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Reflections on a Summer in the United States

I'll be heading back to Vietnam this week after seven weeks in the U.S. -- the longest period I've spent in this country in almost 15 years. I'm so grateful to the hundreds of people who took the time to meet ...

Backgrounder: China’s Emerging Playbook in South Asia

China’s outsized role in two key South Asian debt crises (Sri Lanka and Pakistan) and its fractious cross-border relationship with India have overshadowed a larger trend: Beijing is increasingly becoming an adept navigator of South Asian complexities in order to grow its own influence in the region.

It’s Getting Tougher for African Students to Get a PhD in China

Thousands of African students are back in class again in China following a three-year absence due to the pandemic and Beijing's strict COVID Zero travel restrictions. But doctoral students from Africa and elsewhere are confronting ...

Debunking Propaganda in the Debate Over “Western Private Creditor” Debt in Africa

In this short piece, I will use statistical data extracted from the World Bank's online database. The figures I will use here are for Africa as a whole, i.e. sub-Saharan Africa (the one most often referred to when talking about "African" debt) and North Africa. Figures are for the ...

What’s Driving the Steady Decline in Chinese Overseas Development Lending?

There was a time when Chinese lending to developing countries rivaled the World Bank. Those days are now long gone as Chinese overseas development lending has been on a steady downward trajectory.

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Philippine Coastguard Removes Chinese South China Sea Barrier

The Philippine coastguard successfully removed a 300-meter floating barrier placed by the Chinese coastguard to bar access to the South China Sea’s Scarborough Shoal.
This follows an outcry in Manila during the weekend when images emerged of the barrier and Chinese coastguard patrols being used to keep Philippine fishing vessels out. 

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Why Chinese Lending to Pacific Island Countries Has Steadily Declined in Recent Years

Chinese lending to Pacific Island Countries (PICs) is now at its lowest level in 15 years, according to new data published by the Australian think tank Lowy Institute. The findings may come as a surprise, given China's heightened diplomatic and security ...

Fresh Data on How China Affects African Jobs

Job creation is one of the most important issues in Africa-China relations. Two fascinating recent research articles give different takes on how engagement with China affects African development. The first focuses on the controversial issue of the importation of Chinese workers ...

How Africa-China Studies Exploded Since 2012

The SSRC report is its first mapping of the Africa-China field since 2012 and shows the field’s rapid expansion. Ten years ago, it found three key subfields in Africa-China studies: trade and aid; the role of multilateral institutions, and migration. By ...

The Sprawling World of Asia-China Studies

SSRC’s mapping of research on the relationship between China and Southeast, Central, South and Western Asia shows both how vast these fields are and how they differ significantly both in terms of research focus and method. More than in Africa and ...

It’s China, Not Africa That Could be Facing a Debt Trap: Report

At 12% of Africa’s total external debt, China didn’t cause the current wave of debt distress hitting the continent. But the crisis presents Beijing with a dilemma: should it strongarm these countries to get its money back or trade economic losses for diplomatic gains? ...
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