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Guarding West Africa’s Forests: Exploring Ways to Put an End to Illegal Chinese Timber Trade

Together, the United States and China import $40 billion worth of timber products each year, quite a bit of which is harvested illegally from West Africa's rapidly shrinking forests. But cracking down on this illicit trade is extremely difficult given that ...

How Illegal African Timber Ends Up in Home Depot

At least 1.2 million doors sold to U.S. consumers between 2017 and 2022 at the massive home improvement chain Home Depot came from threatened forests in Equatorial Guinea via China. This is the finding of a new Environmental Investigation Agency report on the trade in okoume, a kind ...

Guessing China’s Military Basing Ambitions

By Lukas Fiala Occasionally, a new report reignites the debate over where China might place its next military base. And just in time for the PLA’s 96th anniversary on Tuesday this week a recent study from AidData sheds new light on the topic. ...

Where Will China’s Next Naval Base Be? New Report Lays Out the Options

Amid worries in Washington about the expansion of China’s global military reach, a new report by AidData, a research lab at the College of William and Mary, identifies eight locations for possible future bases. Recent reports that a pier at the Ream ...

What’s in Store for Chinese Companies Encouraged to Invest in Equatorial Guinea?

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, recently urged Chinese companies to invest in Equatorial Guinea and expressed that the Chinese market is open to receiving more products from the African nation. After meeting his Equatorial Guinea counterpart, Simeon ...

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 ...

Why the U.S. is Probably Quite Interested in the Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister’s Visit to China

Equatorial Guinea (EG) Foreign Minister Simeón Oyono Esono Angue began a four-day visit to Beijing on Wednesday, where he will meet with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang. Normally, a visit like this from such a small country doesn't generate much interest from ...

What U.S. Policymakers Should Know About Chinese Basing Ambitions in Africa

U.S. military commanders regularly raise concerns about a possible second Chinese military base in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, despite rumors about possible footholds in countries like Equatorial Guinea, China’s strategic interest in Africa is relatively low, especially when compared with regions like Southeast Asia ...

Q&A: Africa’s Role in China’s Global Military Expansion: Defense Expert Unpacks a Thorny Issue

The head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral John Aquilino, on Tuesday added to the growing alarm in Washington DC defense circles about the global reach of China’s military.  Speaking in front of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Aquilino said China is building capacity ...

Is China Planning a New Military Base in Africa? New Paper Weighs the Options

Rumors that China is planning another military base in Africa are rife in Washington at the moment. Now a new paper by Paul Nantulya, a noted expert on Africa-China military links, was published by the Pentagon-aligned Africa Center for Strategic Studies. It unpacks the strategic calculations that underlie the ...

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, ...
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