depot in Kenya's Rift Valley. Image via @sgr_operation.
Only 14 cargo trains traveled on the new Mombasa-Naivasha standard gauge railway (SCR) line in June despite the government’s order that all goods destined for Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan be cleared at the Naivasha ...

Kenya-China Debt Relief Talks Stall

Critical debt restructuring talks between China and Kenya have stalled over Nairobi’s sudden decision to participate in the G20’s debt service suspension initiative (DSSI) after all. Previously, the Kenyan government said it would not participate ...

ICYMI: Video Now Available of CARI’s Latest Webinar “Risky Business: New Data on Chinese Loans and Africa’s Debt Problem”

In case you missed last week’s webinar hosted by CARI Director Deborah Brautigam and Kevin Gallagher, director of Boston University’s Global Policy Development Center, where they introduced the new interactive loan database ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Why Are We Still Talking About Chinese “Debt Traps?”

My own focus on China-Africa relations is filtered through my background in media studies. One effect of this training is that I’m fascinated by the narratives that shape the relationship, how they spread and what they reveal. 

One of the hardiest narratives in the relationship over the past few years has been the idea that China is a predatory lender, who uses loans to lure countries into debt distress in ...

A Not-So-Extraordinary Summit

This week’s ‘Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19’ was largely uneventful. The initiatives announced in President Xi Jinping’s address were either projects that had already been announced before (China building the Africa CDC, which will now be accelerated) or long-term Chinese standard operating procedure (cancelling some zero-interest loans maturing in 2020. Zero-interest loans are cancelled relatively often, and they only make up a fraction of China’s total lending to Africa.) 

In ...

So. Many. Ironies.

Wow. The ironies are popping up so fast they’re going fractal. 

As protests mount in the United States against the systemic and structural racism that has turned institutions like the police into something akin to occupying forces in certain neighborhoods, guess who’s chiming in with words of support for the protesters? 

To see Chinese officials playing social justice warrior mere weeks after the mass eviction and exclusion of Africans in ...

The Geopolitics of COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis is proving an interesting case study in the impact of different ways of conducting public diplomacy. Any public diplomacy is dependent on two factors: staying on message, and making sure that message doesn’t play into negative perceptions about you in the wider world. 

The impact of the Guangzhou crisis proves the latter point. The diplomatic impact of the well-documented discrimination against Africans in southern China just isn’t ...

Nigeria’s Emerging Role in China-Africa Relations

One of the unexpected outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis is its rapidly escalating impact on the relationship between Nigeria and China. Several African governments have protested the treatment of African migrants in Guangzhou, but Nigeria is emerging as the epicentre of a diplomatic crisis in China-Africa relations. 

The motion tabled in the the country’s House of Representatives, aimed at investigating the immigration compliance of each Chinese company and individual in ...

Economics Versus Narrative in the China-Africa Relationship

As the COVID-19 crisis drags on, we’re seeing the emergence of two contradictory trends.

On the one hand, the crisis has revealed the relative fragility of public diplomacy ties between China and Africa. While high-level government-to-government diplomacy continues, the Guangzhou crisis seems to have fed into long-term narratives about China among ordinary Africans. It appears to be revealing the limits of the sunny narrative of egalitarianism pushed by official Chinese ...

The Thorny Politics of Gratitude

The COVID-19 crisis is nothing if not instructive. It has functioned like an X-ray, revealing hidden weaknesses in systems across the world. This isn’t only true in the narrow sense, relating to health care, insurance, and protective gear manufacturing systems. It’s also true in the wider, political sense. 

In some ways, the pandemic reinforces depressing stereotypes about the continent. The discussions around possible debt relief, and regular donations of PPE, ...

After Guangzhou, China-Africa Relations Return to Normal but Big Problems Loom Below the Surface

The squall caused by the eviction and mistreatment of Africans in Guangzhou is dying down, and the China-Africa relationship seems to be heading back to its usual state: glassy calm on the surface with massive currents deep below.

The fact that everyone, including the African press, seems in a hurry to move on from the fight shouldn’t surprise us. After all, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic during ...

Ambassador Lin Songtian’s Recall Signals Shifts Ahead in China-Africa Relationship

The sudden recall from South Africa of Chinese ambassador Lin Songtian was initially interpreted as being a demotion. But the contrary appears to be true – it now looks as though his deft use of Twitter has propelled him into another role: A combatant in the growing U.S.-China media confrontation.

