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China Tries to Maintain Mideast Diplomatic Momentum With Summit Planned for Later This Year

China will host a summit between Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council later this year, reports the Wall Street Journal. The summit with the six-country bloc (made up of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait) will further solidify the normalization of diplomatic ...

State Department Spox: U.S. Not Being Supplanted by China in Mideast as “Some Allege”

The U.S. State Department dismissed suggestions that China’s brokering of a diplomatic thaw between Iran and Saudi Arabia reflects a diminishment of the United States’s influence in the Middle East. Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that: “In any way you look at it, America is deeply engaged with the ...

Israel Not Happy About the China-Brokered Iran-Saudi Arabia Deal

Few countries are as directly affected by the Saudi-Iran deal as Israel. The announcement seemed to have caught the Netanyahu government off guard and occasioned intense discussion, with incumbent and opposition politicians blaming each other for appearing “weak” and lessening Israel’s clout in the region. ...

Unpacking Israeli Reactions to Iran-Saudi Deal

As Israel’s famously feisty commentariat lays into the China-brokered Iran-Saudi thaw, the country’s reactions will likely have broader impacts. Israel’s own role in the region’s security landscape is at play, but its close relationship with the United States will also influence how Washington deals with the broader ...

India To Discourage Foreign Trade Settlement in Chinese Yuan – Sources

India has asked banks and traders to avoid using Chinese yuan to pay for Russian imports, three government officials involved in policy making and two banking sources said, because of long-running political differences with its neighbor. India, which has emerged as ...

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 Blockbuster Wandering Earth II Extends Africa Release With Premiere in Egypt

The Chinese sci-fi spectacle, The Wandering Earth II, is slowly turning into a global blockbuster. The film debuted to enthusiastic audiences in Egypt after getting similarly positive responses in other African countries, including South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique.