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WEEK IN REVIEW: Japanese Foreign Minister Arrived in South Africa on Tuesday on Three-Nation African Tour

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi speaks during the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Japan at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Jakarta on July 13, 2023. BAGUS INDAHONO / POOL / AFP

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi arrived in South Africa on Tuesday for the first leg of a three-nation African tour that also includes stops in Uganda and Ethiopia. Hayashi’s visit is widely seen as part of G7 countries’ broader effort to counteract China and Russia’s growing influence on the continent. (NIKKEI ASIA)

Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD plans to withdraw a billion-dollar plan to build an assembly factory in India after three ministries reportedly expressed security concerns about the investment. This is the second major Chinese auto manufacturing deal to collapse in India over the past year. (REUTERS)

The Chinese Defense Ministry is blaming foreign navies for destabilizing the East China and South China seas. The ministry on Saturday did not name specific countries but implicitly targeted Japan and the U.S. when it said that frequent deployments of ships and aircraft in the seas are intended to “show off their military force for self-interest.” (REUTERS)

Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng arrived in Islamabad on Sunday for a visit to mark the 10-year anniversary of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) mega infrastructure initiative. Prior to his arrival, China announced that it would roll over another $2.4 billion in debt repayments, much of it tied to CPEC projects. (AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE)

The United Arab Emirates and China will conduct joint air force exercises in Xinjiang in August, according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense. The ‘Falcon Shield 2023’ exercise “aims to deepen pragmatic exchange and cooperation between the two militaries and to promote mutual understanding and trust,” said a brief statement, but the Ministry didn’t specify the length or scope of the joint maneuvres nor the size of the UAE’s contingent (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

A consortium made up of the Chinese shipping giant Cosco, its ports developer Hutchison Port Holdings, and the French shipping firm CMA CGM has started work on a container terminal in Egypt’s Ain Sokhna Port on the Red Sea. It is part of a deal that will include a second facility in Dekheila Port in Alexandria Province. The Ain Sokhna facility will be Egypt’s largest and will be able to service massive container ships of up to 400 meters. The two projects will cost $5 billion, with a contract period of 30 years. (XINHUA)

The Argentinian government has struck a deal with the People’s Bank of China to obtain $1.7 billion in RMB via currency swaps in order to help pay off $2.7 in debt to the International Monetary Fund. The remainder will be covered with a $1 billion loan from the Development Bank of Latin America (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)

The already beleaguered South African rand took another hit on Tuesday when investors sold the currency in response to weak Chinese manufacturing data. Chinese factory activity in July fell a fourth consecutive month which is particularly bad news for SA and other commodity-producing countries that rely disproportionately on exports to China. (REUTERS)

The central banks of China and Mongolia renewed a two billion currency swap agreement that will allow Mongolian exporters to do more business in Chinese yuan. China is using more of these currency swap deals which will allow heavily indebted countries which have run dangerously low on U.S. dollars to conduct trade. (PEOPLE’S BANK OF CHINA — in Chinese)

The U.S. embassy in the Philippines has raised concerns about the involvement of China Communications Construction Co. in land reclamation projects in Manila Bay. The U.S. sanctioned CCCC in 2020 for its involvement in the building of artificial islands in the South China Sea. The company is carrying out two of the six reclamation projects. In addition to its objections to CCCC’s involvement, the embassy also raised environmental concerns about the reclamation project more broadly. (REUTERS)

The Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD is under investigation in India for underpaying taxes. Although it reportedly paid $9 million in back taxes after the preliminary findings of an investigation were made public, the investigation is ongoing and could lead to further charges. (REUTERS)

China Investment Corp. is a leading bidder for ICD Brookfield Place, a tower building in Dubai’s financial district that counts Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase as tenants. A 49% stake in the building is being offered, and Malaysia’s KLCC is also in the running. (BLOOMBERG)

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