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China’s Newest Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Makes Her Debut

China's Foreign Ministry's spokespeople have the tricky job of being the human faces of a frequently opaque system. So China nerds were a-Twitter this week following the debut of Mao Ning, the Ministry's newest representative.  

A Small Chinese Aid Donation in The Gambia Reveals One of China’s Bigger Priorities in Africa

At a glance, Saturday's announcement that China would provide a $23 million grant to The Gambia for unspecified "economic and technical cooperation" (that's often diplomatic speak for unrestricted aid) doesn't seem remarkable at all. Ambassador Ma Jianchun ...

Chinese COVID Vaccines Land in Tanzania and Uganda

A second batch of vaccines from China landed on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian island of Zanzibar over the weekend. The arrival of these vaccines marks a dramatic shift in Tanzanian policy. Prior to his death earlier this year, President ...

While Everyone Focuses on Vaccine Distribution, China Appears to Be Ramping Up Donations of Medical Supplies Again

Chinese donations of PPE and other COVID-19-related medical supplies to African governments appear to be picking up again. In recent months China shifted its focus away from shipping masks, ventilators, and other materials to focus instead on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

With the Help of an Emoji, the Kenyan Government Reaffirms it Will Not Evacuate Students From Wuhan

The spokesperson for the Kenyan government took to Twitter on Friday to make it as clear as possible that the administration will not evacuate students from the epicenter of the virus in Wuhan, China. There's been a raging debate on what ...

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 ...

Why Gambian Migrants Are Giving up on Their “China Dream”

They did not know very much about China but they had heard it was the world's second largest economy and Africa's leading trading partner, so they assumed there must be opportunity. Europe, of course, was their first choice but with EU countries overwhelmed by ...