Tag Archives: Ukraine

Global Developments and Analysis: Weekly Monitor, 18 July – 24 July 2022

Economic
High Crude Prices Are Here To Stay

Crude oil has been on a decline over the past few weeks as growing worry about a looming global recession weighs it down. But oil is not going as far down as drivers across the world would like it to go—or as far as politicians up for reelection would like it to go. Barring a dramatic event of demand destruction, oil is going to remain expensive for the observable future. OPEC has repeatedly signalled that it is in no rush to deploy its spare capacity to boost global supply and bring down prices. One reason for this is the prices themselves: Saudi Arabia has been raising its oil prices for Asian buyers for several months in a row now because it can. The other reason is that spare capacity is limited. Earlier this week, when it released its latest Monthly Oil Market Report, OPEC warned that global oil demand is set to rise to levels that would test its production capacity. Known as the “call on OPEC crude,” the amount of oil that the cartel needs to produce in order to cover global demand could rise to 32 million barrels daily in 2023, OPEC said. That would be up from 28.7 million bpd as of this June, which means OPEC would need to boost its production by over 3 million bpd within the next year and a half to cover demand, coming mostly from China and India. And it may not have the spare capacity to do itClick here to read…

Russia won’t supply oil to ‘price cap’ participants — head of Central Bank

Russia will stop supplying countries that cap the price of its oil, the nation’s Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina announced on July 22. Moscow has argued that a price ceiling would make oil more expensive and hurt Russian producers. Nabiullina said that instead of complying with a price limit, Russia would redirect its supply to countries not imposing such a limit. Her comments came a day after Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak issued a similar warning, telling Russia’s Channel One that a price cap would drive revenue lower than the cost of production, and that Russia’s producers “simply will not work a negative profit.” Seen by the US as a means of lowering global oil costs while simultaneously denying Russia revenue, the possibility of a price cap was agreed by the leaders of the G7 nations during their summit in June. Participating countries would deny shipping and insurance to Russian oil priced above a set rate. The participation of only a small number of countries would have a global effect, as British and European companies currently insure 85-90% of seaborne Russian oil cargoes, according to figures from the Brookings Institution, a US think tank. While no concrete price has yet been set, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently suggested that the upper threshold for a price cap would be set at around half the current market price for Russian oil. Click here to read…

Russia resumes gas flow through Nord Stream

Gazprom resumed the delivery of gas from Russia to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline on July 21, the operator told news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa). A spokesperson for Nord Stream AG was quoted as saying that the pipeline was operating at 40% of capacity. Gazprom reduced the flow through Nord Stream last month and suspended it entirely on July 11, citing routine maintenance work. News of the resumption of supply comes after the European Commission urged EU members on July 20 to cut their use of gas by 15% until March of next year, amid fears that Moscow could stop deliveries to Europe in retaliation to the sanctions imposed on Russia for its military operation in Ukraine. “Russia is blackmailing us. Russia is using energy as a weapon,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. Gazprom had said that it needed a repaired turbine to be returned from Canada to have the Nord Stream functioning properly. Ottawa allowed the equipment to be returned to Germany earlier this month, granting an exemption from the sanctions. The Russian gas giant said on July 20, however, that it still had not received the documents required to reinstall the turbine from its German manufacturer, Siemens. Click here to read…

Deal struck on Ukraine grain exports

A deal to unblock much-awaited grain exports from Ukraine was signed at the UN-brokered talks in Istanbul, Turkey on July 22. Under the terms of the deal, which was agreed provisionally last week, representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the UN, and Turkey agreed to open a joint coordination center in Istanbul to oversee shipments from Ukraine, and to maintain safe transit routes for these shipments across the Black Sea. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar signed an agreement with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, while Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Aleksandr Kubrakov signed a separate document with Akar, completing the deal. Guterres described the signing as “a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever,” and thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his “persistence” in getting the agreement signed. Guterres also praised Russian and Ukrainian officials for “putting aside [their] differences” for the sake of the world’s food supply, particularly in developing countries. Wheat deliveries from Ukraine, a major producer, were disrupted after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state in late February. The sides previously blamed each other for causing the crisis. Ukraine and some Western officials have accused Russia of deliberately preventing the shipments by blockading the country’s Black Sea ports. Moscow insists that Ukraine made the shipments impossible by laying naval mines outside of the ports, including Odessa. Click here to read…

China faces first drop in local land-use sales since 2015

China’s local governments are on track for the first decline in annual revenue from sales of land use rights since 2015, dimming Beijing’s hopes of shoring up a sagging economy with public works projects. Sales for the first half of 2022 sank 31% on the year, China’s Finance Ministry reports. Regional governments and municipalities have come to rely heavily on this income stream, as other revenue has dwindled due to tax breaks aimed at boosting China’s economy. Revenue from land-rights sales exceeded the amount from taxes in 2020 for the first time in data going back to 2010. But income from this lifeline has slumped since last summer, as tighter restrictions on the housing sector chill real estate demand. Last month’s year-on-year drop of 39.7% was the steepest decline since May 2015, amid an economic shock. At that time, the housing market had cooled during 2014 in terms of prices and floor space sold. Revenue from land-rights sales only started to recover in 2016, after condominium inventories ran low and developers sought more real estate for new construction, putting money back in the coffers of local authorities. Looking at housing sales now as a predictor of land-rights sales does not paint an optimistic picture. Transactions in 30 major cities tumbled 38% on the year by area for the July 1-16 period, according to GF Securities. Click here to read…

Myanmar seeks Russian assistance in push for nuclear energy

Myanmar is pursuing greater economic cooperation with Russia including on nuclear energy, as U.S. and European sanctions increasingly isolate them from the rest of the world. Myanmar leader Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing on July 11 met with Alexey Likhachev, director general of Russian state energy company Rosatom, during a weeklong trip to Russia. The meeting resulted in memorandums of understanding to cooperate on skills development in nuclear energy in Myanmar, Rosatom said in a release. Myanmar Energy Minister Thaung Han also met with Likhachev in June while visiting Russia, where they discussed Myanmar’s electricity sector. Russia agreed to build a small nuclear research reactor in Myanmar in 2007, when the Southeast Asian country was under its last military government. But construction never moved forward amid pushback from the U.S. and other countries. Myanmar has since signaled a greater interest in nuclear nonproliferation. It signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 2016, under the democratically elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy. The recent trip was Min Aung Hlaing’s second time in Russia since the Myanmar military took control of the government in February 2021. He toured mainly defense contractors during his first visit, but also made his way to universities and other science- and technology-focused institutions this time around. Click here to read…

Russia begins building Egypt’s first nuclear power plant

Russian state-owned energy giant Rosatom has begun construction on the El Dabaa nuclear power plant, the company said in a press release published on July 20. “The start of construction on the El Dabaa power plant’s first reactor means Egypt is now joining the club of the world’s nuclear energy producing nations,” Rosatom CEO Alexey Likhachyov said at a ceremony launching the construction. Located on Egypt’s northern coast, some 130 kilometers northwest of Cairo, El Dabaa will be Egypt’s first nuclear power plant as well as Rosatom’s first major project in Africa. The plant, which is set to be completed by 2028, will have four VVER-1200 reactors with a total nameplate capacity of 4,800 megawatts. The construction is financed jointly by Moscow and Cairo, with the Russian government providing 85% of the $30 billion cost in the form of a state loan. The rest will be funded by Egypt with financial backing from private investors. Under the terms of agreements signed by the two countries, Rosatom will also be supplying nuclear fuel for the plant for its entire 60-year design lifetime, and providing maintenance and repairs for ten years after the launch of each reactor. Additionally, the company will provide staff training. Click here to read…

China plans three-tier data strategy to avoid US delistings: Report

China plans to sort US-listed Chinese companies based on the sensitivity of the data they hold in an attempt to stop US regulators from delisting hundreds of firms, groups, the Financial Times said on July 23. The three-tier system aims to bring Chinese companies into compliance with US rules that would require public companies to let regulators inspect their audit files, the FT said, citing four unnamed people with knowledge of the situation. The three broad categories include companies with non-sensitive data, sensitive data and secretive data, the newspaper said. Reuters could not immediately reach the CSRC for comment during non-business hours on July 24. Washington has long demanded complete access to the books of US-listed Chinese companies, but Beijing, citing national security concerns, bars foreign inspection of working papers from local accounting firms. Reuters reported in March that Chinese regulators had asked some of the country’s US-listed firms, including Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com, to prepare for more audit disclosures. In April, Reuters reported China and US regulators were discussing operational details of an audit deal that Beijing hoped to sign this year to keep Chinese companies listed on US exchanges. Click here to read…

SMIC’s 7-nm chip process a wake-up call for US

A TechInsights report stating that a bitcoin mining integrated circuit (IC) sold by MinerVa “appears to be manufactured in SMIC 7-nm technology node” has triggered an outburst of commentary about the failure of American sanctions to stop the advance of Chinese semiconductor technology. TechInsights is a Canadian provider of semiconductor-related analysis and intellectual property services to technology companies and other subscribers. It is known for its reverse engineering capability. Referred to as “China-based” by Bloomberg, MinerVa Semiconductor is registered in Canada. But the three directors listed in its registration are Chinese and the address given for one of them is in China’s Henan province. The “About Us” section on the company’s website is blank. MinerVA Semiconductor claims that its MinerVa7 is “one of the best-valued chips” for mining Bitcoin and that it “utilizes mature foundry technology to ensure chip yield, quality and reliability.” Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, or SMIC, is China’s largest semiconductor foundry (contract manufacturer) and a prominent target of US technology sanctions aimed at curbing China’s access to advanced chips and the capacity to produce them. The report describes SMIC’s efforts to put 7-nm process technology into production as a qualified success. After noting similarities with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) 7-nm process, it goes on to say that SMIC’s System-on-Chip (SoC) device seems to be a low-volume “steppingstone” that has the logic but not the memory aspects of a standard TSMC or Samsung product. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland holdings of US treasuries drop below $1 trillion for the 1st time in 12 years

