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Climate Sweet, Climate Bitter

Last week it was Pakistan, this week South Florida. The climate collapse is like a monstrous four-dimensional version of whack-a-mole. You never know where - or how - it will hit. But the hits keep coming.

U.S. Effort to Catch Up With China in the South Pacific Gets Off to Bumpy Start

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday welcomed leaders from 11 South Pacific island nations to the White House for a two-day summit that is widely seen as a critical part of Washington's effort to match China's growing influence in the region. ...

Ghana Commissions First Roads Built Under Controversial Bauxite Deal

Ghana’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia this week commissioned the first road infrastructure built under a controversial $2 billion resource-for-infrastructure deal with the Chinese conglomerate Sinohydro.  Bawumia was eager to claim the inauguration of 441 km of roads in the ...

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 ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Climate Sweet, Climate Bitter

Last week it was Pakistan, this week South Florida. The climate collapse is like a monstrous four-dimensional version of whack-a-mole. You never know where – or how – it will hit. But the hits keep coming.

With the damaged Nord Stream pipeline (and the Global North’s unmitigated hydrocarbon dependence it represents) bubbling away in the Baltic Sea, U.S. climate czar John Kerry’s high-handed comments to the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment earlier this month ...

Indian Rumor Sparks Weekend of Baseless Speculation About Coup in China

All weekend there was wild speculation on both Indian and U.S. Twitter that Chinese President Xi Jinping had been placed under house arrest and that a military coup had taken place in Beijing. There was no coup, of course, ...

Friends Without Benefits?

By Chris Alden It seems a long time since the joint declaration on 4 February 2022 between President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin declared their ‘friendship without limits’ as crucial to ushering in a ‘new era’ in international relations. That ...

China’s No New Coal Power Overseas Pledge, One Year On

By Han Chen and Wei Shen On 21 September 2021, China’s president, Xi Jinping, told the UN General Assembly via video link that China would increase support for green and low-carbon energy in developing countries, and not build any new coal-fired ...

China’s Global Development Initiative Meeting Signals Growing UN Influence

China’s Global Development Initiative (announced by President Xi Jinping in 2021) took a massive step towards global influence this week. It got the UN stamp of approval and is being integrated into its development plans like Agenda 2030.

Ecuador is the Latest Developing Country to Restructure Chinese Debt

The Ecuadorian government announced a major debt restructuring deal with China's two largest policy banks that will provide $1.4 billion of debt service relief over the next three years. President Guillermo Lasso said his administration reached an agreement this week ...

The Mystery of China’s Interest-Free Loan Cancelation: Connecting the Dots

Amid China's controversial role in debt crises from Sri Lanka to Zambia and beyond, the recent cancelation of 23 interest-free loans to 17 African countries caused a lot of misunderstanding, not least because the Chinese government has still not published official lists ...

Understanding the Significance of China’s Interest-Free Loans Cancelation

By Oyintarelado Moses and Jyhjong Hwang On August 19, 2022, China announced it would waive 23 interest-free loans (IFLs) with maturity by the end of 2021 for 17 unspecified African countries worth an unspecified total amount. This announcement comes as ...

Xi and Modi’s Frosty Encounter At SCO Summit Worrisome For Asia-Pacific Region

There was a lot of speculation, including from us, that this month's pullback of Chinese and Indian troops along their disputed border in the Himalayas was a goodwill gesture to set the stage for a sideline meeting between Xi and Modi at last week's SCO summit in ...

China’s Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa is Back in the Region Promoting a Very Different Kind of Peace

Xue Bing, China's Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, is back in the region, making the rounds to various capitals to meet with senior-level officials. Xue kicked off his latest tour in Eritrea on Friday, where he met with President Isaias Afwerki. Then on ...

Xi, Putin and Modi in Central Asia

By Lukas Fiala With all eyes on Xi Jinping’s first foreign trip since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a flurry of commentators have been dissecting the significance of Xi’s meeting with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation ...
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