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21. China's expanding military presence in Africa

China's expanding military presence in Africa

China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People's Liberation Army and Navy now have an estimated 2,700 soldiers, sailors, engineers and medical staff stationed across the continent. The number of troops deployed in Africa is extremely small, even insignificant, in the broader context of the massive Chinese military. However, a discernible trend is becoming increasingly apparent as Beijing expands the range of operations that its forces are engaged in Africa to include post-conflict stabilization (Mali), medical humanitarian missions (Liberia), on-going conflict stabilization (South Sudan) and anti-piracy operations (Somalia) among others. In all, Chinese military personnel are now involved in 7 out of 9 UN peacekeeping operations on the continent, the most of any permanent Security Council member. Although it will be a long time, if ever, that China's small military footprint will rival those of the United States and European countries in Africa, the steadily rising number of PLA/PLAN forces on the continent may indeed have profound consequences. Africa appears to be the theater of operations that is testing two bedrock principles of Chinese foreign policy: 1) The long-held non-interference doctrine and 2)no overseas military bases. Former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shinn, who is also a prominent Sino-African scholar at the George Washington University's Eliott School of International Affairs in Washington, D.C., is to publish a new research paper that explores what's motivating the Chinese military push in Africa and how it's being received by both Africans and the international community at large. Ambassador Shinn joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the new geopolitics of Chinese force projection in Africa.

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22. Terrorism: US & China's common enemy in Africa

Terrorism: US & China's common enemy in Africa

While US and Chinese interests often have divergent interests in Africa, they do share at least one common enemy: terrorism. Chinese nationals have been kidnapped and held for ransom in a number of African countries including South Sudan, Egypt and now in Cameroon where Nigerian-militants believed to be members of Boko Haram are holding three Chinese hostages. Ross Anthony of the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in South Africa is our guest this week to discuss his recent research on how the US and China may find common ground in their ongoing battle against Islamic extremism.

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23. Does China’s Growing Investment in Overseas Aid Lead to More Influence in Places Like Africa?

Does China’s Growing Investment in Overseas Aid Lead to More Influence in Places Like Africa?

A new AidData survey of nearly 3,500 policymakers in 126 developing countries that receive aid reveals China’s expanding foreign aid portfolio is translating into greater influence with leaders in those countries receiving that aid, but also that Beijing still trails far behind the U.S. Eric & Cobus speak with the lead author of the study, AidData’s Director Policy Analysis Samantha Custer, to find out why China’s massive increase in both overseas aid and financial lending in recent years have not led to comparable growth in political influence on the ground in places like Africa. Join the discussion. What do you think of China’s aid and lending practices in Africa? Do you agree with the study’s findings that show western countries and institutions remain dominant as the world’s most influential lenders? Let us know what you think. Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @samanthajcuster Email: [email protected]

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24. China's leaders spend a lot of time in Africa, where they go may surprise you

China's leaders spend a lot of time in Africa, where they go may surprise you

Over the past 10 years Chinese leaders have made 79 official visits to 43 different African countries, according to new data from the Beijing-based consultancy Development Reimagined. Where the senior leadership goes offers some fascinating insights on China's priorities in Africa. Hannah Ryder is the founder of Development Reimagined and led the research on Chinese official travel to Africa to produce a compelling new infographic detailing the past decade of Chinese travel patterns across the continent. Hannah joins Eric & Cobus to discuss some of the surprising findings that she discovered in her research on what African countries Chinese officials seem to prioritize over others. Join the discussion? In this era of digital connectivity, do you think it matters that Chinese officials appear to spend a lot more time in Africa than their counterparts from the U.S., Europe and Japan? Let us know what you think. Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @hmryder Email: [email protected]

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25. China no longer afraid to challenge critics of its role in Africa

