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The News Feed is a curated selection of the most important China-Africa news edited by CAP’s editors in Asia and Africa.

South Africa Received Its First Vaccine Shipment This Week But Critics Are Blasting the President For Not Buying Chinese and Russian Jabs

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa personally went to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport late Monday night to witness the off-loading of 1 million COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived from the Serum Institute of India (SII). While ...

Zimbabwe To Get Chinese C19 Vaccines, Says Ambassador. When? Well, That’s TBD.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin’s inclusion of Zimbabwe in a list of 14 developing countries that would have early access to Chinese COVID-19 vaccines was reaffirmed by Beijing’s envoy to Harare on ...

China and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area: What Role For Beijing?

The January launch of the AfCFTA has prompted considerable reflection in both China and Africa as to what role Beijing can play in this new free trade era and whether China’s role will be harmful ...

With a 30:1 Trade Imbalance, Some Wonder How Mauritius Could Ever Benefit From a Free Trade Agreement With China

There was a lot of excitement on January 1st when China’s first free trade agreement went into effect with Mauritius, Beijing’s first FTA with a country in sub-Saharan Africa. But just a month later many ...

Ethiopia’s Appeal For Debt Relief Puts China’s Loan Portfolio Under the Spotlight

Zacharias ABUBEKER / AFP
Ten months ago, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was the first African leader to sound the alarm over the debt crisis that would ensue from the then-nascent outbreak of COVID-19. African economies, he ...

With Its Chinese Parent Company on the Verge of Bankruptcy, the Fate of Ghana’s Africa World Airlines Looks Grim

Image via Africa World Airways.
The future of Ghana’s largest airline is up in the air now that its parent, Hainan-based HNA Group, has effectively buckled under the weight of almost $100 billion of debt and widespread reports ...

China Brushes Aside Criticism of Its Vaccine Distribution, Says Its Fulfilling President Xi Jinping’s Promise to Make Jabs a “Global Public Good”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin at the regular press briefing in Beijing. Image via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin parried any critique of Beijing’s vaccine distribution drive around the world, especially in developing countries, with an indirect diss against rivals in the United States and Europe. “We act ...

Lots of Hot Button, Emotional Issues Help Explain the Widespread Anger to Xiaomei Havard’s Appointment as ANC MP in South Africa’s Parliament

South African YouTuber LuiSpot talks about his anger and frustration that Xiaomei Havard was sworn as an ANC member of parliament.
There’s widespread anger on and offline in South Africa over the appointment of Xiaomei Havard, a naturalized South African citizen of Chinese descent, as a member of parliament. She was sworn in last ...

From Africa to Asia to the Americas and Even Europe, Countries Scramble for Chinese-Made COVID-19 Vaccines

Countries across the Global South and now even in Europe scrambled this weekend to source COVID-19 vaccines from pretty much anywhere they could buy them — which in many cases brought them to China’s doorstep. ...

European Analysts Become Increasingly Worried About Geopolitical Consequences of China’s Global Vaccine Pu

European international relations scholars are expressing mounting concern over the long-term geopolitical consequences of China’s assertive campaign to provide developing countries with COVID-19 vaccines. It’s clear the European foreign policy establishment, both analysts and in ...

Chinese State Media Gloats About Survey Results That Show China is More Popular Than the U.S. in MENA

Chinese state media outlets this weekend touted the findings of a recent Arab Barometer public opinion survey released in January, which showed much higher approval ratings for China compared to the United States. The survey ...

Pay-TV Giant StarTimes Increasingly Becomes Vehicle for Official Chinese Propaganda

The Beijing-based African pay-TV giant StarTimes announced last week it will broadcast a government-produced TV series that, according to the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, “seeks to boost Sino-Africa relations.” This ...

Webinar: China’s Becoming Increasingly Sophisticated In Its Use of Media to Drive Its Narrative

The Berlin-based think tank Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) recently hosted a webinar that focused on how Chinese government actors are becoming increasingly effective in their use of media to drive their agendas ...

Anti-Chinese Xenophobia Erupts in South Africa After Chinese-Born ANC MP Sworn Into Office

Naturalized South African-citizen Xiaomei Havard’s swearing-in last week to become an ANC member of parliament sparked a strong backlash online under the hashtags #SArejectsXiaomeiHavard and #PutSouthAfricansFirst. Havard was named to ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Ghana Commissions First Roads Built Under Controversial Bauxite Deal

Ghana’s Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia this week commissioned the first road infrastructure built under a controversial $2 billion resource-for-infrastructure deal with the Chinese conglomerate Sinohydro. 

Bawumia was eager to claim the inauguration of 441 km of roads in the Cape Coast region as a win for his government, which has faced major economic headwinds over the last few months. It also papered over the fact that the project faced criticism for delayed implementation following the signing ...

