Chinese ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zhu Jing, is back in Kinshasa now after a week-long tour earlier this month to the country’s strategically important mining zones in Lualaba and Katanga Provinces. Those two regions are at the heart of a rapidly escalating geopolitical competition among the world’s major economic powers over who will have access to the DRC’s vast supply of cobalt and other metals/minerals that are used to power electric vehicles.
China, for now, is the dominant foreign player in the Congolese cobalt extractive sector, and Zhu’s visit was widely perceived as a way to convey to international rivals in Washington, D.C., Brussels and elsewhere that Beijing’s standing in the region remains formidable.
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