In the battle for resources in the clean energy race, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) stands as a critical piece of the puzzle, holding access to key metals such as cobalt, lithium, copper and coltan. While China has been an early dominant investor, the US is upping the stakes and seeking to throw the competition wide open.
After 20 years of rapid growth fuelled by Chinese investments, Africa-China ties stand at an inflection point, with some African countries wary of the pitfalls of collaboration and other challengers seeking to dominate the region. Will China’s Africa-China relations reach new highs after this fork in the road?
China lacks sufficient reserves of strategic minerals. The country's strategic mineral reserves, including iron, copper, aluminum, nickel and lithium, equals less than 20% of the world’s total, while the country accounts for more than half of global consumption of cobalt, aluminum and copper. What are China's options?
Lim Jim Koon, former editor-in-chief of Chinese Media Group, SPH Media, looks at the current world in flux and its focus on great power rivalry. He reminds us that small nations have their place in this world too and their survival and growth must not be lightly brushed aside. Rwanda and Timor-Leste may not be countries in the spotlight, but these are small nations with tenacity, sharing common interests and goals with Singapore.
A young black American who has just finished his master’s in Beijing gives a first-hand account of being viewed as the Other in China. Despite some negative encounters, the conversations he has had in the local language and the friendships he has forged have made the experience all worthwhile.
Japanese academic Mitsugi Endo gives his assessment of the recent Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8) in Tunisia. While it was announced that Japan's public and private sectors combined would make investments in Africa amounting to US$30 billion over the next three years, the impact of great power politics in Africa, including by players such as China and Russia, may have an impact on Japan's future engagement with the continent.
Tunisia will host the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) on 27-28 August, during which various topics will come under discussion. How can Japan set itself apart from other powers such as China who are aggressively supporting Africa's development?
In a recent poll conducted by Malaysia’s Merdeka Center and the Institute of China Studies at the University of Malaya, public perception of China seems to have improved slightly from the last time a similar survey was done in 2016. That said, opinions are divided among ethnic groups and hinge on a few deciding factors.
Many were caught off-guard when China made forceful statements against the military coup in Guinea. Hasn't China always been circumspect and asked countries to resolve their internal issues well in past such cases? Perhaps Guinea being China’s leading source of bauxite for its aluminum industry is a key motivation. Or perhaps it is a case of finally feeling the need to step up to a greater international role? Zaobao’s China Desk examines the issue.