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While Confucius Institutes Are Being Kicked Out of the Global North, They Remain Popular in the Global South

In September, the Federal University of Bahia opened its new Confucius Institute, the fourteenth in Brazil. These language-learning centers, usually tie-ins with local universities, are being closed in droves across the Global North under suspicion of being centers for pro-China messaging.

Tearful Goodbyes in Malaysia as Pandas Head Back to China

Malaysian fans were reportedly in tears as two giant panda cubs returned back to China on Tuesday. Yi Yi and Sheng Yi were the offspring of Xing Xing and Liang Liang, who were loaned to Malaysia to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations. According to the arcane ...

China and Kenya to Collaborate on Film-Making

The Chinese and Kenyan governments signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop their film industries and to boost exchange programs between the two countries. The agreement with China Film Administration came as Kenya hosted a large new film festival commemorating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The Case for More U.S. Soft Power to Counter China in the Global South

China is one of the very few truly bipartisan issues in Washington today where there is near unanimous consensus that the U.S. must work to counter Beijing's growing influence around the world, especially in developing countries.

Chinese Astronauts Reach Out to African Kids

Three Chinese astronauts are holding a live chat with African youth directly from China's orbiting space station today. The live Q&A session, scheduled for 11:00 GMT, is arguably a powerful soft power play on a continent where youth interest in space exploration and other forms ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Joint Battlefield Training to Raise Pressure in South China Sea

The U.S. military will reportedly introduce joint combat training with the Philippines in June. Major General Marcus Evans, commander of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division, told the Associated Press that the training would increase the Philippine army’s ability to fight in challenging jungle conditions.
The training will run from June 1 to 10. At Manila’s request, the training will be held in Philippine territory for the first time. It will involve about 2,000 people ...

“New” Poll Reaffirms China Far Less Popular Than the U.S. as World Leader

The same week that a pan-African survey revealed that China, for the first time, outperformed the United States in overall favorability, another poll comparing the two major powers, this time by the geopolitical risk consultancy Eurasia Group Foundation, came out with very ...

Equatorial Guinea Media Donation Highlights a Key Chinese Soft Power Strategy

China is making diplomatic inroads in Equatorial Guinea via an old tactic: donating broadcasting equipment. This comes as the West African country faces a lot of U.S. pressure due to fears that it might host China’s first Atlantic military base. Qi Mei, ...

China’s Zero-COVID Policy and Travel Restrictions Leaves Thousands of Young Africans in Limbo

With China's borders all but sealed and no prospect of reopening soon as long as strict COVID-19 mitigation protocols are in effect, tens of thousands of African students are left wondering what's going to happen to their education at Chinese universities. ...

The Chinese Future of African Television

In December 2021, the U.S. confirmed that President Joe Biden will boycott the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in February. But already before the end of November, China had signaled it was working towards lessening the public diplomacy fallout of such gestures. As part of the ...

President Samia Suluhu Hassan Inaugurates Tanzania’s New Chinese-Financed/Built National Defense College

China's campaign to build critical government infrastructure in Africa (aka "Building Diplomacy") marked another accomplishment on Sunday when Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who also happens to be the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, commissioned the new National Defense College in Dar es Salaam.
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