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Illegal Chinese Timber Trade Fuels Insurgency in Mozambique

Officially, Mozambique bans the export of raw timber in an effort to protect what's left of the country's rapidly shrinking forests. But whatever laws are in place are largely disregarded as more than 500,000 tons of timber leave the country each ...

China’s Naval Diplomacy Comeback

​​By Lukas Fiala Earlier this week, Vice Admiral Monde Lobese, Chief of the South African Navy, met with China’s Defense Minister, Admiral Dong Jun 董军 in Beijing. For PLA analysts, the visit may come as no surprise, given the PLA’s ...

Ruto’s Visit to Washington Provokes Some Highly Misleading Media Narratives About Chinese Debt

Kenyan President William Ruto met his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday, marking the first African state visit in 16 years. Although Kenya's burgeoning debt crisis was widely expected to be high on the agenda, that ...

Serbian Media on Xi Jinping’s Visit to Belgrade

In this edition of the ChinaMed Observer, we analyze the Serbian media debate on relations with China on the occasion of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Belgrade. By Anja Duvnjak and Leonardo Bruni ...

Zimbabwe Agreement Could Signal China’s Return to African Rail

TransTech, a subsidiary of China Railway Group, reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) that could lead to a recapitalization of the country’s railway network. Bloomberg reports that the agreement is currently limited to studying ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Zimbabwe Agreement Could Signal China’s Return to African Rail

TransTech, a subsidiary of China Railway Group, reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) that could lead to a recapitalization of the country’s railway network.
Bloomberg reports that the agreement is currently limited to studying the project and producing a feasibility report by the end of June. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said: “It is our expectation that in the upcoming Forum for China and Africa taking place ...

Myanmar Junta Revives Plans for China-Backed Mega-Dam

Myanmar's junta has revived plans for a $3.6 billion Chinese-backed dam in the north of the country, which was suspended more than ten years ago following huge public opposition. The project to build the 6,000-megawatt Myitsone dam in northern Kachin state ...

Philippines Opens Coast Guard Post After China Build-Up

The Philippines said Friday it had opened a Coast Guard post in the country's far north to boost security following China's "military build-up" near Taiwan over the past two years. The outpost "shall gather essential maritime data and intelligence, enabling the ...

China Warns of Taiwan ‘War’ as Military Drills Encircle Island

By James Edgar with Peter Catterall in Pingtan China said on Friday that Taiwan's leadership was pushing the self-ruled island into war and warned of further "countermeasures", as Beijing conducted military drills around the territory. ...

Biden Woos Kenya’s Ruto With Major Ally Status on State Visit

By Danny Kemp A diplomatic upgrade and a surprise appearance by Barack Obama: U.S. President Joe Biden pulled out the stops as he hosted Kenyan counterpart William Ruto for a lavish state visit aimed at competing with Russia and China for ...

New Dataset Reveals the Extent Beijing is Determined to Enforce South China Sea Territorial Claims

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. released an update to its South China Sea interactive dataset that provides a visual overview of the key factors fueling the current crisis. The AMTI tool ...

Biden Fetes Kenyan Leader as Africa Competition Grows

By Aurelia End and Shaun Tandon Kenyan President William Ruto opened the first state visit to Washington by an African leader in more than 15 years on Wednesday, as President Joe Biden seeks to counter geopolitical headwinds across the continent.

Chinese Embassy in Kenya Hosts Unusual Event About Taiwan

The Chinese embassy in Kenya hosted an unusual forum on Monday that focused on Beijing's already well-known position regarding the status of Taiwan. Ambassador Zhou Pingjian apparently wanted to make it very clear to the nearly two dozen senior officials, MPs, and ...

Kenya’s Chinese Debt to be on the Agenda When Ruto Arrives in Washington

Kenyan President William Ruto will arrive in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, the midway point of a four-day visit to the United States that will include talks with President Joe Biden. U.S. officials said in advance of Ruto's arrival that debt relief ...

Saudi Finance Minister in Beijing Wraps Hectic Two Days of High Level Talks

Saudi Arabia's Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan concluded a two-day visit to Beijing on Tuesday that included high-level talks with his counterpart Lan Fo'an and Vice Premier He Lifeng, China's point man on relations with the Kingdom. Al-Jadaan was joined on the trip ...

Why It May Be Premature to Trust Nigerian, Kenyan Media Reports on New Chinese Railway Funding

A word of caution about a flurry of headlines circulating in the Kenyan and Nigerian press this week claiming that China has committed to spending billions of dollars on new railway projects in both countries. Something just doesn't sound right about these stories. It's interesting ...
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