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Tag Archives: South Africa

[AUDIO] Donkey hide is the new ivory for the Chinese in Africa

It will likely not come as a surprise to many that once again Chinese consumer demand is responsible for another animal crisis in Africa. Chinese companies don’t want these donkeys for their meat, just the hides that are used as an ingredient in a traditional Chinese medicine known as ejiao (阿胶) which is used to treat a number of different ailments from ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Is China a partner or predator in Africa (or both)?

Depending on who you speak with, China’s engagement in Africa is often described in extreme terms as either the best thing to happen to the continent in the post-colonial era or just the latest foreign predator coming to pillage Africa of its resources. With China’s presence in Africa now stretching across nearly all 54 countries where an estimated one million Chinese immigrants now live and hundreds of billions ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Chinese tourist arrivals in Africa are up, so why aren’t African travel companies more excited?

Africa is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination among adventure-seeking Chinese tourists. The numbers of visitors who went to Africa in 2016 was up sharply due to looser visa restrictions and new direct flights between China and Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa among other popular destinations. Chinese arrivals in South Africa alone were up 93% last year. You’d think this would be great news for Africa’s ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How Taiwan Became a Divisive Wedge Issue in South Africa

South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), now sees the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party’s close ties to China as a vulnerability that the DA aims to exploit. Evidence of this new strategy came in December when the DA mayor of Pretoria, Solly Msimanga, made an independent trip to Taiwan, sparking immediate outrage from the Chinese government, the South African ... Read More »

China’s Plan To Ban Ivory Sales Will Not Save Africa’s Elephants

Hooray! The Chinese government finally came to its senses and announced that after 2017 it will no longer be legal to sell or trade ivory. Today’s announcement was long overdue and highly anticipated, particularly among Western wildlife conservationists pegged a Chinese ivory ban as the last best hope to save what’s left of Africa’s rapidly shrinking elephant population. China is by far the world’s ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Does just one man in China control the fate of Africa’s elephants?

In the powerful new Netflix documentary “The Ivory Game,” Elephant Action League Executive Director Andrea Crosta ominously warned that the entire fate of Africa’s elephants is in the hands of a single man, Chinese president Xi Jinping. Only President Xi has the power, argued Crosta, to shut down China’s domestic ivory trade that drives so much of the killing of ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China poised to benefit from Trump’s Africa policy (or lack thereof)

Although leaders in Asia, Europe and the Americas are struggling to figure out what are the implications of Donald J. Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency. At least in those regions, the president-elect made passing references during the campaign to Japan’s future security status, or whether Washington should continue to support NATO and, of course, his desire to build that ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The enduring popularity of Chinese Kung Fu movies in Africa

The Chinese government is spending billions of dollars around the world to expand its already massive global media footprint. Africa is a major destination for a lot of that investment. Although it is not clear how much money the Chinese have spent to develop Africa-focused economy, the sums are no doubt in the millions of dollars. The communist party-run CCTV ... Read More »

[AUDIO] So what do Zambians REALLY think of Chinese immigrants?

For decades Zambia had been the flash point of anti-Chinese sentiment in Africa. Late president and outspoken opposition leader Michael Sata was unrivaled in his seething criticisms of both China and the Chinese who had migrated to his country. Prior to his election in 2011, he famously slammed the Chinese for paying “slave wages” at Chinese-owned mines and later suggested Beijing ... Read More »

[AUDIO] The complicated role Chinese business plays in Kenyan corruption

One of the many simple, widely-believed narratives about the Chinese in Africa is that PRC businesses fuel corruption across the continent. That caricature, although overly-simplistic, is amplified by China’s insistence there be little to no transparency in most of its government and corporate transactions in Africa. So the combination of a Chinese veil over its business dealings with the prevalence of corruption that already exists ... Read More »