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China’s Global Trade Started Strong in 2022 But the Outlook Looks Grim

Powered by a new Asian regional free trade deal and new rail links with its Southeast Asian neighbors, China clocked an impressive 10.7% increase in first-quarter global trade compared to the same time last year, according to new Chinese customs data. ...

It Was ASEAN’s Turn For China’s Fast-paced “Speed Dating” Diplomacy

Right after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi returned from his annual trip to Africa in early January he decamped from Beijing to set up shop temporarily in the small eastern city of Tunxi, 400km outside of Shanghai.  By ...

Chinese Media Claims More Than a Million Passengers Have Used the New Chinese-Built Railway in Laos

According to Chinese state media, the new Chinese-built and funded railway between China and Laos, which was launched two months ago, is a huge success already. Rail authorities in China's southwestern Yunnan province report that in the short time that it's been in operation, the railway's transported ...

China’s Has Huge Ambitions for International Railway Development, Just Not So Much in Africa Anymore

It used to be that, when a Chinese Foreign Minister made the annual first overseas trip of the year to Africa, as Wang Yi is about to this week, financing railway development would be a top talking point at every stop. ...

BRI Scholar Reflects on U.S.-China Competition For Influence in ASEAN and the Critical Role of Railways

The new $6 billion, 1,000-kilometer China-Laos railway that opened a couple of weeks ago is widely seen as the most visible evidence of Beijing's push to expand its presence in Southeast Asia. The railway's debut came just before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the region ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Great Changes Unseen in a Century (and Frequently Ignored Now)

Big things are happening in the world, but don’t expect me to tell you what they are. 

Like many South Africans, I’ve been a little distracted these days. The country’s notorious electricity situation has worsened to blackouts three times a day. People like me, whose work depends on internet access, migrate across the city every few hours to cafes and other workplaces that still have power. All the time, Johannesburg ...

The Key Takeaway From Wang Yi’s Week-Long Asia Tour: It’s Not Easy Balancing Ties Between China and the U.S.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi wrapped up a week-long four-nation Asian tour on Wednesday in Seoul where he met with his Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong. Wang also visited Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore on a trip that was expressly intended to bolster China's ties in a region that both ...