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Diplomacy

[AUDIO] China FM to Africa: ‘we’re not building an empire’

There is a custom in Chinese diplomacy that the Foreign Minister’s first overseas trip of the year always begins in Africa. This year was no exception as Wang Yi led a high-profile tour of five African states including Kenya, Sudan, the DR Congo, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Wang opened the tour on a somewhat provocative note by challenging critics who ... Read More »

[AUDIO] South Africa: China’s BFF in Africa

South Africa is emerging as one of China’s most important international partners as the relationship deepens across all levels. Economically, South Africa is the source of more Chinese investment than any other country on the continent. However, this relationship extends far beyond just investment. In education, diplomacy, finance and, most significantly, the two countries’ ruling parties are all broadening their ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Mali’s $11 billion Chinese gamble

Mali appears to be engaged in a risky diplomatic face-off with China over a proposed $11 billion rail project. While Chinese officials have refused to publicly commit to the project, Malian leaders say the two mine-to-coast rail contracts have actually been finalized. Other African countries have largely been unsuccessful in the past trying to pressure the Chinese through the media. ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Report: Chinese diplomats & officials tied to ivory trade in Africa

A recent report by the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) alleges Chinese diplomats and officials are directly involved in the ivory trade in Africa. Most damaging, the EIA reports that even some members of visiting Chinese president Xi Jinxing’s delegation smuggled dozens of kilos of ivory back after an official state visit to Tanzania in March 2013. If true, the ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How South Sudan is changing China

It’s widely accepted that China is having a profound impact on China but rarely are African countries credited with changing China. The rare exception is South Sudan. China’s complex economic and political interests in the country are prompting Beijing to re-think some of its long-held diplomatic principals including its so-called ‘non interference’ doctrine. Dr. Luke Patey, a leading expert on ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Love & hate: Michael Sata’s complex relationship with China

Few figures defined China’s early engagement more than Zambia’s late president Michael Sata. As as opposition leader, the man known as the “King Cobra” was among Beijing’s most vocal critics in Zambia but later, once in power, became an avid supporter of China’s investment in Zambia. He was a shrewd politician who viewed the presence of the Chinese in his ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Tanzania’s president knows how to play the China card

Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete returned from Beijing this week loaded with $17 billion in new loans, investment deals and infrastructure projects. The Tanzanian leader spent 6 days in Beijing where he met with senior Chinese political and business leaders. Kikwete’s lucrative trip highlights the president’s distinctive ability to effectively manage an increasingly complex geopolitical environment among competing demands from the ... Read More »

[AUDIO] View From Beijing: A Conversation with Jeremy Goldkorn

South African-native and Jeremy Goldkorn is an outspoken commentator, blogger and podcaster. Jeremy is the founder of the media research blog danwei.com and the co-host of the popular Sinica podcast with Kaiser Kuo. He is among the most insightful, provocative commentators on contemporary China and In this episode of the China in Africa podcast, Jeremy joins Eric and Cobus for ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Dalai Lama forces China to overplay its hand in South Africa

Pretoria’s apparent refusal to grant Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama a visa to attend a summit of Nobel peace laureates has sparked outrage in South Africa. Critics allege the government is bowing to China, undermining South African sovereignty. China’s long-held policy toward The Dalai Lama is clear: any country that welcomes him will pay a price either diplomatically, economically ... Read More »

[AUDIO] South Africa to Dalai Lama: ‘you’re not welcome’ (really)

For a third consecutive time, South Africa has made it clear to the Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama that he is not welcome to visit. Most recently, the DL was informed he would not receive a visa, forcing the controversial religious leader to cancel his visit to attend the upcoming World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in October. Although ... Read More »