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The New York Times’ Popular Podcast The Daily Dedicated an Entire Episode to the U.S.-Chinese Cobalt Competition in the DRC… And It Was Really Mediocre

The massively popular New York Times podcast The Daily devoted an entire episode on Friday to the competition between the U.S. and China over access to the world's largest reserves of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ...

China’s Emerging Ukraine Posture Taps into Western Challenges in the Global South

This weekend, Chinese leaders embarked on a diplomatic blitz. President Xi Jinping had a call with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday, and during the weekend, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi also met with counterparts from Zambia, Algeria, and Tanzania. It’s ...

China Went on a Three Day African Diplomatic Blitz to Rally Support For Its Stance on Ukraine

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi wrapped up a three-day flurry of meetings on Sunday with counterparts from four African countries. Although each of the meetings, according to readouts, addressed a wide range of topics, China's controversial stance on the war in Ukraine emerged ...

Xi-Ramaphosa Call Appears to Reveal that South Africa Has, in Fact, Taken a Side in the Ukraine War

South Africa's zig-zagging response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine appears to be straightening out with President Cyril Ramaphosa increasingly aligned with China's stance on the issue. After initially condemning Moscow's incursion, South Africa's foreign ministry (DIRCO) denounced the Russian attack.  But ...

China’s New Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Winds Down Tour With a Pointed Message:  “Countries are Fed Up With the West”

China's newly-appointed Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa (HoA), Xue Bing (photo), concluded the first portion of a week-long tour on Saturday with a stinging rebuke of U.S. and European-led diplomacy in the region. "Some countries in this area are fed up with the foreign intervention, the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Joint Battlefield Training to Raise Pressure in South China Sea

The U.S. military will reportedly introduce joint combat training with the Philippines in June. Major General Marcus Evans, commander of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, told the Associated Press that the training would increase the Philippine army’s ability to fight in challenging jungle conditions.
The training will run from June 1 to 10. At Manila’s request, the training will be held in Philippine territory for the first time. It will involve about 2,000 people ...

China’s Mideast Special Envoy Meets With Arab League Secretary-General

While China's Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing, is on a tour of regional capitals, Beijing's other Special Envoy, Zhai Jun, is doing the same in the Middle East. Zhai (second to the right) ...

Chinese Commerce Ministry Official Dismisses WSJ Report that China Will Buy Saudi Oil Using RMB

A well-known Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) official in Beijing, Cheng Wang, dismissed the Wall Street Journal report that Saudi Arabia is considering the option of allowing China to purchase oil using yuan rather than U.S. dollars.

U.S. Generals Emphasize China in House Hearings on Africa and Middle East Defense

China played a central role in testimony from senior generals on U.S. defense postures in Africa and the Middle East late last week. General Kenneth McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command in the Middle East and General Stephen Townsend who oversees U.S. troops in ...

China Emerges as Key Issue in Somaliland President’s Visit to Washington, D.C.

The President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, spent last week on Capitol Hill and speaking at Washington, D.C.'s conservative think tanks to make the case for the U.S. to extend diplomatic recognition to the breakaway region.  Bihi received a ...