Chinese mainland’s holdings of US treasury securities dropped to $980.8 billion in May 2022, which was the first time for it to drop below $1 trillion in 12 years since May 2010, according to data released by the US Department of the Treasury on July 18. Chinese mainland, as the second largest holder of the US treasury, has reduced its holdings six months in a row from $1.08 trillion in November 2021 to $980.8 billion in May 2022. The previous time when it held less than $1 trillion of US treasury was in May 2010 – $843.7 billion. Japan remained the largest holder of US debt, but has also recorded decreasing holdings recently from $1.232 trillion in March to $1.212 trillion in May. The US economy has been mired in skyrocketing inflation and potential risk of recession. Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the US hit a 41-year high to 9.1 percent in June, fueling market speculation that the US Fed may stick to its hawkish stance and further hike the US interest rate by 0.75 percentage points or even more in the upcoming meeting in late July. The sum total of US treasury held by foreign holders has recorded a decrease three months in a row, from $7.71 trillion in February to $7.42 trillion in May. Click here to read…

China on guard as European Central Bank, US Fed interest rate hikes threaten greater spillover effects

Beijing will “pay close attention” to external monetary policy tightening and conduct a timely assessment of its spillover effects after the European Central Bank joined the US Federal Reserve-led chorus of worldwide interest rate increases. Following the first increase in 11 years by the European institute, which on July 21 pushed its benchmark rate up by 50 basis points, China has become the only major economy that is maintaining a loose monetary stance. This means it could face further tests in terms of capital outflow, foreign-exchange volatility and market expectations. The world’s second-largest economy, which is preoccupied with economic recovery after its gross domestic product growth slumped to 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, could come under even greater pressure from steeper rate increases overseas. Like it did last month, the US Federal Reserve is likely to raise its benchmark rate by another 75 basis points next week – and more later this year – in a bid to tackle 40-year-high inflation. “The Fed is also faced with a dilemma between controlling inflation and stabilising the economy. We need to keep an eye on its monetary policy adjustment in the future,” said Wang Chunying, deputy director of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), on July 22. Beijing was hit hard in the previous round of rate increases that started in 2014. Click here to read…

Weak Earnings Reports Aren’t Fazing Investors After Brutal Year for Stocks

Disappointing earnings reports from several big companies don’t seem to be fazing investors, with the S&P 500 up nearly 5% this month, and 2.5% last week, after a punishing start to the year. Even some companies that have posted sharply lower quarterly results have seen their shares rally in the following days. Bank of America Corp posted a slimmer-than-expected profit last week, yet its shares finished the session little changed and jumped 3.4% the subsequent day. Netflix Inc. said it lost nearly a million subscribers, and its stock jumped 7.3% in the next session. Tesla Inc. snapped its streak of record quarterly profits, yet its shares rallied 9.8% the following day. All three stocks have underperformed the broader market this year. So far this reporting season, shares of companies in the S&P 500 that have missed Wall Street’s earnings expectations have slipped 0.1% on average in the two days before their report through the two days after, according to FactSet. That compares with the five-year average of a 2.4% decline. With inflation at a four-decade high and the Federal Reserve in the midst of an aggressive campaign to raise interest rates to rein in rising prices, many investors say they had braced for a messy quarter. Click here to read…

Janet Yellen Calls for Trade Overhaul to Diversify From China

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for a reorientation of the world’s trading practices in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, pushing again for countries to become less reliant on China for critical components like semiconductors. Speaking at an LG Group research facility in South Korea’s largest city and capital, Ms. Yellen explored so-called “friend-shoring,” a proposed paradigm shift that would have the U.S. and its allies trade more closely with one another and less with geopolitical rivals. Supply disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the war in Ukraine, have exposed the danger of depending too heavily on a single producer, Ms. Yellen said. “Friend-shoring is about deepening relationships and diversifying our supply chains with a greater number of trusted trading partners. The purpose is to lower risks for our economy and theirs,” she said. South Korea, a longtime U.S. ally and the world’s 10th largest economy, is a critical partner in the Biden administration’s efforts to prevent China from dominating key technological industries such as semiconductors and electric-vehicle batteries. In her remarks at the LG facility, Ms. Yellen specifically targeted China, accusing the country of using unfair trade practices to gain a dominant position in certain industries, including semiconductor production. Click here to read…

Russian Titanium Maker Is Pulled Off Sanctions List

The European Union blocked a proposal to sanction Russian Metals Company VSMPO-Avisma PJSC at the last minute, EU diplomats said, after France and other member states objected to the move over fears of a potential retaliatory ban by Russia on titanium exports to the bloc. The company is a critical supplier of titanium to Airbus SE, the world’s biggest commercial jet maker. Airbus, headquartered in France, employs a large workforce across Europe. It has publicly called for the EU to refrain from banning Russian sales of titanium. The move illustrates the complex balance the bloc is trying to maintain to squeeze Russia’s economy after the Kremlin’s decision to invade Ukraine, while also protecting the EU’s own economic interests. After presenting a united front over financial, central-bank and individual sanctions during the first weeks of the war, the bloc has been divided more recently over energy sanctions and whether such restrictions might hurt Europe’s economy more than Russia’s. European officials have been working on a seventh package of sanctions against Russia. The package, which includes new measures such as a ban on Russian gold sales into the bloc, took effect late July 21. Click here to read…

Chinese spending on belt and road projects remained low in first six months, report says

Chinese financing and investment under its Belt and Road Initiative remained at low levels in the first half of the year, and there was no spending at all in Russia, Sri Lanka and Egypt, a new study has found. Total financing and investment stood at US$28.4 billion in the first six months, down slightly from US$29.4 billion a year earlier, according to a report by Fudan University’s Green Finance and Development Centre (GFDC) in Shanghai, released on July 24. It was 40 per cent lower than the same period in 2019. It comes amid warnings from observers that a deepening US-China feud in combination with an economic downturn at home – worsened by Beijing’s tough response to Covid-19 outbreaks – will add to pressure on its belt and road foreign policy and investment strategy. The study also cast doubt over the initiative’s prospects. “For the rest of 2022, despite continued lockdowns, particularly in China, with the continued uncertainty of Covid-19, and continued issues of sovereign debt, as well as the Ukraine war, further recovery of [belt and road] investments requires caution,” the report said. It said investment and spending under the programme would be unlikely to return to 2019 levels. China has spent US$932 billion on President Xi Jinping’s signature project since it began in 2013 and it now involves 147 countries, according to the report. Click here to read…

Strategic
Pelosi and Biden, Taiwan and China- WSJ

President Biden has a habit of creating trouble when he pops off to the press, and this week’s entry in the canon concerned a mooted visit by Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. He didn’t make the trip easier for anyone, least of all the House Speaker. Mrs. Pelosi hasn’t confirmed if she’s going to Taiwan next month, but news of the trip leaked earlier this week and we know she has invited other Members of Congress to travel with her. China reacted with its usual fury at the news, and a reporter asked Mr. Biden on July 20 what he thought about it. He replied that “the military” thinks Mrs. Pelosi’s Taiwan trip is “not a good idea right now.” He didn’t elaborate, so the ominous implications were left hanging. Naturally Mrs. Pelosi was asked about Mr. Biden’s remarks at her weekly presser. “I think what the President is saying,” she replied, is that “maybe the military was afraid our plane would get shot down or something like that by the Chinese. I don’t know exactly. I didn’t see it. I didn’t hear it. You’re telling me, and I’ve heard it anecdotally, but I haven’t heard it from the President.” Yikes. The Pentagon fears China might shoot down a U.S. aircraft carrying the person third in line to the Presidency? Click here to read…

Chinese military issues warning to US

The foreign and defense ministries in Beijing issued harsh statements on July 18 condemning the Biden administration’s approval of a new US arms sale to Taiwan. The deal is worth an estimated $108 million and includes armored vehicle parts and technical assistance. Beijing “demands” that the United States “immediately withdraw the above-mentioned arms sales plan to Taiwan,” halt all other such arms deals, and cut military ties with the island, said Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Tan Kefei. “Otherwise, the US side will be solely responsible for undermining the relationship between China and the US and the two militaries and the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.” “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will take all necessary measures to firmly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart any form of external interference and separatist attempts for ‘Taiwan independence’,” the colonel added. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin echoed the sentiment, saying Washington’s arms supplies “gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, and severely harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.” “China will continue to take resolute and strong measures to firmly defend its sovereignty and security interests,” Wang added. The Pentagon revealed on July 15 that the US State Department had greenlit the transaction. Click here to read…

Korea in bind over US-led chip alliance

Despite a change in government, Korea still finds itself in a tricky situation over how to balance its military alliance with the United States and its economic relationship with China, as Washington pushes to form an anti-Beijing chip alliance. Since taking office in May, President Yoon Suk-yeol has shown signs of coming closer to the U.S., a drastic shift from his predecessor Moon Jae-in’s so-called “balanced diplomacy” between the two countries. But the latest development is posing a challenge for Korea, the world’s semiconductor powerhouse, because China is its biggest client and the possible ramifications could affect the entire economy in consideration of its portion in the nation’s exports. Even Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho said that Korea should be cautious in deciding whether to join the chip alliance due to possible fallout, July 20. According to media reports, the U.S. government has asked the Korean government to respond to its invitation by the end of August to participate in the envisaged strategic alliance of four global chip powerhouses that also includes Japan and Taiwan, also known as the Chip 4 or Fab 4, a platform apparently aimed at countering China’s growing influence in global supply chains. Click here to read…