China no longer afraid to challenge critics of its role in Africa

There's been a discernible change in how the Chinese government responds to criticism about their policies in Africa, particularly from other major powers like the U.S. Until recently, Chinese officials often avoided direct conflict with its critics, opting instead for low-key responses from official spokespeople in Beijing. Not anymore. China's ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, is at the forefront of this new, more aggressive strategy. For the second time in two months, Ambassador Lin convened a press conference in Cape Town in February to rebut allegations that Beijing was spying on the African Union headquarters and then again in March he held another media event to push back against former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's warnings to African governments about the risks of taking on too much Chinese debt. Ambassador Lin is by no means the only Chinese official engaging the media on these issues but he is certainly the most pointed in his attacks. It would have been unthinkable just a few years ago for a senior official like Ambassador Lin to hold live, unscripted press conferences in a foreign country to take on China's critics. Eric & Cobus discuss how this radical departure from China's earlier media engagement strategy no doubt reflects president Xi Jinping's desire to project a more confident Chinese posture in its foreign policy. Join the discussion. Have you noticed the more robust Chinese media response? Do you think it's good PRC leaders now are challenging their critics in the media and in Western governments? Let us know what you think. Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque Email: [email protected]

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26. US & China in Africa: Competition or Cooperation?

US & China in Africa: Competition or Cooperation?

The United States and China are competing for markets and influence in a number of theaters around the world, none more so than in Africa. While Beijing's "no strings attached" approach is certainly popular among Africa's elites, the United States remains a potent economic and soft-power force. Yun Sun of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. joins us this week to talk about whether Sino-US engagement in Africa should be framed in terms of competition or cooperation?

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27. How Donald Trump could give China a real boost in Africa

How Donald Trump could give China a real boost in Africa

The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said nothing about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative-style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in Africa. China, by comparison, is moving in the opposite direction. Beijing’s New Year’s announcement to finally outlaw its domestic ivory trade, although long overdue, was widely praised an important step in the struggle to save Africa’s embattled elephant population. Also in January, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, will make his customary first overseas trip of the year that always begins in Africa where he will visit five countries. All of this is set amid the backdrop of surging Chinese investment in Africa as part of president Xi Jinping’s 2015 $60 billion/5 year financial package and the roll out of China’s ambitious global trading strategy known as “One Belt, One Road” which passes through a number of countries in Northeast Africa where the Chinese are now spending billions of dollars to build out new civilian and military infrastructure. Janet Eom, Research Manager at the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University has been closely following the presidential campaign and the run-up to Donald Trump’s inauguration with an eye on how this will all impact Sino-African relations. Janet joins Eric & Cobus to discuss what’s ahead in U.S.-China-Africa relations. Join the conversation. Do you think that the Trump presidency will benefit the Chinese in Africa or does it even matter? Trump has promised an “America First” agenda to his constituents and so what if U.S. influence falls in some parts of the world. We’d like hear from you. Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque

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28. An Insider’s View of the China-Africa “Debt Trap” Debate

An Insider’s View of the China-Africa “Debt Trap” Debate

W. Gyude Moore, Liberia’s former Minister of Public Works, recognizes that African countries are taking a huge risk by piling on ever-larger amounts of Chinese debt, but he thinks it’s worth it if the new roads, bridges and industrial parks can help spark economic growth needed to employ the continent’s bulging population of young people. Gyude joins Eric & Cobus to provide an insider’s perspective on the ongoing debate dangers of too much Chinese debt in Africa. Join the discussion. Do you agree with the IMF and the United States government that African countries should be wary of becoming too indebted to the Chinese or do you think African policymakers like Gyude Moore are right in their assessment that this is a risk worth taking? Let us know what you think. Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @gyude_moore Email: [email protected]

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29. China's role in Africa's "Looting Machine"

China's role in Africa's

China goes to great lengths to differentiate its engagement in Africa from the continent's former European colonizers by emphasizing so-called "win-win development." Chinese leaders regularly visit Africa where they emphatically reject the accusation of neo-colonialism and that Beijing is only interested in exploiting the continent's natural resources. The reality, though, is much more complicated, according to Financial Times Investigations Correspondent Tom Burgis. The Chinese, writes Burgis in his new book "The Looting Machine" are just the latest entrant in Africa's "Looting Machine" where, through collusion with corrupt African elites, the continent's wealth and resources are plundered on a staggering scale. Burgis emphasizes that it would not be accurate to equate China's participation in the "Looting Machine" to that of the former imperial powers that once ruled Africa. Instead, he says, the Chinese in Africa are often operating within the parameters of global capitalism, a system that implicates all of us who buy goods in today's borderless market. Burgis joins Eric & Cobus this week to discuss the darker, more nefarious side of China's engagement in Africa.

