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Malaysian Prime Minister Targets U.S. Dollar, South China Sea During Beijing Visit

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s state visit to Beijing has been marked by both pressure for increased cooperation and security tensions. Anwar promoted an increase of Belt and Road cooperation in the post-pandemic era, calling for the infrastructure-focused initiative to “regain its momentum.” ...

Preview of New U.S.-China Popularity Polling in Africa

The influential African polling outfit Afrobarometer has released a glimpse of new polling results among African populations of their perceptions of external powers. Afrobarometer surveys have noted consistently high (and similar) approval rates of both China and the United States in Africa. However, now that popularity seems ...

How Far Ahead Is China in the Battery Race? Pretty Far.

China is sprinting ahead in the global race for critical minerals used to make batteries for electric cars, leaving Western competitors scrambling to catch up. Chinese companies’ early investment into the extraction of lithium and cobalt in Africa was key to this success, according to a detailed new report by ...

China Boosted Pandemic-Era Debt Relief: Report

China’s role in debt renegotiation processes has become very controversial, with U.S. officials like Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen singling Beijing out as a “barrier” to resolving debt distress. However, a new report by a team of prominent Africa-China researchers argues that China conducted ...

What China’s Past Tells Us About the Future of its Foreign Policy in Asia

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim both wrapped up state visits to China last week and their discussions with President Xi Jinping revealed some fascinating linkages between contemporary Chinese foreign policy objectives and Beijing's historical ...

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 ...