Opinion: Peacekeeping – how do others compare to China?

Here in China it’s been impossible to miss the fact that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is celebrating its 90th anniversary this week.   There’s been a grand parade, numerous articles about its history and new endeavors – for example PLA’s first overseas base in Djibouti in Africa -, and there is even a…

The Imperialist People’s Republic of Africa?

A few months ago, a New York Times magazine cover was emblazoned with the question “Is China the World’s New Colonial Power?” The notion that China is a twenty-first-century colonizer is not new: commentators have been batting it around for a decade. But, to anyone who has experienced or even studied colonialism, the claim seems…

Speech: Creating jobs and entrepreneurs along the Belt and Road – how can China help?

Creating jobs and entrepreneurs is key for sustainable development; At least three ways China can use the Belt and Road Initiaitve to create jobs and entrepreneurs across the world; China’s local governments should use “going out” strategically to innovate and accelerate their shift away from manufacturing. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I was…

Can China’s civil society organisations bark like two dogs?

In Beijing, today is the annual deadline every dog owner dreads – registration time. As this handy guide sets out, if owners don’t register their dogs by the end of May, the dogs risk being taken away as strays. Not being a dog owner, I am not aware of whether this is a unique system…

Opinion: How can African countries get the most from Belt and Road?

Living in China, it’s been impossible to miss the country’s first ever Belt and Road Forum (BRF). The forum concluded on Monday, with outputs including a detailed declaration and numerous — over 270 — bilateral deals in areas such as infrastructure, manufacturing and services.As was articulated recently by the head of the UN in China,…

Mo-bike – the development dream?

I remember the day I noticed mo-bikes, the new shared bikes that have literally taken over several cities in China. They had this attractive bright orange design, and I would spot them parked in random places, rather than dedicated bike holds. I was so curious I took a photo to later ask my Chinese friends…

Speech: China-Africa reporting needs more oil!

尊敬的各位来宾,女士们, 先生们, 大家下午好!Wanawake  na mabwana, Habari zenu! Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. It is a real pleasure to be here today to open this first ever award ceremony aiming to both recognise and incentivise the best Chinese reporting on my home continent, Africa. Thank you for the invitation from both Tsinghua University and the Gates…

Op-Ed: The End of Poverty in China?

One of the most cited statistics about China may well be the number of Chinese who have been lifted out of poverty over the last 35 years. At over 800 million, it is a huge number – and an extraordinary feat. Indeed, no other country has achieved such a level of poverty reduction over such…

Opinion: Is China really helping Africa?

There is no doubt that relations between China and African countries are becoming ever more intertwined and important. In what has now become an annual tradition to visit Africa as a priority continent at the beginning of the year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to five African countries illustrates the close relationship. China’s top foreign…

Will China’s social media fly global in 2017?

The beginning of the year – Western or Chinese – always means its resolution time. For the year of the rooster, I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to cut my social media addiction, which has really grown over time.  A few years ago, when living and working in the UK, there were three…