‘Surprising shortfalls’ in China military logistics suggest lack of conflict readiness: US analysts

Senior American military analysts have identified “surprising shortfalls” in the Chinese military’s logistics despite recent reforms, suggesting a lack of preparedness if it engages in a conflict in the near term. US Department of Defence senior analyst Joshua Arostegui and other military experts said logistical gaps meant serious weaknesses in the People’s Liberation Army’s readiness to fight, notwithstanding its high enlistment numbers. “There seem to be some surprising shortfalls in logistics support for PLA Army combat at times,” Arostegui said at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on July 19. “Without modern logistics methods, how long can the PLA really expect to operate at a tactical level where the fighting really takes place?” His conclusions are based on a recent Pentagon analysis of Chinese journal articles and official footage from state broadcaster CCTV focusing on the PLA’s lack of logistical infrastructure, from navy replenishment ships to aircraft apron space for maintenance. Seeking to overhaul logistics in China’s military, President Xi Jinping in 2016 established the Joint Logistics Support Force, consolidating and integrating joint operations into a single national entity. While the model creates greater potential efficiencies, analysts said it sacrifices direct authority for commanders in a specific theatre and invites bureaucratic delays. Beijing continues to debate the pros and cons of various models, indicating the PLA maintains different operating models for peace and wartime and has yet to settle on how wartime operations for the joint logistics force would be carried out. Click here to read…

Russia now seeking regime change in Ukraine, Lavrov says as Moscow expands war goals

Moscow is seeking to overthrow the Ukrainian government, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, going back on earlier statements that the leadership question was up to the Ukrainian people. “We will definitely help the Ukrainian people to free themselves from the regime that is absolutely anti-people and anti-history,” Lavrov said on July 24, five months to the day since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Russian and Ukrainian people will live together in the future, he said in Cairo at the start of a diplomatic trip to Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to shore up support for Russia’s war. Russian President Vladimir Putin calls the war a “special military operation” and has said it is aimed at demilitarising Ukraine and rooting out dangerous nationalists. Kyiv and the West call this a baseless pretext for an aggressive land grab. Lavrov’s remark came as the Russian leadership has publicly toughened its position in the Ukraine war in recent days. On July 20, Lavrov threatened to occupy further territories outside the eastern Donbas region where most of the fighting is currently concentrated, in what would be be an expansion of the Kremlin’s previously stated war goals. With his announcement that he wants to change the political leadership in Kyiv, Lavrov also contradicted his own statements in April. Click here to read…

Taliban talks to Malaysia, Indonesia, other far-off Muslim-majority nations, ‘to create engagement perception’, say analysts

The Taliban is reaching out to Muslim-majority nations far from Afghanistan, like Malaysia and Indonesia, to create the perception that an increasing number of countries are interested in engaging with the regime to “strengthen their case for international recognition”, say analysts. On July 24, the Taliban’s acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met Malaysia’s special adviser on Afghanistan, Ahmad Azam Abdul Rahman, to discuss banking, education, bilateral cooperation and scholarships for Afghan students, said the Kabul-based Tolo news channel. On the same day, the Taliban’s Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, wanted by the FBI for questioning in relation to a 2008 attack on a Kabul hotel that killed six people, called on the global community to recognise its legitimacy as the official government in the country. Malaysia’s foreign ministry was approached for a comment about the recent visit to Afghanistan. In February, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said a humanitarian mission to Kabul was not to recognise the Taliban but to ensure Afghans were helped. Last year, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, deputy director of the Taliban’s political office, in Qatar’s capital, Doha, and stressed the importance of an inclusive government in Afghanistan and respect for women’s rights. Click here to read…

Philippines will be ‘a good neighbour’ but won’t yield territory, Marcos says in first policy speech

President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr on July 25 pledged that the Philippines would use diplomacy and be “a good neighbour” to other countries, but would not yield an inch of its territory. In his first State of the Nation address, he made wide-ranging promises, including tax and agriculture reforms, a faster infrastructure upgrade, and plans to turn his country into an investment destination. “On the area of foreign policy, I will not preside over any process that will abandon even a square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power,” said Marcos Jnr, to applause by lawmakers. “If we agree, we will cooperate and we will work together,” he said. “If we differ, let us talk some more until we agree. After all, that is the Filipino way.” His foreign policy pronouncements consisted only of 15 paragraphs in the nearly two hour-long speech, and made no mention of any other country by name, or the South China Sea conflict. Marcos Jnr stressed the need to reinstate a “mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and National Service Training Program” but did not explain why there was a need for “national defence preparedness”. Instead, he rattled off a long list of targets that included the need to “re-examine” the construction of a nuclear power plant, while emphasising the use of renewable energy. Click here to read…

Cameras to replace peacekeepers at Red Sea Tiran, Sanafir islands

Remote-controlled cameras will take over responsibility from US-led peacekeepers for ensuring international shipping retains freedom of access to the Gulf of Aqaba, whose coastline is shared by Israel and three Arab nations, officials said on July 21. The uninhabited Tiran and Sanafir islands lie between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The islands were ceded to Saudi Arabia from Egypt in 2016. The Gulf of Aqaba is Israel’s only sea route to its southern port of Eilat and is vital to its trade connections to Southeast Asia. During a visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia last week, United States President Joe Biden announced that the tiny Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) contingent on Tiran would depart. The MFO monitors a 1979 US-brokered peace accord between Egypt and Israel, which deployed peacekeepers across the demilitarised Sinai and – to ensure free movement in and out of the Gulf of Aqaba – atop Tiran. Any MFO redeployment from the island requires Egyptian, US and Israeli agreement. None of those countries, nor the MFO, has publicly discussed when the contingent will leave nor what might follow. But an official from one of the countries told Reuters news agency: “The peacekeepers will be replaced by a camera-based system.” Two officials from another of the countries said cameras already in place at an MFO base in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, 4km (2.5 miles) across the Straits of Tiran from the now Saudi-held islands, would be upgraded for the taskClick here to read…

Sri Lankan forces make arrests, clear main protest site

Sri Lankan security forces arrested several people by early July 22 and cleared the main camp protesters have occupied for more than three months while demanding the nation’s leaders resign over an unprecedented economic collapse. Army and police personnel arrived in trucks and buses around midnight, removing tents and protest banners at the site near the presidential palace in the capital, Colombo, where demonstrators have gathered for the past 104 days. They blocked off roads leading to the site and carried long poles. The security forces were witnessed beating up at least two journalists. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the main lawyers’ body in the country, also said at least two lawyers were assaulted when they went to the protest site to offer their counsel. Its statement July 22 called for a halt to the “unjustified and disproportionate actions” of armed forces against civilians. The move against the protesters followed the swearing-in July 21 of new President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was chosen by lawmakers earlier this week to finish the term of the leader who fled the country after protesters stormed his residence. He now has the power to choose a prime minister to succeed himself. The months of protests concentrated on the ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family’s political dynasty, but Wickremesinghe has also drawn their ire as a perceived Rajapaksa surrogate and an example of the country’s problematic political establishment. Click here to read…

Japan-South Korea meeting leaves historical sore spots open

Japan and South Korea took steps toward improving strained bilateral relations with a meeting between their foreign ministers, but the two sides still remain divided over how to resolve contentious wartime issues. South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin, in his first trip to Japan on July 18, expressed an intent to honor the 2015 bilateral agreement intended to resolve the wartime “comfort women” issue “finally and irreversibly.” That same day, Park and Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi agreed to pursue a quick settlement of the dispute over compensation for Korean wartime laborers. These issues have produced great friction between Japan and South Korea. When the comfort women accord was struck, then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his “most sincere apologies and remorse” to the victims, and Japan contributed 1 billion yen ($8 million at the time) toward a foundation to assist the women. But Moon Jae-in, who became South Korea’s president in 2017, was a critic of the deal. In late 2018, he announced the decision to dismantle the foundation. The agreement was basically gutted within three years. Fumio Kishida, Japan’s current prime minister, had pushed for the deal when he served as foreign minister. Thus, any summit between Kishida and South Korea’s new president, Yoon Suk-yeol, is unlikely unless Seoul pledges to carry out the 2015 deal. Disagreements remain over compensation for those conscripted to work for Japan during Tokyo’s colonial period in Korea. Click here to read…

Putin forges ties with Iran’s supreme leader in Tehran talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin had talks with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran on July 19, the Kremlin leader’s first trip outside the former Soviet Union since Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. In Tehran, Putin also held his first face-to-face meeting since the invasion with a NATO leader, Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss a deal that would resume Ukraine’s Black Sea grain exports as well as the conflict in northern Syria. Putin’s trip, coming just days after U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel and Saudi Arabia, sends a strong message to the West about Moscow’s plans to forge closer strategic ties with Iran, China and India in the face of Western sanctions. Khamenei called for long-term cooperation between Iran and Russia, telling Putin that the two countries needed to stay vigilant against “Western deception,” Iran’s state TV reported. He said Putin had ensured Russia “maintained its independence” from the United States and that countries should start using their own national currencies when trading goods. “The U.S. dollar should be gradually taken off global trade, and this can be done gradually,” Khamenei said during the meeting, in a spartan white room with an Iranian flag and a portrait of late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Click here to read…

