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In One of His First Public Appearances as China’s New Ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong Reaffirms Beijing’s Commitment to African Infrastructure Development

China’s newly-arrived envoy to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, made one of his first public appearances on Tuesday in a webinar organized by the South African Institute of International Affairs. Speaking from the embassy in Pretoria, Ambassador Chen spoke for about thirty minutes at the beginning of the forum. He mostly touched on unremarkable issues.

What was interesting, though, is how much he emphasized China’s continued commitment to African infrastructure development. There is growing concern that the Chinese policy banks who’ve funded so much of the continent’s large-scale transportation, power, and digital infrastructure construction over the past decade may reduce their support given the difficulties many governments face in repaying the loans.

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