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The China-Mediterranean Observer: How China looks at the Med

The most interesting articles published in Chinese media in August revolve around the future of the Iranian nuclear deal and, more broadly, Iran’s role in the Middle East. Chinese experts also commented on the end of France’s Operation Barkhane in Mali, as well as the rising great ...

Free Trade Agreements, China and the Art of Small State Diplomacy

By Jorge Heine The story goes that during the negotiation of the China-Chile free trade agreement (FTA) in 2005, Chile was keen to include wine, one of its leading export products, in the list of duty-free items, but China was reluctant ...

Apple’s Use of India to Limit its Exposure to China Is Part of a Broader Trend 

The relocation of a portion of Apple’s iPhone 14 manufacturing from China to India is reportedly going surprisingly smoothly, getting underway weeks ahead of schedule. The move is an example of a wider manufacturing strategy by global brands. Apple ...

U.S. Builds Mineral Coalition to Displace China

The United States hopes to use its rich allies to channel investment to resource-rich countries in order to cut China out of mineral supply chains. The U.S.-led Minerals Security Partnership, which also includes Japan, the EU and others, held a ministerial meeting ...

Getting China Out of the U.S. Battery Metal Supply Chain Easier Said Than Done

The United States's plan to displace China from global mineral supply chains while simultaneously making them more environmentally, socially and governmentally (ESG) sustainable could be a bigger task than U.S government officials would like to admit.  The UK ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Philippine President Ramps Up Rhetoric as Local Attitudes Harden

The President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., told soldiers to be ready for any conflict amid a potential overlap of his country’s tensions with China in the South China Sea and growing tensions between China and Taiwan.
Speaking to troops at a base in the northern Isabela province on Monday, Marcos said: “The external threat now has become more pronounced, has become more worrisome, and that is why we have to ...

How Powerful is China in Zimbabwe? New Report Counts the Ways

The prominent Zimbabwean environmental NGO, the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), published a new policy brief mapping China's influence in key Zimbabwean economic sectors, including extractives, utilities and power. ZELA has been sharply critical of Chinese ...

China Continues Gulf Diplomacy

China’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deng Li, met with ambassadors from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries on Monday. Envoys from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and other member countries joined the meeting, which reportedly touched on the ongoing crisis in Yemen, among other (unspecified) topics. 

A View of the Belt and Road from Southeast Asia

Western press coverage of China's Belt and Road Initiative is frequently filtered through anxieties about shifts in the West's own international influence. So it's very interesting to watch this new documentary about the BRI by Singapore's state-owned Channel News Asia. It gives equal time to the opportunities ...

Why the U.S. And Israel Are Not Aligned on China

Israel and China are reportedly in the final stages of negotiating a free trade agreement that both sides say will be done before the end of the year. This may come as a surprise to some given how relations between the ...