Iran says won’t turn on IAEA cameras until nuclear deal revival

The Iranian nuclear chief said his country will not turn on the surveillance cameras of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) installed within the framework of a 2015 nuclear deal until parties resume honoring their commitments under the deal. Mohammad Eslami, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), made the remarks in an address to reporters on the sidelines of an exhibition in Tehran on July 25, the official news agency IRNA reported. He said the Islamic Republic sees no reason for the presence of these cameras at its nuclear sites as they had been recording data supposed to exonerate Tehran from certain accusations, which are still in place. Eslami added although in 2015, lengthy negotiations between Iran and the world powers resulted in the signing of a nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the West is still leveling accusations at Iran based on stolen documents and “baseless claims.” “Iran accepted to put curbs on its (nuclear) capacities to build trust, but despite all these, they did not remain committed to their obligations,” he said. Eslami said the agency itself has removed the cameras and sealed them, adding they will be kept in Iran’s nuclear facilities until the other sides return to the JCPOA. Eslami emphasized that the IAEA is currently monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities according to the safeguards agreements. Click here to read…

U.S. Confronts the Reality of North Korea’s Nuclear Program

In late May, dozens of U.S. intelligence officials, military officers and security analysts gathered in Omaha, Neb., to assess the escalating nuclear threat from North Korea as the regime develops new tactical nuclear weapons. The previously unreported event was the first at the headquarters of U.S. Strategic Command, the arm of the Pentagon charged with deterring America’s rivals, to focus solely on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program, according to a spokesman for the organization. Views on the nuclear threat posed by North Korea from those in attendance varied, but for some the broader message of the meeting was clear: While U.S. policy remains aimed at ending the North’s nuclear status, the program is now so far advanced that the priority is preventing its use. “It was a symbol of how many people have come to think that North Korea is a deterrence challenge, no longer a nonproliferation or disarmament one,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms-control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif., who was at the meeting. At the meeting, one senior U.S. military official said the likelihood of the North giving up its nuclear weapons anytime soon was “zero percent,” according to another person who took part. Click here to read…

China expands orbital outpost

China has expanded its orbital space station, Tiangong, with the first of two planned lab modules, according to state media. It marks a major milestone for Beijing’s human space program, which it was forced to pursue alone after being barred from the International Space Station. The lab module named Wentian (“Quest for the Heavens”) successfully docked with the front port of the core module Tianhe at 3:13am July 25 Beijing Time, approximately 13 hours after its launch on July 24, the China Manned Space Agency announced, according to Xinhua. Three Chinese astronauts, who are currently on a six-month mission in orbit aboard the Tiangong (which translates as “Heavenly palace”), oversaw the arrival and docking, but have yet to enter the new module. The trio – commander Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe – are part the Shenzhou-14 mission, during which the Chinese space station is set to receive another module and become fully operational. The 23-tonne Wentian is around 18 meters long and 4.2 meters in diameter. While designed mainly as a platform for scientific experiments in ecology, biotechnology and gravity, it will also provide additional sleeping areas for the crew, as well as an extra toilet and kitchen. According to CGTN, the spacecraft also brought an additional robotic arm, which is smaller than the one already installed on Tiangong, and designed for more precise and delicate operations. Click here to read…

UK top court to hear Scottish independence case in October

Britain’s Supreme Court on July 21 said it would hear a legal case in October to establish whether the Scottish government can hold an ­independence referendum without consent from Westminster. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is seeking to hold a new independence referendum, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has declined to allow one. The Supreme Court said October 11 and 12 had been provisionally set as dates for the hearing after Sturgeon ­instructed Scotland’s top law officer to make a referral on the legality of a referendum without permission from the British government. That means the case will be heard almost exactly one year before Sturgeon aims to hold the vote. Scotland’s semi-autonomous government has published a bill outlining plans to hold the secession vote on October 19, 2023. Voters in Scotland, which has a population of around 5.5 million, rejected independence in 2014. But Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party says Britain’s departure from the European Union, which was opposed by a majority of Scots, means the question must be put to a second vote. Pro-independence parties won a majority in Scottish parliament elections last year, which Sturgeon says gives the Scottish government a mandate to hold a new independence vote. The British government has refused consent for a new referendum, saying the matter was settled in 2014 and that there are bigger priorities that people in Scotland want their government to focus on. Click here to read…

Health
Update: WHO declares monkeypox outbreak int’l public health emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared on July 23 that the current multi-country monkeypox outbreak outside of the traditional endemic areas in Africa has already turned into a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). After reconvening the WHO Emergency Committee on July 21 concerning the monkeypox outbreak, WHO Direcotr-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the decision at a press briefing on Saturday to sound the highest level of alert that the global health authority can issue for the time being, even without a consensus of the committee. “So in short, we have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly, through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little, and which meets the criteria in the International Health Regulations,” said Tedros. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,” he noted. He cited five reasons behind the decision. Click here to read…

WHO to roll out malaria vaccine in Africa even as funding dips

As the World Health Organization announces the next step in its distribution of the world’s first authorised malaria vaccine in three African countries, concerns about its value have come from an unlikely source: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, arguably the vaccine’s biggest backer. WHO endorsed the vaccine last fall as a “historic” breakthrough in the fight against malaria but the Gates Foundation told The Associated Press (AP) news agency this week it will no longer financially support the shot. Some scientists say they are mystified by that decision, warning it could leave millions of African children at risk of dying from malaria as well as undermine future efforts to solve intractable problems in public health. The vaccine, sold by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as Mosquirix, is about 30-percent effective and requires four doses. The malaria vaccine has “a much lower efficacy than we would like,” Philip Welkhoff, the Gates Foundation’s director of malaria programmes, told the AP. Explaining its decision to end support after spending more than $200m and several decades getting the vaccine to market, he said the shot is relatively expensive and logistically challenging to deliver. “If we’re trying to save as many lives with our existing funding, that cost-effectiveness matters,” he said. Click here to read…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 20, 2022)

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.

COMMENTARY

It’s Africa’s Century—for Better or Worse

Since the 1990s, the idea that we might be entering an “Asian century” has preoccupied and disorientated the West. However, once we take in view the long sweep of history, the return of China and India to the centre stage of world affairs is less a revolution than a restoration. Click here to read…

Why Is Madrid Pandering to Morocco?

Spain has traded five decades of neutrality on Western Sahara while getting nothing but a spyware scandal in return.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/05/13/spain-sanchez-morocco-polisario-western-sahara-algeria/” target=”_blank”>Click here to read…

Aapravasi Ghat: Witness to the Great Indian Migration to Mauritius

The largest human migration in history occurred between 1834 and 1923 when the British in its experimental bid to abolish slavery brought mostly Indians as indentured labourers to work in the sugarcane estates of Mauritius. Click here to read…

NEWS

Somalia set to hold overdue presidential election

Somalia is set to hold its long-delayed presidential vote this weekend, ending the convoluted electoral process that raised tensions in the country when the president’s term expired last year without a successor in place. Click here to read…

Somalia police announce 33-hour curfew in capital Mogadishu during Sunday’s Presidential vote

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is facing 37 opponents in the vote, including two former Presidents, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who analysts see as the frontrunnersClick here to read…

Ivory Coast: President Ouattara sets the agenda at COP15 summit in Abidjan

The COP15 against desertification began Monday in Abidjan in the presence of several African heads of state, to try to take concrete action against the rapid degradation of land and respond “to the climate emergency. Click here to read…

vGuinea announces three-year transition period before restoring civilian rule

Guinea’s legislative body on Wednesday announced there would be a three-year transition period before civilian rule is restored, defying regional partners who have called for a swifter timetable following a coup. Click here to read…

Sudanese protests against military rule persist

Sudanese demonstrators are back on the streets to protest against the military in power and ask for the implementation of a civil government. Click here to read…

Mali: Thousands in new demonstration to show support for junta

Several hundred Malians gathered Friday in Bamako to support the junta, the army and the military cooperation with the Russians, denounced by the West. Click here to read…

Can Niger become the main Western ally in the Sahel?

Niamey has consistently presented an image of a friendly and reliable partner to the international community and used Western aid to boost its military strength. Click here to read…

Uganda’s plans for first nuclear power station approved

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has approved Uganda’s plan to build East Africa’s first nuclear power station. Click here to read…

China cuts down investment pledges for Africa amid mounting debt fears

While infrastructure projects are one of the main priority areas in China-Africa cooperation, Beijing has cut down on its investment pledges for the continent for the first time in December 2021, according to reports. Click here to read…

Sierra Leone launches bid for UN Security Council seat

Sierra Leone on Monday launched a bid for a seat in the Non-permanent category of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Click here to read…

Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Is Paramount to Regional Economy, Politics

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project is of critical importance for inter-Africa development and integration as it would significantly address regional energy security issues. Click here to read…

Guinea Coup: You can be free, but you will have to wait three years

The military junta in Guinea said its transition back to civilian rule would probably take more than three years, a proposal likely to upset West Africa’s political bloc that has called for a swift return to constitutional order. Click here to read…

As Wheat Prices Soar, Africa Pivots to Cheaper Alternatives

Global wheat prices are so high that African consumers are starting to ditch the grain from their diet and Food companies using rice, manioc flour and sorghum in recipes. Click here to read…

AFC Plans $2 Billion Fund to Support Africa Economic Revival

Africa Finance Corp. is setting up a $2 billion fund to help institutions on the continent recover quickly from the pandemic and overcome challenges posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Click here to read…