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30. Sinica: Band of Brothers -- China and South Africa

Sinica: Band of Brothers -- China and South Africa

You'd be forgiven for thinking that China and South Africa weren't actual neighbors given all the pomp and ritual that surrounded South African President Jacob Zuma's recent state visit to China, a trip that saw China roll out the red carpet in a very uncritical fashion not often seen these days, with even Xinhua getting into the spirit of international camraderie with fulsome editorials praising the South African people and their international spirit. And in the spirit of confusing co-host Kaiser and changing the balance of power in the studio, Jeremy is delighted to have invited a "real" South African to join us this week. And so our guest is John Bailey, Asia Correpondent of ENCA, the 24-hour television news broadcaster focusing on South African and African stories. In this hour-long show, John joins us to talk about what is happening in South Africa, and why the country's relations with China have taken such a rosy turn. Source:

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31. 'China is doing more to protect elephants than Africa'

'China is doing more to protect elephants than Africa'

For the first time in years, there is positive news to report in the fight to save Africa's elephants from extinction. A new study by the Save the Elephants revealed that the price of ivory in China has halved over the past 18 months, indicating that heightened social awareness on the Mainland combined with a series of new policy initiatives by the government are beginning to impact demand in the world's largest ivory market. The Chinese government appears to be following up on president Xi Jinping's October 2015 announcement that Beijing will eventually phase out the country's ivory trade. Although specific details about the proposed ban have not been revealed and the new law has yet to go into effect, the market for this once prized precious resource is changing. Conservationists had hoped that president Xi would use the recent China-Africa summit in Johannesburg as a forum to announce the implementation of the ban, or at least provide some information on what the government plans to do. That did not happen. Instead, wildlife conservation and other environmental issues were largely sidelined as both Chinese and African leaders focused on infrastructure, security and other economic development issues. Andrea Crosta, co-founder and Executive Director of the Elephant Action League, said he wasn't surprised or event disappointed that the ivory issue did not figure prominently at FOCAC. Rather, he's been encouraged recently by trends in China where he sees a growing number of consumers shunning ivory products combined with a series of new legal measures by the government to crack down on illegal trading activity. "China is doing more to protect elephants than Africa," said Crosta, highlighting what is no doubt an extremely sensitive issue in the global conservation community where China has been understandably been vilified as enemy #1 of Africa's embattled elephants. Crosta joins Eric & Cobus to discuss why the ivory issue is far more complicated than simply shutting down demand in China. Reforming conservation laws, customs enforcement and eliminating corruption in Africa are equally important in the fight to save these beautiful animals.

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32. When China Sneezes, Does Africa Catch a Cold?

When China Sneezes, Does Africa Catch a Cold?

Chinese government officials have been on all-out PR offensive across Africa lately to reassure increasingly nervous political and business leaders that even though China's economy may be slowing it will not affect the PRC's investment plans in Africa. Africans, for their part, have reason to be worried. Chinese trade with the continent has fallen sharply, 40% by some estimates, in 2015. Similarly, Chinese FDI in Africa plunged a staggering 84% last year. With commodity prices still at decade-lows and Chinese demand for Africa's raw materials not picking up, the stakes for Africa's export-dependent economies are extremely high. Nicholas Norbrook, Managing Editor of The Africa Report magazine, examined how much of Africa's current economic headwinds are due to China's ongoing transition from a manufacturing to a service-led economy. Nick joins Eric & Cobus to discuss his article, "When China sneezes, does Africa catch a cold?" from the March edition of the magazine. What do you think? Join the discussion on Africa's economic interdependence with China: Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque Web:

