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U.S. Plans to Bypass China’s Cobalt Dominance with Arizona Plant

The Singapore-based commodities trader Trafigura announced it will partner with the U.S. battery metals processing firm EVelution to build a battery-grade cobalt sulfate processing facility in Arizona.  The facility is projected to produce 7,000 tons of ...

WEEK IN REVIEW: Singapore Prime Minister Said There Is No Consensus yet About China Joining the Trans-Pacific Trade Pact CPTPP

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long said there is no consensus yet about China joining the trans-Pacific trade pact CPTPP. Although Prime Minister Lee said on Tuesday that he personally believes China would be able to meet the bloc's admission requirements, Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell is on ...

Xi’s Agenda Troubled by Miscalculations: Top Singapore Diplomat 

As strategic competition between China and the United States intensifies, Beijing enters its momentous 20th Party Congress (kicking off on Sunday) saddled with three big foreign policy mistakes.  So argues Singapore's former top diplomat, Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan, in ...

A View of the Belt and Road from Southeast Asia

Western press coverage of China's Belt and Road Initiative is frequently filtered through anxieties about shifts in the West's own international influence. So it's very interesting to watch this new documentary about the BRI by Singapore's state-owned Channel News Asia. It gives equal time to the opportunities ...

Indonesia’s Decision to Block Exports of Unprocessed Nickel is Paying Off Big Time

Indonesia is the envy of commodity-exporting countries throughout the Global South, who have long tried to find a way to force foreign mining companies to process raw materials domestically prior to export. Unfortunately for most countries, particularly in Africa, a combination ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Google to Partner with Transsion, China’s Phone Giant in Africa

Google announced that it struck a global strategic partnership with Transsion, a Chinese maker of mobile phones beloved across the Global South. Together, the two will target emerging markets like Africa via cooperation on the Android operating system, online advertising, and Google Cloud services.
Transsion’s stock surged by 7.5% after the announcement. The company, famous for its Tecno, Itel, and Infinix phones, is by far the biggest seller in ...

Two Southeast Asian States Stand Out in Pew’s Latest U.S. vs. China Public Opinion Survey

Singapore and Malaysia stood apart in Pew Research's latest public opinion poll that surveyed 25,000 respondents in 19 middle and high-income countries about their perceptions of China and the United States. While public views of China in other wealthy countries ...

After Two Years of Laying Low, Xi Emerges With a Flurry of Presidential Diplomacy on the Olympic Sidelines

Chinese President Xi Jinping emerged from nearly two years of relative diplomatic isolation on Friday for a flurry of one-on-one meetings with some of the 30 heads of state in town for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. ...

Singapore Study Provokes New Concerns Over Chinese-made Vaccines’ Ability to Combat Omicron Variant

The Singaporean Health Minister, Ong Ye Kung, revealed new findings this week on the efficacy of different COVID-19 vaccines that are once again sparking concerns over the use of Chinese-made vaccines that are predominant in developing countries. In a study of ...