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The China-Mediterranean Observer: Amid a Surge of Palestinian-Israeli Violence, Chinese Optimism About Its Role in the Peace Process Fades

June was a relatively uneventful month for Chinese commentators and journalists covering developments in Sino-Mediterranean relations. Among the few events that garnered significant media attention was the state visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Beijing. In line with the ...

Africa’s Cynical Democrats Face the Development Dilemma

The Biden administration frames its fight with China for influence in the Global South as a struggle between democracy and autocracy. Both sides argue that their systems boost development. The result is that Africa's development space is increasingly clogged with geopolitics. 

How U.S.–China Cooperation Can Strengthen Democracy

By Jake Werner Is it possible to find common ground between the United States and China on the fraught question of democracy? The answer at first appears to be no. But the prospects for democracy around the world may depend on ...

China and 22 Francophone African Countries Talk Democracy

China recently convened an online seminar 22 French-speaking African countries to discuss democracy. The online meeting, on “The Exploration and Practice of Democracy in Chinese and African Legislative Bodies” drew in members of China’s National People’s Assembly, and about 90 African representatives. 

New Articles Promote”Chinese Democracy” to African Readers 

Two new articles promoting the idea that the Chinese system represents an alternative form of democracy from that promoted by Western countries have appeared in the South African and Nigerian press this week. While they were apparently written by African journalists, they follow Chinese state talking points ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Awkward Timing as Italy Withdraws from BRI

Italy has announced its formal withdrawal from the Belt and Road Initiative after joining the China-centered infrastructure and investment project in 2019.
The timing of the announcement that Rome won’t renew its BRI commitment is notable. It came only a day before the EU-China summit, which kicks off on Thursday. The summit will likely be more contentious than usual, with European leaders expected to push China on the treatment of EU firms amid discussions ...

If B3W is Supposed to Rally “Like-Minded Democracies” to Confront China in the Global South, Then the U.S. Has a Big Problem

Building a coalition of "like-minded democracies" to challenge China's Belt and Road Initiative in developing countries was a founding principle of U.S. President Joe Biden's Build Back Better World initiative when he unveiled the plan over the summer at the G7 summit in ...

Nigeria’s Twitter Ban & China’s Cyber Cultural Products

June’s been an eventful month for China, Africa, and the internet. On June 5th, Nigeria’s government suspended the use of Twitter in the country, indefinitely. The next day, the Foundation for Investigative Journalism reported that the Nigerian government had also reached out to the Cyberspace Administration ...

B3W and the Democracy Issue

One of the interesting divisions emerging from the Biden administration’s campaign to re-energize the G7 and NATO against China is its attempt to divide the world into ‘democracies’ and ‘autocracies,’ and to insist that the two groups are squaring off against each other as if they’re in ...

China Becomes a Major Focus in U.S. House Hearing About Elections in Africa

China emerged as a prominent theme at a virtual hearing on Tuesday convened by the U.S. House of Representatives's foreign affairs subcommittee on Africa to discuss what the U.S. can do to better support democracy and elections in Africa. Lawmakers from both parties expressed concern about the ...

Two Totally Different Reactions From the U.S. and China About Tanzania’s Recent Elections

The United States and China have issued starkly different assessments of last week's presidential elections in Tanzania. Incumbent John Magufuli declared victory with 84% of the vote, with some international observers reporting instances of fraud and voter intimidation.
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