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33. Challenging the myth of Chinese land grabs in Africa

Challenging the myth of Chinese land grabs in Africa

Among the most durable myths surrounding the China-Africa relationship is the fear that the Chinese government and private enterprises are buying vast tracts of African farm land and have plans to transplant millions of Chinese peasants to live and work on the continent. Over the years, these rumors have been fueled by prominent news publications in the West, politicians and, on occasion, by the Chinese themselves. The fears of Chinese agribusiness effectively colonizing portions of Africa is often well-received by many Africans who are understandably skeptical about the intentions of large foreign powers in light of their historical experience. In her new book "Will Africa Feed China?", Johns Hopkins University professor Deborah Brautigam seeks to definitively debunk this narrative. Together with other Sino-African scholars, professor Brautigam traveled across Africa in search of any evidence to support the allegation that the Chinese enterprises are making massive investments in African agriculture. Not only is there no evidence whatsoever to suggest the Chinese are making any such inroads in the African land market, Dr. Brautigam discovered the entire story is actually upside down. Not only are African governments reaching out to the Chinese to invest more in their agricultural sectors, it's Chinese agriculture that's actually feeding Africa! Well, not exactly. However, given that Africa produces only 13% of the food that it consumes, it must rely on imports for the rest, including rice and other processed foods from China among many other countries. Professor Brautigam structures her book around four tenants that define the Chinese land grab myth in Africa: 1) The Chinese have acquired large areas of farmland in Africa. 2) The Chinese government is leading the effort through state owned companies and the country's powerful sovereign wealth funds. 3) The Chinese are growing massive amounts of grain in Africa to export back to China. 4) The Chinese have sent (or plan to send) large numbers of Chinese farmers to settle in Africa. Professor Brautigam joins Eric & Cobus this week to discuss her new book and why the mythology of Chinese land imperialism in Africa is so persuasive.

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34. 中国是否会在非洲制造从属国?


中国最大贷款银行工商银行4月29日同赤道几内亚签署总价值20亿美元的基础设施建设框架协议。另外,中国还在非洲拿下投资大单。4月27日中铁建下属的中非建设有限公司签订系列建设项目订单,总金额55亿美元。其中尼日利亚奥贡州城际铁路项目商务合同35.06亿美元,津巴布韦一处住房工程项目19.3亿美元。该公司现在是非洲最大轨道交通承包商。 上述重大工程的融资细节尚不清楚。不过,众所周知,许多非洲国家为自身基础设施建设需要,向中国大规模举债。假如债务违约,这些国家对中国的依附是否会更强? 资深媒体人兼“中国非洲项目”创始人欧瑞克 (欧瑞克提供) 资深媒体人兼“中国非洲项目”创始人欧瑞克 (欧瑞克提供) 资深记者欧瑞克(Eric Olander)兼多媒体平台“中国非洲项目(China Africa Project)创始人,目前正在越南越南胡志明市,他在接受美国之音采访时表示,非常担心中非关系中出现这种依附现象,尤其是加纳、津巴布韦、莫桑比克等非洲小国。

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35. China Mall's rise amid growing xenophobia in South Africa

China Mall's rise amid growing xenophobia in South Africa

Chinese immigrants in South Africa have not been spared from the violent, anti-immigrant riots that have swept across Durban and Johannesburg, two of the country's largest cities. There have been reports of injuries along with at least 40 business that were ransacked and looted. Most of those business were small, independent shops, not any of the 20 vast China Malls that are spread across Johannesburg. Surprisingly, those China Malls have not been impacted by the xenophobic violence. University of Minnesota doctoral student Mingle Huang is conducting ethnographic research on the China Malls in Johannesburg and joins Cobus to discuss why they have been untouched, so far, by the rise of anti-immigrant violence in South Africa.

