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China’s Free Trade Agreements in the Global South: Quito and Beijing

By Alvaro Mendez and Chris Alden After eleven months and five rounds of negotiations, Ecuador announced last month that it has completed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China. It still has to obtain legislative approval, but we believe it will ...

Top State Department Official Says China’s Debt Relief Offer to Sri Lanka is “Not Enough”

Another senior U.S. diplomat has accused China of not doing enough to resolve Sri Lanka’s debt renegotiation, a sign that the island’s financial crisis is increasingly being framed geopolitically. U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland said: "What China ...

Solar Power to the People

By Sophie Mbugua, Wesley Langat The second instalment of this two-part series visits the Garissa solar power plant in eastern Kenya to explore the role of renewables in the energy transition. Heading north from the ...

China on Debt: It’s Not Us, It’s You

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning pushed back against recent allegations by senior Western officials that China is holding back debt restructuring in Zambia. Citing recent statistics from the Zambian government, Mao pointed out that Zambia’s debt burden is predominantly Western, with 24% ...

Scholz Looks to South America to Reduce Germany’s Dependence on Chinese Critical Resources

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spent the past few days crisscrossing South America in a bid to find alternative sources of critical minerals, notably lithium, that his country's powerful auto industry now relies predominantly on China to supply.  Over the weekend, ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Top State Department Official Says China’s Debt Relief Offer to Sri Lanka is “Not Enough”

Another senior U.S. diplomat has accused China of not doing enough to resolve Sri Lanka’s debt renegotiation, a sign that the island’s financial crisis is increasingly being framed geopolitically.
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland said: “What China has offered so far is not enough. We need to see credible and specific assurances that they will meet the IMF standard of debt relief.”

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U.S. Bid to Challenge China’s Dominance of the Battery Metal Supply Chain in Africa Faces Two Key Hurdles

Widely perceived as a major and concrete U.S. move to counter China in the supply chain of critical minerals in Africa, the U.S.-DR Congo-Zambia MoU signed last December in Washington, D.C., will confront significant challenges, mainly for the DRC and Zambia.  Both ...

Sovereign Sustainability: How China’s Overseas Development Finance Responds to Varying Environmental and Social Protections Around the World

By Rebecca Ray Do high standards for environmental and social protections deter Chinese overseas development finance? New data from the Boston University Global Development Policy Center shows that China’s borrowers have the policy space to ...

State Department Sends Top Official to Asia and the Middle East to Bolster Ties Amid Rising Competition With China

Victoria Nuland, the State Department's under secretary for political affairs and one of Washington's most senior diplomats, arrived in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Sunday -- the first stop on a three-nation, week-long tour that also includes Sri Lanka and Qatar. ...

A Chinese Giant’s Complicity in South Africa’s Corruption Disaster

Anyone who knows a South African will be amply aware that the country is currently undergoing economically ruinous rolling blackouts labeled ‘loadshedding.’ Even if you don’t know them, South Africans are liable to follow you down the street, foam-flecked and shouting about Eskom, the corruption-addled ...

Lula Pitches South American Trade Pact With China in Bid to Save Mercosur

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called for a South American regional trade agreement with China as part of a desperate bid to save the embattled Mercosur bloc. Lula proposed the idea during a speech on ...

Sri Lanka Hints at Lukewarm Response to China Exim Bank’s Debt Moratorium Offer

The China Exim Bank has reportedly agreed to grant Sri Lanka a two-year debt repayment moratorium, according to a letter sent by the Chinese policy bank to the Finance Ministry in Colombo. The letter, which has not been made public but 

Why Africa Shouldn’t Count on Janet Yellen for Debt Help

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in Africa touting the Biden administration’s reenergized Africa policy. Her visit comes as several African countries are struggling with debt distress and Zambia and Ghana have officially defaulted.

China’s Overseas Development Finance Totaled $10.5 Billion in 2020-21, Lowest in Recent Years

By Rebecca Ray After providing a staggering amount of finance for overseas development projects in the wake of the global financial crisis, Chinese overseas development finance has been on a general downward trend for several years. New data shows the pandemic ...

India Supports Sri Lanka’s Debt Restructuring Process

Sri Lanka has reportedly secured India’s support for its debt restructuring process. According to Reuters, an Indian Finance Ministry official sent a message to the International Monetary Fund that it “strongly supports” the debt-ridden country’s economic recovery plan. ...

China’s Provinces as Global Actors: Evidence From China-Africa Relations

By Charlotte Lenz With the launch in the early 2000s of China’s ‘Going Global’ Strategy, Chinese provinces became one group of actors participating in China’s South-South relations. This has complicated our perception of China, which is often still seen as a ...
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