And then he was gone: Lin Songtian, China’s outspoken ambassador to South Africa, who has reshaped how Beijing communicates with ...

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 to the human exploitation of ecosystems as national assets, which compels the human-animal interactions that probably made the virus infectious to humans in ...

New Documentary Makes the Case for Kenya’s Embattled Standard Gauge Railway Cargo Lines

Supporters of Kenya’s ailing Standard Gauge Railway produced a 20 minute-documentary that was broadcast on national TV this week in an attempt to persuade an increasingly skeptical public of the SGR’s merits. The program was ...

Buhari: China Reversing Nigeria’s Infrastructure Deficit

Outgoing Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, speaking with President Mohammadu Buhari via video conference. Image via @china_emb_ng
President Muhammadu Buhari lauded China’s contributions to help Nigeria finance and build badly-needed infrastructure. “China’s playing a great role in reversing Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit,” he said in a statement following a farewell meeting ...

OPay’s Failure Prompts Reflection in Nigeria’s Tech Community

Opay workers sit to monitor riders in the field at the company's control room, Ikeja in Lagos, on August 30, 2019. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP
Last week’s announcement by the Chinese-owned Nigerian-based e-commerce and payments company OPay to suspend four of its services (ORide, OTrade, OCar, OFood) caught a lot of people by surprise. After raising an ...

Another High Profile Chinese Ambassador in Africa to Leave Soon

China’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, is making the rounds this week to say good-bye to officials in Abuja ahead of his planned departure. Ambassador Zhou is the third high profile Chinese envoy ...

Kenya’s Embattled Standard Gauge Railway Reopens After COVID-19 Lockdown and Now Has to Earn a Lot of Money Fast to Repay Chinese Loans

TONY KARUMBA / AFP
Kenya’s ailing Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) announced plans to resume passenger service between Nairobi and Mombasa now that President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the partial lockdown in the capitol. During the lockdown, brought on ...

Chinese, Arab Foreign Ministers Wrap Up Uneventful Low Key Forum

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi speaking at the 9th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Photo via the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met on Monday with his counterparts from North Africa, the Mideast, and the Gulf for a surprisingly low-key online ministerial conference. The 9th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, ...

The Chinese Embassy in Malawi Showcases White Hunters in its Appeal to Crackdown on the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Given China’s outsized role in the illicit African wildlife trade, it’s interesting to note the imagery that the Chinese embassy in Malawi selected in their Tweet today to denounce illegal poaching.

CAP Expert Network

David Dambre

African Region Director
Department of Defense

April Long

Nairobi-based China-Africa Event Organizer & Lifestyle Influencer

Pippa Morgan

Global Perspectives on Society Postdoctoral Fellow
NYU Shanghai

Jideofor Ahaneku

Founder
gobuyhub ventures

April Zhu

Nairobi-based freelance journalist

Kwaku Bonsu

Master of Economics Candidate
Capital University of Economics and Business

Jo-Ann Hamilton

Entrepreneur
Rare Birds

Barry Van Wyk

Project Coordinator
Africa-China Reporting Project

As China’s International Relations Become Increasingly Fractious, Friendly Ties With Small Countries Like Ghana Gain Importance

China and Ghana marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations on Sunday and while these kinds of anniversaries typically aren’t very newsworthy, this year, well, things are different. Amid conflicts with India, ...

University of Cape Town Professor Says Africans Need to Understand Why China Values Ties With the Continent

Professor Carlos Lopes from the University of Cape Town is challenging the widely-held perception that Africa is very important to China’s broader global economic agenda. Well, they’re wrong, he said in a ...

Will China Use Today’s Summit With Arab Leaders to Promote Its Policies in Xinjiang?

TWEET TRANSLATION: "Ahead of the upcoming opening of the ninth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, I am pleased to hand over the protective supplies that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents to the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States. Now, the Chinese and Arab sides fought the joint battle against the virus with solidarity and cooperation."
Arab and Chinese leaders will meet today via video conference to take part in the 9th Ministerial China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, a similar grouping to that of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation ...

Both China and Somalia Equally Upset About Taiwan’s Entreaties With Somaliland

Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo and Chinese Ambassador Qin Jian meet to discuss bilateral ties and Taiwan's recent moves to establish diplomatic ties with the self-declared state of Somaliland.
Somali President Mohamed Farmajo met with Chinese Ambassador Qin Jian on Saturday to publicly reaffirm Mogadishu’s commitment to the “One China Policy” following last week’s news that Taiwan was moving to establish ...