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36. China-Ghana relations in an age of uncertainty

China-Ghana relations in an age of uncertainty

Ghana is emerging as a strategically vital country in China's broader Africa strategy but with the sudden death of President John Atta Mills, tensions over immigration and recent violence related to illegal mining, the Chinese face a growing list of challenges | One week after a huge Sino-African conference in Beijing, we explore if anything was actually accomplished at the FOCAC | A new Chinese joint venture oil pipeline off the coast of East Africa. Join the discussion at

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37. The news media's mixed record in covering China-Africa ties

The news media's mixed record in covering China-Africa ties

News organizations from across Africa and around the world are devoting more resources to covering China's engagement on the continent. The overall quantity of coverage has undoubtedly increased over the past decade. The key question, though, is whether all of that coverage has produced better quality reporting that is more textured, nuanced and relies less on dated stereotypes of both Chinese and Africans? The short answer is, well, 'it's complicated.' Foreign journalists who often swoop in to cover the 'big China-Africa story' often miss the nuances and subtleties of this complicated relationship. Their reporting frequently includes a number of well-worn editorial short-cuts (e.g. references to neo-colonialism, mentions of Chinese prison labor, etc...) that often deviate from the facts. Conversely, reporting at the local level, particularly by African print publications, has improved considerably. In contrast to the big narrative journalism done by international news outlets, these smaller organizations often focus much more granular topics that do not lend themselves to grand, sweeping narratives that can be very misleading. This kind of reporting, such as a Chinese development project in Kenya, a high-level delegation visit to Johannesburg or a new PRC-funded hospital in Liberia, is much more targeted and has now become a staple of African reporting on the Chinese. The China-Africa Reporting Project at the Wits University school of journalism in Johannesburg was founded to help journalists from all over the world improve their reporting on China-Africa issues. Each year, the program provides grants to reporters to cover any topic they choose so long as it is related to Africa-China relations. These reporting fellows are provided funds funds for travel and accommodation during their assignment. The China-Africa Reporting Project recently published a book that features the best China-Africa reporting from its fellows over the past 6 years. Barry van Wyk is the project coordinator at the program and played a central role in the publication of the book. He joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the key trends in Africa-China news reporting.

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38. The BRICS Bank: China's drive to shake up development finance

The BRICS Bank: China's drive to shake up development finance

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (aka the 'BRICS') are moving forward with an ambitious plan to shake up the clubby world of development finance. The new BRICS bank announced over the summer 2014 is expected to have a profound impact on the African development finance sector as part of China's broader effort to re-orient the international system away from the West. Pretoria University research associate Sanusha Naidu is a leading expert on the BRICS and joins us to discuss the implications of China's agenda on African development finance.

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39. BBC Business Daily: Special Economic Zones

BBC Business Daily: Special Economic Zones

Are Africans benefiting from the billions China is spending on the world's poorest continent? We look at China's role in Africa and ask whether Africans are benefiting from the billions the world's second largest economy is investing in the world's poorest continent. Nnenna Obibuaku reports from the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Nigeria and we hear from Martyn Davies, chief executive of the consulting company Frontier Advisory in South Africa. Plus Neo Simutanyi, director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue in Lusaka, tells Justin Rowlatt that there are questions over what benefit Chinese investment brings to Africa.

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40. Don't Be Fooled by the Numbers, State of China-Africa Trade is Healthy

Don't Be Fooled by the Numbers, State of China-Africa Trade is Healthy

Walter Ruigu, Managing Director of Beijing-based China-Africa Merchant Advisors, joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the current state of Sino-African trade relations. In particular, he explains why the data that indicates a dramatic slowdown in two-way trade is misleading due to distortions related to Chinese purchases of African oil. Join the discussion. Are you concerned about the state of China-Africa trade and how Chinese products are pouring into African markets? Or do you share Walter's optimism that China presents a tremendous opportunity for African exporters? Let us know what you think.   Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @wruigu Email: [email protected]   Be sure to join our weekly email newsletter mailing list for a carefully curated selection of the week's top China-Africa news. Sign up here.   For more information about Eric & Cobus and the China Africa Project, click on our new About page for details.

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