Museveni woos Turkish investors to Uganda

President Museveni yesterday made a case for Uganda as a favourable and profitable investment destination, rallying investors to set up business across different sectors of the economy. Click here to read…

Africa roundtable unites with European allies

Politicians from African and European countries gathered in Berlin on Thursday for The Africa Roundtable to discuss strategies to cope with common challenges. Click here to read…

Kenyans are protesting plans by tax authority to snoop on their online chats

There is outrage across Kenya after the country’s tax authority announced on May 11 that it plans to start mining data from digital devices in a bid to combat tax and financial fraud. Click here to read…

At least 35 killed in attack on DR Congo gold mine: local sources

Raiders killed at least 35 people in an attack on a gold mine in Ituri, in the strife-torn northeast of Democratic Republic of Congo, local sources said Sunday. Click here to read…

Female student killed by mob at Nigeria school over blasphemy claims

A female student in northern Nigeria was killed by a mob who stoned, beat and set fire to her for allegedly posting a blasphemous statement against the Prophet Mohammed, according to police. Click here to read…

Head of Tunisian opposition party claims he is under investigation

The head of a Tunisian opposition party said on Friday he had been summoned for investigation over a radio interview and accused President Kais Saied of attempting to intimidate opponents. Click here to read…

Ethiopia-China cooperation benefits both sides: Ethiopian Ambassador to China

Ethiopia’s newly launched 10-year development plan opens the door to bilateral cooperation that will benefit both China and Ethiopia, said Teshome Toga Chanaka, the Ethiopian ambassador to China Click here to read…

Burkina Faso’s Junta Under Pressure to Deliver on Security Promises

The junta in power in Ouagadougou justified the 24 January coup by citing the inability of former president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré’s government to provide security in Burkina Faso. By making security its primary objective, the regime raised people’s hopes of a rapid return to peace and stability. Click here to read…

Rwanda-Burundi relations to improve further

Rwanda-Burundi relations will improve when 2015 coup plotters, said to be hiding in Kigali, are handed over Gitega to face justice, said Burundian President Evariste NdayishimiyClick here to read…

Spain, Morocco to open land borders next week after 2 years

The Spanish government says the land borders between Morocco and Spain’s North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla will reopen next week. Click here to read…

Sinosteel signs $690 million deal for Cameroon iron ore mine

China’s Sinosteel Corp. has signed a $690 million contract to exploit an iron ore mine in southern Cameroon amid a push to cut Chinese reliance on Australian and Brazilian ore. Click here to read…

South Africa’s COVID-19 spike intensifies

As daily COVID-19 cases in South Africa topped 10,000 cases today, officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said today. Click here to read…

Algerian President Tebboune to visit Turkey to discuss bilateral cooperation

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is set to pay an official visit to Turkey on May 16-17 upon the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a statement by the Algerian Embassy on Friday. Click here to read…

Togo suffers its first deadly jihadist attack

It was probably only a matter of time, as terrorist groups are targeting the countries of the subregion one by one. Click here to read…

Meet election deadline for smooth transition, South Sudan urged

South Sudan’s peace monitoring agency has appealed to the Revitalized Transitional Legislative Assembly to urgently enact legislations aimed at meeting the elections deadlines as stipulated in the 2018 revitalized peace deal. Click here to read…

Europe looking to get a million tonnes of coal annually from Botswana, says President Masisi

Botswana has been inundated with inquiries to supply coal to Europe and estimates that demand from Western countries could top a million tonnes a yearClick here to read…

Ghana’s President Strongly Supports African Development Bank’s Quest for More Resources to Accelerate Continent’s Transformation Agenda

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has backed calls for more resources for the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) to accelerate its transformative role across the continent. Click here to read…

Russia’s Growing Strategic Interest in Eritrea

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reaffirmed Russia’s strategic interest to make coordinated efforts aim at building logistics hub along the coastline of the Republic of Eritrea. Click here to read…

Zimbabwe’s bank lending freeze will worsen economic crisis, business chamber says

Zimbabwe’s decision to suspend bank lending in a desperate bid to arrest the rapid devaluation of its currency will worsen the economic crisis and expose borrowers to predatory loans. Click here to read…

Will bitcoin succeed in the Central African Republic? Probably not

The Central African Republic has become the second country to adopt the cryptocurrency as legal tender, but experiences in El Salvador, the first nation to do so, point to a gloomy outlookClick here to read…

World Bank to Give Mozambique $300 Million To Support Its Budget

By June the World Bank plans to provide $300 million to support the national budget of the Republic of Mozambique, according to the World Bank country director for Mozambique, Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough. Click here to read…

Zambia wants to be a model for resolving Africa’s debt crises

After five unsuccessful attempts and a spell in prison on trumped-up charges of treason, Hakainde Hichilema was elected president of Zambia in August. Click here to read…

Angola’s central province is massively behind the MPLA

The governing People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA, in Portuguese) received today the support of tens of thousands of people in the central province of Huambo, in a campaign rally for the next general elections in the country. Click here to read…

Life in Egypt Is Getting Harder, but Don’t Dare Protest About It

A new study predicts that Egypt’s public debt will climb to half a trillion dollars in coming years. But while economists offer pessimistic views, the public is likely to find itself in prison if it dares criticize the high cost of livingClick here to read…

Gabon: 2023 presidential candidate Mike Jocktane asks for “free and transparent elections”

Gabonese bishop and politician Mike Jocktane held a press conference in the capital, Libreville to talk about his candidacy for next year’s presidential electionClick here to read…

Liberia: ANC’s Stalwart Abraham Sesay Gets Huge Support Ahead Of 2023 Elections

Executives and supporters of fallen Brewerville City Mayor George Varney Curtis, who was defeated in the 2017 general and presidential elections, have endorsed the representative bid of top Liberian humanitarian and businessman Abraham Carlison SesayClick here to read…

Namibia launches sovereign wealth fund following oil discoveries

Namibia launched a sovereign wealth fund, months after oil discoveries by oil giants TotalEnergies and Shell off its coast. Click here to read…

Botswana: Former president Khama claims continued harassment by President Masisi

The Botswana government has rubbished claims by former president Ian Khama that his successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi, was harassing him. Masisi himself refuses to speak on the matter himself. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

Mauritius PM inaugurates second phase of Metro Express project spearheaded by India

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, along with PM Jugnauth inaugurated the first phase of the metro via video-conferencing in October 2019Click here to read…

Mozambique-India joint working group on defence back on track to tackle terrorism, drug trade

Mozambique and India intend to revive its joint working group on defence as part of counter-terrorism efforts and at the same time promote their respective blue economies and curtail drug trafficking. Click here to read…

Egypt in talks with India on wheat export ban exemption

Egypt is in talks with Indian officials about getting an exemption from India’s decision to ban wheat export. Click here to read…

Kenya mulls ending India wheat import ban as prices soar

Kenya is set to send a team of inspectors to India with the aim of ending along standing wheat import ban from the Asian nation amid low global supply. Click here to read…

Gravita’s Ghana unit commences waste rubber recycling plant

Gravita India announced that its step-down subsidiary in Ghana, Recyclers Ghana has started commercial production and recycling of waste rubber with an annual capacity of around 6,000 MTPA. Click here to read…

Prasar Bharati inks MoU with Madagascar for broadcasting collaboration

The MoU aims at exchange of programmes, exploring co-production of programmes and training and exchange of personnelClick here to read…

Deployment of ins gharial to Seychelles – mission Sagar ix

As part of ongoing deployment of Indian Naval Ship Gharial in South West Indian Ocean, under Mission SAGAR IX, the Ship called at Port Victoria, Seychelles from 11 to 14 May 22. Click here to read…

Indian Navy’s P-8I begins 5-day mission to La Reunion Island in Southern Indian Ocean

The Indian Navy’s P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft arrived on Monday at the La Reunion Island in the southern Indian Ocean on a five-day mission to undertake coordinated surveillance with French warships in the region. Click here to read…

INS Kolkata visited Djibouti as part of anti-piracy patrol by Indian Navy

INS Kolkata visited Djibouti from May 4-7, 2022, as part of the anti-piracy patrol being undertaken by the Indian Navy to ensure safe transit of merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden. Click here to read…

India, Madagascar planning direct flights between Mumbai and Antananarivo

“Ambassador Abhay Kumar met M Rolland Ranjatoelina, Hon’ble Minister of Transport and #Meteorology of Madagascar today. They discussed the possibility of starting a direct flight between #Mumbai and #Antananarivo,” Click here to read…

Kenya Welcomes Indian Travellers as Tourism Recovery Takes Shape

The tourism sector has received a major boost from the Indian market with a visit of about 300 tourists for an excursion of the country’s tourism products. Click here to read…

India Keen to Cement Ties with Ethiopia

The Director-General of the Middle East, Asia, and Pacific at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gebeyehu Ganga (Ph.D.) had a meeting on Thursday with the Ambassador of the Republic of India, Shri Robert Shetkintong. Click here to read…

Indian envoy Abhay Kumar talks cooperation with Madagascar in mining sector

India imports many thousand tonnes of nickel every year which is a key ingredient in EV batteries. Madagascar can be a source of nickel and cobalt import for India as well as coal and goldClick here to read…

Indian ‘Military Base’ In Agalega: New Satellite Imagery Shows Hangars Large Enough to House Navy’s Submarine Hunting P-8I Aircraft

India is building military infrastructure on Mauritius’ Agalega Island to increase its presence in the western Indian Ocean. Click here to read…

South Africa court bars some ArcelorMittal workers from strike

South Africa’s labour court has ordered workers at ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd’s steel plants, blast furnaces and coke batteries to be excluded from an ongoing job boycott, after the company argued these are essential services barred from striking by law. Click here to read…

Vedanta challenges Zambia’s appointment of new KCM liquidator

Vedanta Resources has challenged Zambia’s appointment of a new Provisional Liquidator for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) following the resignation of the previous office holder. Click here to read…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 19, 2022)

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.