The UN Human Rights Council Statement on Hong Kong Highlights Why African Countries Are Becoming Increasingly Important to China

Africa’s growing political importance to China was on full display at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) last week in Geneva where nearly half of the signatories of a statement supporting China’s controversial national ...

COVID-19 Crisis Sparks New Drive in Africa to Reduce Dependency on Chinese Imports and Boost Local Manufacturing

Workers at Welele Honey main processing plant in Mekele, Ethiopia, are pictured packaging honey for sale. ZACHARIAS ABUBEKER / AFP
The disruption to global trade due to the COVID-19 outbreak and high levels of dependency on imported Chinese goods are prompting policymakers in a growing number of African countries to develop new initiatives that aim ...

See What Happens When You Start to Talk Openly and Honestly About Chinese Debt?

Last week the Nigerian Debt Management Office (DMO) published a refreshingly simple and transparent summary of the country’s borrowing from China that included detailed information on how much the country owes, the terms ...

STUDENT xCHANGE

Li Zhiyi,

16, Shanghai Foreign Language School, China

The COVID-19 pandemic has aroused worldwide attention to wildlife consumption in China. So what is the current consumption like? Why do the Chinese have that obsession? And how can we reduce consumption in the future?

“Pangolins, turtles, snakes, and some kinds of birds… My family used to eat at home ...

Atharv Gupta,

18, Georgetown University, United States

During a conversation I recently had with the founder of a Nigerian rural healthcare nonprofit, I got a real taste of what COVID-19 looks on the ground for healthcare practitioners in the developing world. Nigeria has not yet faced the full force of COVID-19, with approx. 300 cases and less ...

Atharv Gupta,

18, Georgetown University, United States

Few names are as closely associated with philanthropy as Bill Gates. As the second richest person alive, he has used his immense wealth to improve global health through his charitable organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation gave over $4 billion in grants in 2017, making it one ...

Amodani Gariba,

22, Koforidua Technical University, Ghana

The coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan sparked an intense global conversation on health implications. Governments of developed nations responded quickly by putting measures in place to avert an outbreak, though they have not been so successful at that. In so doing, the world wondered how Africa would cope, given its frail ...

Amodani Gariba,

22, Koforidua Technical University, Ghana

Though some skeptics, in conspiracy theory fashion, link the source of the novel coronavirus to U.S. biological warfare, what has been identified to be a more probable cause of the virus by international health organizations, like the World Health Organization (WHO), is a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan that sells dead ...

Yuan Xinyi,

16, Shanghai Foreign Language School, China

Kenya is an African country
with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors, analogous to
states in the US. Therefore, it is famous for its ethnic diversity—
especially tribal diversity.

The Maasai are one of the
many diverse groups within Kenya; a minority tribe, they are ...

Amodani Gariba,

22, Koforidua Technical University, Ghana

A local Ghananian publication, Star FM, published a news story on Saturday 28 December 2019, about 100 cars that were gifted to Ghana’s Police Service by the Chinese government. Explaining the gift, China’s  ambassador to Ghana, Shi Ting Wang, said: “These vehicles will play an important role in fighting crime ...

Amodani Gariba,

22, Koforidua Technical University, Ghana

While Ghana’s President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, is eyeing the next election; the Chinese are gazing at the opportunity to secure supply of strategic resources probably at the expense of the Ghanaian nation.

About
The Deal

Atiwa forest is a 26,000 hectares area in the southeastern part of Ghana. It is ...

Andrew George Brown,

21, All Nations University College, Ghana

Three weeks ago, I attended the maiden edition of the Africa
Netpreneur Summit followed by the African Heroes Awards, an initiative of Jack
Ma Foundation in collaboration with Alibaba Group in Accra, Ghana. Upon
attending and reading numerous writeups about the event, I thought to add my

“At Long Last, We Now Know How Much Poor Country Governments Owe China”

Outside of the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Daniel SLIM / AFP
The team at the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C, has been poring through the treasure trove of information contained in the World Bank’s newly released International Debt ...

Africa Practice: Africa is Not Facing a Debt Crisis but Some African Countries Certainly Are

The London-based consultancy Africa Practice published a new infographic on Twitter that highlights the wide disparities between different countries’ debt-to-GDP ratio across the continent. 
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