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What Exactly is the “Global South”?

Academics and think tank analysts, predominantly in the U.S. and Europe, spend a lot of time debating whether it's appropriate to use the nomenclature "Global South" to describe developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, among other regions.

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

Two Scholars Try to Clear Up Some of the Confusion Over China’s Response to the Israel-Hamas War

In the days after Palestinian terrorists brutally attacked civilians in southern Israel last October, there were widespread expectations that China was going to play a prominent role in mediating a settlement among the warring parties. Beijing dispatched its Special Envoy ...

Drawing in the Relational Net of Influence & Power

By Felix Brender 王哲謙 With analysts ruminating over the rise of China for the past decades, we have seen a more recent trend among the Western academy that attempts to see what China wants and does through a Chinese lens and perhaps ...

DRC Ex-Prez Gets PhD Focusing on China

A PhD dissertation by Joseph Kabila, the former president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been approved by South Africa’s University of Johannesburg. Kabila was a key architect of the controversial Sicomines deal. His dissertation title is "Geopolitical Turn: USA-China-Russia Rivalry and Implications for ...

China’s Maritime Research Has Military Role: Report

The government of Sri Lanka announced in early January that it is imposing a one-year ban on Chinese research vessels docking at its ports. Last year, Colombo got into a spat with India about allowing a Chinese ship to dock amid Indian fears about military surveillance.

From Promise to Practice? Analyzing China’s Overseas Energy Finance and Opportunities for a Greener Horizon

By Cecilia Springer As the world grapples with the climate crisis, China's role in financing global energy projects has come under intense scrutiny. And while China has financed significant amounts of fossil fuel energy ...

What the Past Tells Us About the Future of the BRI

There's a widely-held perception in many parts of the U.S., Europe, and India that debt and geopolitics have led to the demise of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). But a landmark new study from AidData proves otherwise, revealing not only ...

Split Between Rich and Middle-Income Countries’ Opinions About China: Poll

A new Pew Research poll of 24 high and middle-income countries shows that while the U.S. has generally improved in popularity compared to China, views about the two are quite different among rich versus middle-income countries. The poll provides an interesting ...

Q&A: Chinese, and Nigerian Researchers Collaborate on Super Sub-Saharan Africa Electricity System

China's strategic investments through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) showcase its aspiration to play a role in the global energy infrastructure.

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.
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