COMMENTARY

West Africa: Enablers of Political Extremism – a Checklist for West African Countries

The Sahel – the region just south of the Sahara – is home to the world’s fastest growing extremist group, Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin or JNIM, and the deadliest group, Islamic State in West Africa, according to the 2022 Global Terrorism IndexClick here to read…

What Elon Musk Does Not Get about Twitter and Democracy in Africa

Last month, Elon Musk gave an insight on the path that Twitter may take following his acquisition of the social media platform. Click here to read…

The sacred Indian hues of Mauritius

Situated just a few hundred kilometres from the fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar, and located off the southeastern coast of Africa, Mauritius is a gem of a destination whose cultural history remains widely unknown. Click here to read…

NEWS

U.N. chief calls for debt relief, investment on West Africa trip
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged debt relief for African countries and more investment to help their economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and weather the impacts of the Ukraine war. Click here to read…

Somalia: Lawmakers to decide president on May 15

Somali lawmakers are expected to pick the country’s new president on May 15, a long-overdue final step in a protracted political crisis. Click here to read…

Kenya election 2022: A record 47 independents vie for the presidency

On Monday 2 May 2022, the registrar submitted the list of names to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for the final clearance, in line with election timelines. Click here to read…

Nigeria 2023: Buhari warns US to stay out of elections

Widely believed to have benefitted from tacit US support for his 2015 campaign, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is now the one warning western diplomats to stay out of next year’s elections. Click here to read…

Congo: First round of legislative elections set for July 10

The first round of legislative elections and local elections in Congo-Brazzaville will be held on July 10, according to a government decision announced Friday on state television Télé-Congo. Click here to read…

Muhoozi announces interest in Uganda presidency

After almost a decade of speculations, Lt-Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba has publicly expressed his interest in succeeding his father Yoweri Museveni as president of Uganda. Click here to read…

Tunisia union rejects any formal dialogue over political reforms

Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labour union rejected on Friday any formal dialogue over political reforms that marginalise political and social forces in the country and include “ready-made decisions”Click here to read…

Interfaith tensions simmer in Ethiopia

Muslims and Christians in parts of Ethiopia are on edge after an attack in Gondar sparked a swell of unrest. Politics is usually to blame when interfaith tensions turn deadly in the countryClick here to read…

Burkina Faso: Seven soldiers and four auxiliaries killed in ambush

Seven soldiers and four auxiliaries of the Burkina Faso army were killed on Thursday in two ambushes by “terrorists” in the northern and central-northern regions. Click here to read…

Benin: Five soldiers killed in national park attack

Five soldiers were killed in an attack by suspected an armed group possibly linked to ISIL or al-Qaeda in a national park in the north of Benin Republic, two military sources have said. Click here to read…

Burundi says 10 of its peacekeepers killed in Somalia attack

Burundi’s military said on Wednesday 10 of its African Union (AU) peacekeepers were killed in an attack on their base in Somalia, while a security source in the region and a Mogadishu-based source said dozens were dead. Click here to read…

Cameroon takes over as chair of AU’s Peace and Security Council

Cameroon will preside over the Peace and Security Council (PSC), the standing decision-making organ of the African Union (AU) on the prevention and resolution of conflicts for the month of May. Click here to read…

Germany to end EU training mission in Mali

Germany will end its participation in the European Union training mission in Mali but is ready to continue with a U.N. peacekeeping mission in the country under certain conditions. Click here to read…

Western Sahara: International Support ‘Refutes’ Algeria’s Outdated Narrative

The growing international support for the Moroccan Autonomy Plan reflects a strong rejection of secessionist aspirations and Aleria’s narrative on Western Sahara, according to a Mexican politician. Click here to read…

South Africa to host international conference to tackle child labour

South Africa is going to host the International Labour Organisation (ILO) global conference on the elimination of child labour later this month, announced Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi on Thursday. Click here to read…

Al-Shabab attack on African Union forces in Somalia: What we know

Islamist militant group al-Shabab says it has carried out what may prove to be one of its most deadly attacks on the African Union mission in Somalia, however the two sides provide very different death tolls. Click here to read…

Turkey to take tangible steps for deeper ties with Africa: FM

Turkey plans to improve its relations with the African continent, and take tangible steps to deepen ties with regional organizations such as the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Click here to read…

Algeria to raise oil output by 11,000 barrels a day

Algeria will raise its oil output by 11,000 barrels a day in June, Energy and Mining Minister Mohamed Arkab said on Thursday. Click here to read…

Libya’s Bashagha denies writing Times article condemning Russia

Fathi Bashagha, one of two rival Libyan prime ministers, has denied writing an article published on Tuesday under his name by the Times newspaper in London. In the article, purportedly written by Bashagha, the Libyan politician declares that he wants his country to “stand with Britain against Russian aggression”. Click here to read…

Sudan’s coup leaders hold secret consultations with political leader

Yasir al-Atta, a member of the Sovereign Council, revealed that the coup leaders held a series of meetings with the political forces to create a suitable atmosphere and to ensure the needed basic agreement before starting the process of national dialogue. Click here to read…

Guinea to Prosecute Ousted President Alpha Conde

Guinea’s military government this week announced plans to prosecute ousted President Alpha Conde and 26 of his former officials for murder, rape, kidnapping and other crimes. Click here to read…

Togo agrees to mediate in Mali political crisis

Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe has agreed to act as a mediator in Mali’s political crisis as the West African country’s military government faces pressure to re-establish civilian rule, their foreign ministers have said. Click here to read…

Egypt’s President Sissi sells assets to try to boost the country’s economy

The Russia-Ukraine war has highlighted the Egyptian economy’s flaws. Faced with the risk of social unrest, the government has introduced a series of emergency measures. Click here to read…

Dollar o’clock: Should Zimbabwe axe its faltering currency again?

In early 2019, Zimbabwe’s central bank announced plans to bring back the Zimbabwe dollar as legal tender after a decade of using the US dollar. Click here to read…

Ethiopia ‘foils’ cyber-attack on Nile dam, financial institutions

Ethiopian Authorities on Tuesday said they had stopped international cyber-attack attempts targeting the massive Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the country’s major financial institutions. Click here to read…

AD Ports signs agreement to develop Egypt’s Safaga Port

Abu Dhabi’s AD Ports Group is to develop, operate, and manage a multi-purpose terminal at Safaga Port on Egypt’s east coast as a part of a consortium. Click here to read…

Russian-linked forces ‘tortured’ and ‘executed’ civilians in Central African Republic since 2019, HRW says

Forces identified by witnesses as Russian have “summarily executed, tortured, and beaten civilians” in the Central African Republic (CAR) since 2019, a report by rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has alleged. Click here to read…

Nigeria’s central bank chief to run for presidency in 2023

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, has bought a nomination form from the governing All Progressive Congress party in a bid to become President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor. Click here to read…

China Should Lead $17 Billion Zambia Debt Talks, Minister Says

China should head the creditors committee being formed to renegotiate Zambia’s $17.3 billion of foreign debt because that will help accelerate the resolution process, the southern African country’s finance minister said. Click here to read…

Mozambique: President Nyusi and President Chakwera Inaugurate Electricity Interconnection

President Filipe Nyusi on 21 April announced that laying the first stone for the regional electricity interconnection between Mozambique and Malawi is a historic landmark. Click here to read…

Ukraine’s Zelensky renews request to address African Union

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has once again requested to address the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, AU Commission Chairperson said on Friday. Click here to read…

Angola and Spain Sign Protocol in Geosciences Field

According to the figures, Angola was responsible for almost 300,000 bpd of the of the OPEC+ supply shortfall while Nigeria was pumping almost 400,000 bpd below target. Click here to read…

Family of Hotel Rwanda hero launches $400m lawsuit over his alleged abduction

The family of Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina has filed a $400m lawsuit in the US over his alleged abduction and torture. Click here to read…

UN Slavery Investigator Arrives in Mauritania, Rights Group Urges UNHRC to Oust Regime

The independent non-governmental human rights group UN Watch today called on U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to move for the suspension of Mauritania from the 47-nation Human Rights CouncilClick here to read…

Gabon’s Plan to Revive Economy

The Gabonese government has announced the construction of a new special economic zone (SEZ), the Mpassa-Lebombi, in the south-eastern province of Haut-OgoouéClick here to read…

Africa’s tourism operators need local visitors

With international tourism still in a slump, African tour companies need local visitors to stimulate tourism. But many on the continent can’t afford to travel. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

PM Narendra Modi Thanks Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina for recognising India’s leadership in promoting climate and disaster resilience. Click here to read…

India-Nigeria relations: Onyeama calls for stronger ties

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has called for stronger ties between Nigeria and India. This was even as Onyeama said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a “game-changer”. Click here to read…

Madagascar: A firm partner of India

The visit in late April of Madagascar Foreign Minister Richard Randriamandrato to India revitalized the India-Madagascar relationship in diverse ways. Click here to read…

Indian Amb Abhay Kumar discusses cooperation with Madagascar in mining sector

Indian Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar held talks with Madagascar’s Mining Minister Rakotomalala Herindrainy Olivier and discussed the prospect of a partnership in the mining sector. Click here to read…

