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WEEK IN REVIEW: Russia and China Will Conduct Joint Military Exercises From 1 to 7 September

Russia and China will conduct joint military exercises from 1 to 7 September. However, the scale of this year’s exercises is much smaller than before. Similar exercises four years ago involved 300,000 troops. This time it will be 50,000, reflecting the impact of the Ukraine war. 

There’s New Impetus in the U.S. To Get China Out of the Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain. It Won’t Be Easy.

The electric vehicle battery start-up SPARKZ announced this week that it will build a new 4.5-hectare factory in the rural U.S. state of West Virginia. The new facility will employ 350 workers, mostly former coal miners, in what will become a critical test for Washington's desire ...

China is Using its Cobalt Playbook to Corner Lithium Supplies

Chinese mining companies are moving quickly to snap up some of the world's largest lithium mines, mostly located in South America's so-called "Lithium Triangle" that stretches across Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Since 2018, Chinese companies have invested an estimated $16 billion ...

Trend Watch: Chinese Companies Moving Fast to Develop New EV Batteries

China's largest battery makers are moving quickly to introduce a new generation of power packs for electric vehicles that, in some cases, don't use controversial metals like cobalt. There are two main players to watch in this new battery tech race: ...

Top Australian Official to Visit Ghana Amid Bitter Sino-Aussie Mining Controversy

Australia's Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts will travel to Ghana later this month to personally intervene in a rapidly escalating three-way controversy involving the Ghanaian government and a pair of mining companies from Australia and China. Last week, the ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

DRC Government Tries to Reframe Underwhelming Beijing Visit

Félix Tshisekedi, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, left for a trip to Beijing last week amid sky-high expectations of both new deals and the significant reworking of current agreements widely seen in his country as favoring Chinese actors. None of this happened.
Instead, he returned with a fistful of non-binding MoUs to widespread dissatisfaction back home. Since then, DRC officials have worked overtime to try and spin the trip as a longer-term ...

China’s Top Diplomat For Africa Leads Discussion on Infrastructure Development in Southern Africa

The African Union's representative office in Beijing co-hosted a roundtable discussion this week on Chinese infrastructure development in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).   China's top diplomat for Africa, Wu Peng (center top), delivered the keynote address for the virtual event, ...

China Appoints Veteran Diplomat to Senior Africa Role

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian announced on Wednesday that veteran Chinese diplomat Liu Yuxi will replace Beijing's outgoing Special Representative on African Affairs, Xu Jinghu. Liu assumes the role with more than 30 years of ...

There’s a Creeping Sense Last Week’s Japan’s Africa Summit Was Kind of Underwhelming

The post-mortems of last week's Tokyo International Conference on African Development are starting to come in and the reviews, at least from some in the Japanese media, are not very encouraging.  One of Japan's main news agencies, Jiji, said the event ...