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The Geopolitics of COVID-19

GEOPOLITICS Under Mounting Pressure From the U.S., Europe, and Australia, China Leans on Its Ties in Africa For Support A news program shows Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking via video link to the World Health Assembly, on an outside screen in Beijing on May 18, 2020. GREG BAKER / AFP

The COVID-19 crisis is proving an interesting case study in the impact of different ways of conducting public diplomacy. Any public diplomacy is dependent on two factors: staying on message, and making sure that message doesn’t play into negative perceptions about you in the wider world. 

The impact of the Guangzhou crisis proves the latter point. The diplomatic impact of the well-documented discrimination against Africans in southern China just isn’t going away. One reason it is so powerful is that it seems to confirm what many Africans secretly suspected – that the China-Africa relationship exists between governments but doesn’t translate into real links between actual Chinese and African people.

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What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


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