Deputy NSA visits Tanzania to widen defence ties in Indian Ocean Region

Deputy national security adviser Vikram Misri visited Tanzania this week to strengthen defence ties with one of India’s key partners in Eastern Africa and Indian Ocean Region (IOR) through measures including export of defence productsClick here to read…

India, Mauritius pact may include safeguard mechanism related provisions

India-Mauritius trade agreement may include safeguard mechanism related provisions to protect the domestic industry from a sudden or unusual surge in imports of goods. Click here to read…

India and Mozambique to expand fight against terror

These issues, along with efforts to curb illegal narco smuggling, which fuels terrorism, and to expand defence ties, including maritime security, topped the agenda of deputy national security adviser (NSA) Vikram Misri’s visit to Mozambique this week, according to people aware of the matter. Click here to read…

Kenya-India Strengthen Trade-Deal Talks

Kenya and India have continued to build bilateral trade relations with the ceramic business between the two countries increasing by 27 per cent in the past one year. Click here to read…

Coromandel International acquires 45% stake in Senegal-based BMCC for Rs 225 cr

Coromandel International will acquire 45% stake in Baobab Mining and Chemicals Corporation (BMCC) for $19.6 million (Rs 150 crore approx.), besides a loan infusion of of $9.7 million (Rs 75 crore approx.) into BMCC for capital projects and expansion. Click here to read…

ASIA RICE Strong demand from Asia, Africa lift Indian prices

Export prices of rice from India rose this week on increasing demand from Asia and Africa, while dwindling supplies of the staple lifted Vietnamese rates. Click here to read…

Ethiopian Airlines Increases Focus On India

After successfully navigating the COVID pandemic and ending 2021 in a profitable state, Ethiopian Airlines plans to retain its sharp focus on network expansion that is likely to be high in demand. Click here to read…

Nexcharge to use India plant for exports to Africa, Middle East & S America

Nexcharge, a battery pack three-way partnership between Exide Industries and Leclanché, will discover choices to take its tropical market experience to different world markets. Click here to read…

Holcim likely to seek exemption under India-Mauritius tax agreement

Mauritius-based Holderind Investments, which holds a 63 per cent stake in Ambuja Cements, can claim capital gains exemption under the India-Mauritius tax treaty. Click here to read…

Nigeria accuses Indian drug makers, exporters of unethical practices

Accusing Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers and exporters of indulging in unethical and unprofessional practices in connivance with Nigerian importers. Click here to read…

Indian footprints in Africa

A close linkage between LOC and boosting of India’s trade, investment and technology has been well brought outClick here to read…

Over 1,100 Indian peacekeepers receive UN medals for exceptional service in South Sudan

The daunting tasks that include protecting civilians, undertaking a variety of engineering assignments, and offering health services, are some of the capabilities of 1,160 Indian peacekeepers who were recently decorated with UN medals for their exceptional service in South Sudan. Click here to read…

China, India eye Russian oil, move to jettison Nigeria

Nigeria may lose its largest crude oil buyers, China and India, as both countries plan to negotiate Russian oil at discount prices. Click here to read…

Gabon ‘greedy’ For Investments from India: Minister Madiya

Resource-rich Gabon is “greedy” for investments from India and is expected to sign a bilateral trade and investment treaty later this year with India to further improve the bilateral economic ties. Click here to read…

High Commissioner of Tanzania to India Anisa Mbega visited LPU to meet hundreds of Tanzanian Students

Her Excellency Mrs Anisa Kapufi Mbega, the High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania to India visited Lovely Professional University, today, to meet and interact with hundreds of Tanzanian students studying at LPU campus. Click here to read…

India, Germany to work together in Africa, Latin America as part of triangular cooperation: FS Kwatra

India and Germany are to undertake development partnership projects in three African countries and one country in Latin America as part of the agreement on triangular cooperation signed between the two countries. Click here to read…

Solar Inds bags orders worth Rs 1563-cr from Singareni Collieries

Solar Industries India said that the company and its subsidiary have received orders worth Rs 1,563 crore from Singareni Collieries Company. Click here to read…

Fresh fruit importer IG International all set to introduce Tanzanian avocados in India

Avo Africa is a part of the Keitt Group of companies. Keitt Exporters Limited prides itself on being the leading grower & exporter of fruits and vegetables to markets in Europe and the Middle East for over two decades now. They are the biggest growers and exporters of avocados from Tanzania and Kenya. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, April 20, 2022

Xi stresses enhancing digital gov’t construction, advancing fiscal reforms: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday stressed efforts to enhance the building of a digital government and advance fiscal system reforms at and below the provincial level. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks while chairing the 25th meeting of the central commission for deepening overall reform. Click here to read…

China’s top court to improve property rights protection for smaller businesses: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

China’s top court will further improve the property rights protection mechanism for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to address their concerns and provide a legal guarantee for high-quality socio-economic development. Click here to read…

Senior Chinese lawmakers meet amid legislative session: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

Senior Chinese lawmakers met on Tuesday during the country’s ongoing legislative session. The meeting of the Council of Chairpersons of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee was presided over by Li Zhanshu, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee. Click here to read…

Chinese envoy says early conflict resolution key to ending humanitarian crisis in Ukraine: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

The fundamental way to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is to put an early end to the conflict, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Chinese ambassador to U.S. warns against using Ukraine crisis to mess up U.S.-China relations: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang has warned against using the Ukraine crisis as an excuse to mess up U.S.-China relations, saying that doing so serves no good to anyone now or in the future. Click here to read…

China to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

The Chinese government has decided to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka to help the country cope with the current difficulties, a spokesperson for China International Development Cooperation Agency said Tuesday. Click here to read…

Tesla’s Shanghai factory resumes production: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

U.S. carmaker Tesla’s Shanghai factory officially resumed production on Tuesday, with about 8,000 employees back to work thus far, the company has said. Affected by the latest COVID-19 resurgence in Shanghai, the Shanghai Gigafactory had suspended production for over 20 days. Click here to read…

China adopts law on futures and derivatives: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

Chinese lawmakers on Wednesday voted to adopt a law on futures and derivatives to better protect investors’ interests and develop the futures market in favor of the real economy. Click here to read…

China’s central SOEs record growth in R&D spending: Xinhuanet
April 19, 2022

China’s centrally administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) spent more on research and development to boost innovation-driven development in the first three months of 2022, the country’s top state-owned assets regulator said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Chinese satellite obtains global gravity field data: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

China’s Tianqin-1 satellite has acquired the global gravity field data during its in-orbit operation, according to Sun Yat-sen University in south China’s Guangdong Province.
The satellite was launched in December 2019 to test the technologies of the space-based gravitational wave detection program “Tianqin.” The program Tianqin, meaning “harp in the sky,” was initiated by the university in 2015. Click here to read…

Chinese mainland reports 2,753 new local confirmed COVID-19 cases, 2,494 in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
April 20, 2022

The Chinese mainland Tuesday reported 2,753 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 2,494 were in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission (NHC)’s report Wednesday. Click here to read…

China to ramp up financial support for real economy: Quishi
April 20, 2022

China has rolled out a raft of measures to strengthen its financial support for the real economy, the country’s financial authorities said Monday. The country will ramp up financial support to relieve market entities in difficulties, ensure unimpeded flows in the economy and promote exports, noted a circular jointly released by the People’s Bank of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. Click here to read…

More measures to spur consumption: Quishi
April 20, 2022

China’s consumer goods market is expected to maintain growth momentum this year, fueled by the rising per capita disposable incomes of Chinese residents and more supportive policies to shore up consumption in the pipeline, amid headwinds from external uncertainties and a resurgence in domestic COVID-19 cases, experts said. Click here to read…

China meets 8 environmental targets: Quishi
April 20, 2022

China has fulfilled all eight obligatory targets for environmental protection in 2021, the Minister of Ecology and Environment, Huang Runqiu reported to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on Monday. Click here to read…

Cities help Shanghai resume production, stabilize supplies: China Daily
April 20, 2022

Cities in the Yangtze River Delta region have been helping Shanghai resume production during the latest COVID-19 outbreak, according to the government of Shanghai. Cities in the delta region in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui have been working on a “white list” of key companies eligible to resume work to ensure production across the entire industry chain, Wu Qing, executive vice-mayor of Shanghai, said at a news briefing on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Online user locations identified to curb false information: China Daily
April 20, 2022

Chinese social media platforms announced recently they will display user locations based on Internet Protocol addresses in a bid to curb the spread of misinformation. The move started with Sina Weibo, which launched the feature in March, showing the IP address on profile pages of users. The feature cannot be turned off or disabled by users. Click here to read…

China to up its textile recycling capability: China Daily
April 20, 2022

China, producer of half the world’s textile fiber, has unveiled a guideline that aims to significantly beef up its capability to recycle textile waste, most of which is nonbiodegradable. Experts have lauded the initiative for its potential role in promoting low-carbon, circular economic development, saying it will contribute to the country’s ambitious climate and pollution targets. Click here to read…

Tough steps needed to cut COVID-19 transmission: China Daily
April 20, 2022

China has entered a new stage in its fight against the COVID-19 epidemic that calls for earlier detection and faster action to cope with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, said Ma Xiaowei, minister of the National Health Commission. Click here to read…

Suzhou takes action to stem spread of virus: China Daily
April 19, 2022

Suzhou in Jiangsu province has stepped up virus prevention and control measures while ensuring adequate food supplies in locked-down areas of the city amid the latest resurgence of COVID-19, according to local authorities. Click here to read…

497,214 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases reported in Chinese mainland since March: Global Times
April 19, 2022

