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China’s Write-Off of 23 African Loans Doesn’t Move the Debt Needle: Report

China’s announcement last month that it is canceling 23 interest-free loans (IFLs) to seventeen African countries covers at most about 1% of African debt to China, according to a new study by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center.  ...

Confirmed: Xi Jinping Will Travel to Central Asia this Week

It’s finally been confirmed: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first foreign visit since the beginning of the pandemic will be to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan this week. In addition to state visits, he’ll also attend the Shanghai ...

Deportation Lapses Revealed in Ghana’s Illegal Mining Scandal

New revelations about how En (Aisha) Huang, Ghana’s so-called Queen of Galamsey (illegal small-scale gold mining), managed to make her way back to the country despite being deported are adding political heat to an already red-hot controversy. A ...

Chinese Embassy Meets With DRC Ministries About Attacks

The Chinese embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo convened a meeting this weekend with several Congolese government ministries, including the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Interior, as well as immigration officials and the General Administration of the Police, to discuss ongoing attacks against Chinese residents in ...

China-DRC Military Cooperation?

The Defense Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo met with high-level officials from the Chinese embassy, including the military attache, to discuss possible Chinese support for the development of the DRC’s military industry. This follows the release of ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

Chinese Car Brands Pulling Ahead in South Africa 

Chinese car brands like Chery and Haval are outselling traditional favorites like Mercedes Benz and Ford in the South African market. Both brands sold more than a thousand cars in July, far beyond Western competitors.  Read more on the News24 ...

Ten Years of the Belt and Road: Reflections and Recent Trends

By Min Ye In 2023, China will mark the tenth anniversary of its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the billion-dollar push to fund roads, ports and other critical infrastructure around the world. Ahead of this anniversary, it is important to pause ...