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WEEK IN REVIEW: Chinese President Xi Jinping Will Not Attend This Week’s G77 Summit in Havana

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa bestowing the Order of South Arica on Xi Jinping during the recent BRICS summit - only his second foreign trip this year. Image: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend this week’s G77 Summit in Havana, making this the third major international event in as many weeks that he’s avoided. Li Xi, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s powerful anti-corruption body, will go in his place as part of a three-nation tour that also includes Brazil and Egypt. (AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE)

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are reportedly in talks to form a strategic metals mining partnership in Africa, Washington’s latest effort to reduce China’s dominance in the EV battery supply chain. Under the purported deal, Saudi would invest in cobalt, lithium and other strategic metals mines that U.S. firms would then purchase the output. (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Voters in the Maldives will go back to the polls at the end of the month for a presidential run-off in a contest widely seen as a referendum on whether the Indian Ocean island state should lean more towards India or China. Pro-China opposition candidate Mohammed Muiz performed better in Saturday’s first round of voting with 46%. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Authorities are investigating an explosion at a Chinese-owned quarry in western Ghana that killed four people on Saturday, including one Chinese national. Four others are still missing. It’s not clear what caused the blast that also destroyed nearby farmland and damaged a number of buildings in the area. (REUTERS)

China’s embassy in Niger has called on its citizens to leave the country. This follows the opening of Nigerien airspace to foreign and commercial flights following the military coup that deposed its civilian president in late July. A statement from the embassy read: “At present, the domestic situation in Niger is generally stable, but there is still some uncertainty in the future development of the situation. In view of the above situation, the Chinese Embassy in Niger reminds all overseas Chinese in Niger to leave Niger as soon as possible for a third country.” (CAJ NEWS AFRICA)

China’s Red Cross has donated $200,000 to Morocco’s Red Crescent to aid its rescue efforts after a devastating earthquake that killed at least 3,000 people and wiped out whole villages. China International Development Cooperation Agency also “stands ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance,” according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning. (CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY)

The Saudi national real estate developer ROSHN has signed a $2.1 billion deal with China Harbor Engineering Company. It will see the state-owned construction giant build 6,700 residential units, mosques, commercial, retail, and other buildings as part of two urban developments driven by the company. (ZAWYA)

Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu hasn’t been seen in public since he gave the keynote address at the China-Africa Security Forum two-weeks ago, prompting speculation about his fate. Li is now the second Chinese minister to go missing since former foreign minister Qin Gang disappeared from public view on June 25. (NIKKEI ASIA)

The aircraft carrier Shandong along with more than 20 other warships are headed to waters between Taiwan, the Philippines and Guam for China’s largest-ever maneuvers in the Western Pacific. The upcoming exercises are seen as a response to recent U.S. Navy drills near China that involved more than two dozen countries. (FINANCIAL TIMES)

The Saudi power company ACWA signed a series of deals with Chinese companies, including China Southern Power Grid International and MingYang Smart Energy Group Ltd, which focuses on integrating renewable enrgy into power grids. The deals will focus on renewable energy, smart grid integration and the production of green hydrogen and ammonia. (ZAWYA)

Singapore tops the 2023 edition of the China Going Out Investment Index as the top international destination for Chinese capital. The city state’s strong status as a business destination, cultural overlaps with China and its neutral position between the two superpowers are all important factors. Positions 2 to 5 are occupied by: Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand. (FIBRE2FASHION)

China became the first country to officially appoint an ambassador to Afghanistan since the Taliban took over in August 2021. Zhao Xing presented his credentials te the government in Kabul on Wednesday. The Taliban leadership isn’t recognized by any country and it’s unclear whether the appointment indicates a step in that direction. A Foreign Ministry statement read: “This is the normal rotation of China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, and is intended to continue advancing dialogue and cooperation between China and Afghanistan … China’s policy towards Afghanistan is clear and consistent.” (REUTERS)

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