China’s Engagement in Africa Becomes Focal Point at Linda Thomas- Greenfield’s Confirmation Hearing to Become U.S. Envoy to the UN

Linda Thomas-Greenfield appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on her nomination to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2021. Greg Nash / POOL / AFP
Linda Thomas-Greenfield (photo), President Biden’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, came under criticism on Wednesday during her confirmation hearing, for a speech she made in 2019 at a now-closed Confucius ...

If/When Two Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Get Approval From WHO, Demand From Developing Countries Likely to Increase

List of vaccines currently undergoing World Health Organization evaluation. Click to view larger image. Image via @BridgeBeijing.
Two Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines made by Sinopharm and Sinovac are now under evaluation by the World Health Organization to receive the highly prized prequalification (PQ) status. If the Chinese vaccines do receive WHO PQ certification, ...

Black Market Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Poses a Significant Threat to China’s Vaccine Push in Developing Countries

News that Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines were smuggled into the Philippines sparked concern around the world that the already thriving black market trade in counterfeit pharmaceuticals will inevitably extend to the coronavirus vaccine. Lebogang ...

Desperate to Source COVID Vaccines, Developing Countries Jostle to Buy Chinese Jabs

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa gave voice yesterday to the growing concern in developing countries about wealthy states hoarding COVID-19 vaccines. In his speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, President ...

A New Piece of Equipment in Zambia Will “Help China Get Rid of Its Over-Reliance of Imported Australian Iron Ores”

An article in today’s Global Times newspaper, one of China’s more bombastic nationalist tabloids, provides a glimpse into how determined Chinese officials are to “decouple” their trade with Australia, especially in the ...

Amid a Worsening Debt Crisis, Kenya Struggles to Finance New Infrastructure and All Those Useless “White Elephants”

Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
The Kenyan government, like a lot of African governments, is struggling to find the right balance between continuing to pay for badly-needed new infrastructure while at the same time servicing its enormous debts for older ...

New Map of the Belt & Road Reveals a Much More Intricate Chinese Trading Network

A trio of scholars in China recently published an academic paper in the Journal of Contemporary China that included a much more detailed map of China’s Belt & Road trade routes in Asia ...

China’s FM Spokesman Tries to Cool Tensions Over Reports of “Vaccine Rivalry” With India

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaking at the regular press briefing in Beijing. Image via the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Chinese government appears to be moving to deescalate tensions with India over reports that the two Asian powers are increasingly engaged in a so-called “vaccine rivalry” related to the distribution ...

African Media Didn’t Cover Xi Jinping’s World Economic Forum Speech, But They Probably Should Have

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking remotely to the World Economic Forum. Image via Xinhua.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Monday delivered his first major international address since Joe Biden became president of the United States. Xi spoke remotely to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He touted China’s ...

Background: For More Than a Decade, Africa’s Been the Top Destination for Chinese Foreign Aid

Image via Xinhua.
Since 2010, Africa’s been the largest recipient of Chinese foreign aid, even as China’s ties in Asia have grown to be more geopolitically consequential. However, when reviewing data in the recently-published white paper on Chinese ...

Egypt Kicks Off National COVID-19 Vaccination Drive Using Chinese-Made Vaccines

The Egyptian government kicked off a national vaccination campaign over the weekend using Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP
After months of promises, controversies, and disputes over how effective they really are, tens of millions of Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines are now on their way to developing countries. On Sunday Egypt became the second country ...

India Moves to Challenge China’s Emerging Dominance in C19 Vaccine Distribution in Developing Countries

Workers unload boxes containing Covishield, AstraZeneca's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine made by India's Serum Institute, upon its arrival from India at the health center in Kathmandu on January 21, 2021. PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP
Developing countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Americas are now the new front in an increasingly contentious struggle between Asia’s two continental powers. India and China, both pharmaceutical manufacturing powerhouses, are jostling over who ...

China’s C19 Vaccine Propaganda Campaign: “Who’s Helping Countries in Africa, Asia, The Caribbean, Asia?”

Chinese state media outlets are ramping up a propaganda campaign against so-called “vaccine nationalism” and findings that Chinese-made vaccines are much less effective than those made in the U.S. and Europe (which is actually the ...

Joe Biden’s Getting a Lot of Advice on How To Reset U.S. Foreign Policy in Africa and It All Calls for Less Focus on China

U.S. President Joe Biden speaking at the White House in Washington, D.C. Nicholas Kamm / AFP
Scholars, analysts, and commentators in the U.S. and Africa are all offering lots of advice for what Joe Biden should to do to revitalize foreign policy in Africa. Seemingly without exception, the experts agree that ...
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