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Finding a Common Destiny in the Global South: The Role of China’s Regional Forum Diplomacy

One of China’s signature contributions to the diversification of the emerging world system is the use of regional forum diplomacy to promote the creation of Chinese-instigated regional organizations.  Starting with the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000, the Chinese government has built a network of ...

COVID Vaccine Distributions in Africa Were Once a Contested Issue Between the U.S. and China… But Not Anymore

As U.S. donations of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa surge, China’s supply to the continent is slumping. Analysis from the Beijing-based consultancy Bridge shows that over the last three months, China’s global provision of vaccines has been hovering close to zero.

Q&A: The African Union Ambassador to China Reflects on the Outcomes of FOCAC and ‘What’s Next’

The 8th Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held in Dakar, Senegal from November 29th through 30th, 2021. In the headlines that followed, many analysts reported a 33% percent drop in Chinese finance and suggested a deterioration of the relationship. In contrast, we have ...

Building the Infrastructure African Residents Deserve

Over a recent holiday season, I made a trip to the western region of Sichuan province in China. It is at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau and the Hengduan Mountains, with a ground elevation of 4,000-4,500 meters, slightly above Kilimanjaro’s Shira Mountains (3800 meters). That ...

Between ‘a’ Vision and ‘the’ Vision Lies Division

Everyone is cramming in a last flurry of calls and briefings and ‘quickly touching base on’ before the end of the year. It made my week so jam-packed that I can literally not recall what I said to whom. One through-line, however, has been values. This is ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

What Will U.S. Diplomats Talk About Now?

After knowing for weeks that the end of Roe v Wade was coming, its official end was still a shock.

As an outsider, I worried about my American friends and the countless poor, black, brown, and LGBT+ Americans that will suffer the effects of this decision.

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No One’s Really Sure What to Make of China’s FOCAC Financial Pledge

One of the key takeaways from the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) conference that took place in Dakar last month is that, unlike previous FOCACs, there's very little consensus over whether the event signaled that China's backing away from Africa or deepening its commitment to the ...

Why the Era of Low-Cost Imports From China May be Coming to an End in Africa (At Least For Now)

The ongoing supply chain disruptions are having a profound impact on the types of goods that consumers in Africa and other Global South countries can access. It used to cost just $1,000 per container to ship low-cost socks, shoes, electronics, and other ...

The Chinese Government Briefs Diaspora in Africa on FOCAC and Also Wants to Make Sure Everyone’s Sufficiently Patriotic

China's Ambassador to Botswana, Wang Xuefeng, led a post-FOCAC briefing of overseas Chinese diaspora from Africa to bring them up to speed on everything that happened at the conference in Dakar and just to make sure they're all aligned when it comes to key issues like Xi Jinping ...

The Different Readings of FOCAC

One of the intriguing results of last week’s FOCAC meeting has been a narrative pushed by key English-language publications that it represents a reduction in Chinese engagement with the continent. Bloomberg set the tone in its initial report which counted the sums mentioned in President Xi Jinping’s speech and ...

A Week After FOCAC, Experts Weigh in with More Nuance

While much of the news coverage in the immediate aftermath of this year's FOCAC focused on the premature calculation that China had reduced its financial pledge by a third, now, a week later, more nuanced analysis from some of the world's leading specialists in the field is ...
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