China’s top health authority announced on Tuesday that a total of 497,214 locally transmitted cases have been reported in the Chinese mainland since March, affecting all provinces except Xizang autonomous region. Click here to read…

10 deaths in Shanghai spark concern over vaccination rate among elderly group: Global Times
April 19, 2022

Ten deaths of COVID-19 patients in Shanghai in the past two days are sounding alarms in the city, which has a relatively low vaccination rates among provincial-level regions in the Chinese mainland. For the country at large, it is also a strong reminder that the insufficient vaccination rate among the elderly is a towering obstacle to China’s move to ease COVID-19 restrictions, said epidemiologists. Click here to read…

China launches remote sensing on crops to forecast production and ensure food safety: Global Times
April 19, 2022

Chinese meteorologists launched monitoring and assessment services for winter wheat distribution across the country that is based on remote sensing satellite technology. The monitoring accuracy reached a resolution of 30 meters from space, and meteorology departments at the national, provincial, municipal and county levels have joined forces to promote such satellite technology applications, the Global Times learned from project insiders. Click here to read…

Chinese president to attend opening ceremony of BFA annual conference: People’s Daily
April 20, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) via video link on Thursday and deliver a keynote speech, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced on Wednesday.
Click here to read…

Hong Kong’s elite join leadership candidate’s campaign as Beijing watches: Reuters
April 20, 2022

Hong Kong’s sole leadership candidate John Lee has picked nearly 150 heavyweights, including the city’s richest man Li Ka-shing and other powerful businessmen and politicians, to join his advisory teams to show broad support for his bid. Click here to read…

U.S., Japan, Australia show concern over China-Solomons security pact: Kyodo
April 20, 2022

The United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are concerned over a security pact between China and the Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, the White House said Tuesday, citing “serious risks” the move could pose to the region. Click here to read…

Volunteers step up to save at-risk pets in Shanghai: Taipei Times
April 20, 2022

With quarantine looming after a positive COVID-19 test, Shanghai resident Sarah Wang said that her first worry was who would look after her cat. China’s pursuit of “zero COVID-19” means anyone who catches the virus is sent to central facilities, sometimes for weeks, leaving their pets at the mercy of local authorities. Click here to read…

Economist Meng Fanli, 56, named Communist Party chief of China’s tech hub Shenzhen: South China Morning Post
April 20, 2022

A low-profile economist has been named to lead China’s southern tech hub of Shenzhen, after the city’s former Communist Party boss was promoted to provincial governor. The appointment of Meng Fanli, 56, was announced on Tuesday by the party in Guangdong province, state news agency Xinhua reported. He takes over from Wang Weizhong, who has been confirmed as governor of Guangdong after carrying out the dual role of acting governor and Shenzhen party chief since December. Click here to read…

Shanghai needs food, not TCM Covid-19 medicine Lianhua Qingwen: South China Morning Post
April 20, 2022

Chinese doctors raise doubts over the treatment’s effectiveness and question why millions of capsules were delivered to a city desperate for other supplies. The remedy is recommended in China’s national guidelines but doctors warn it could cause stomach and kidney problems in healthy people A leading neurologist in China has called for authorities to make it “very clear” whether traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Lianhua Qingwen is effective against Covid-19 before giving it precedence over food and other essential deliveries to people in lockdown. At least 8 million boxes of Lianhua Qingwen capsules have been sent to Shanghai in its battle against the Omicron variant, at the same time as many of its 25 million people are struggling to find fresh vegetables, rice and masks. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, April 6, 2022

China sincerely wants peace in Ukraine: Xinhuanet
April 5, 2022

China hopes Russia and Ukraine would stick to peace talks until a ceasefire agreement is reached and the only thing that China wants is peace in Ukraine, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday. Click here to read…

Chinese, Canadian FMs hold talks over phone: Xinhuanet
April 6, 2022

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday held a phone conversation with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly at the latter’s request. During their conversation, Wang said that the people of China and Canada have enjoyed long-term friendly exchanges, noting that Canada is one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Click here to read…

Another makeshift hospital under construction in Shanghai: Xinhuanet
April 6, 2022

Shanghai is converting the National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) into a makeshift hospital with a planned capacity of 40,000 beds. Upon completion, it is expected to act as the biggest such hospital for those testing positive for COVID-19 in the metropolis. Click here to read…

Xi Jinping on carrying forward spirit of heroes: China Military
April 5, 2022

The 5th of April this year marks the Qingming Festival, also known as Tomb-sweeping Day when Chinese people mourn for their deceased family members and pay tribute to fallen heroes and martyrs. Click here to read…

HKSAR chief executive mourns deaths of COVID-19 patients: People’s Daily
April 6, 2022

Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam, on behalf of the HKSAR government, on Tuesday expressed deep sorrow over the deaths of COVID-19 patients amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and extended her deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased. Click here to read…

Hefty fines for drivers trying to cheat traffic laws: China Daily
April 6, 2022

Penalties are being increased for drivers who try to avoid responsibility for traffic violations by hiring others to take the blame. Drivers can accumulate up to 12 points for traffic violations in one year before their license is withheld, after which they must attend a seven-day class on road safety laws, regulations and relevant knowledge and pass an exam to regain their license. Click here to read…

Service robots aid Shanghai’s epidemic fight: China Daily
April 6, 2022

Disinfection robots on standby inside the makeshift hospital in Shanghai New International Expo Centre, East China’s Shanghai, April 5, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]
SHANGHAI — With the support of fast and stable communication networks, service robots performing various functions at makeshift hospitals have become a force hard to ignore in Shanghai’s fight against the latest COVID-19 resurgence. Click here to read…

Shenzhen asks residents to provide negative COVID-19 results taken within 72hrs when entering public places, transportation: Global Times
April 6, 2022

Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong Province, home to over 12 million people, restored its normal life and work after the recent outbreak of COVID-19, it announced in a notice on Tuesday, saying that public entertainment venues will reopen with capacity restrictions of 50 percent. Click here to read…

PLA Air Force’s JL-10 trainer jet drops 500kg bombs in training exercise for the first time: Global Times
April 5, 2022

The JL-10 advanced trainer jet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, known as the L-15 on its export version, for the first time dropped 500-kilogram aviation bombs at a PLA Air Force academy in a training exercise, displaying the PLA Air Force’s training plan for cadets to master ground attack and bombing early in their training program and the aircraft’s outstanding capabilities, analysts said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

China’s new military helicopter with innovative design makes 1st flight: Global Times
April 5, 2022

China’s top helicopter makers recently announced that a new type of helicopter with an innovative design has successfully completed its maiden flight, and this prototype chopper will lead to the development of the next-generation, high-performance helicopter for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Click here to read…

Huawei sets up 10 new ‘legions’ to diversify businesses amid external pressure: Global Times
April 6, 2022

Chinese technology giant Huawei announced the creation of 10 new business “legions” following the initial move of setting up five such legions in October. This positive internal adjustment that will diversify its businesses around its cutting-edge 5G technologies will help the company get through difficulties amid the US crackdown, an expert said. Click here to read…

‘So many bodies piled up’: Hong Kong funeral services overwhelmed by COVID: Reuters
April 6, 2022

Traditional wooden coffins are running short in Hong Kong as authorities scramble to add mortuary space in the global financial hub’s battle on COVID-19, which is swamping funeral parlours. Click here to read…

Shanghai scrambles to secure food supplies as COVID lockdown hits: Reuters
April 6, 2022

Residents in the major Chinese financial centre of Shanghai, with 26 million under lockdown, scrambled to secure food on Wednesday, with supermarkets shut and deliveries restricted amid another citywide COVID-19 testing programme. Click here to read…

On hypersonic weapons deal, China warns against fueling a crisis: Reuters
April 5, 2022

China’s U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun warned on Tuesday against measures that could fuel a crisis like the Ukraine conflict in other parts of the world when asked about a deal between Britain, the United States and Australia to cooperate on hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare capabilitiesClick here to read…

China’s services sector activity hit hard by Omicron surge: Reuters
April 6, 2022

Activity in China’s services sector contracted at the sharpest pace in two years in March as a surge in coronavirus cases restricted mobility and weighed on demand, a private sector survey showed on Wednesday. The Caixin services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dived to 42.0 in March from 50.2 in February, dropping below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. The reading indicates the sharpest activity decline since the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020. Click here to read…

Shanghai adds 17,007 new Covid-19 cases, setting a daily record for the fifth straight day as city undergoes more tests: South China Morning Post
April 6, 2022

Shanghai added 17,007 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, setting a daily record for the fifth consecutive day since a worsening of the outbreak forced China’s financial and commercial hub to go into a citywide lockdown last week. Click here to read…

Washington wants reform, not about ‘stopping trade or trade divorce’: South China Morning Post
April 5, 2022

The United States is seeking to realign its commercial ties with China rather than seek a “divorce” between the world’s biggest economies, trade chief Katherine Tai said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, April 5, 2022

Xi’s remarks on boosting China-EU cooperation for world stability: Xinhuanet
April 4, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping met via video link with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Experts and scholars applauded Xi’s remarks on China-European Union (EU) relations and the Ukraine crisis, saying that the meeting has provided strategic guidance for sustained and sound development of the China-EU relationship, while adding stability and positive energy to a turbulent world. Click here to read…

China’s shadow-banking assets to continue declining: Xinhuanet
April 4, 2022

China’s shadow-banking assets are expected to continue declining in the first half of 2022, according to a report from Fitch Ratings. Systemic risks associated with shadow-financing activity have eased, as shadow-banking assets were cut by 40 percent from 2017 under the country’s strengthened regulation, the report stated. Click here to read…

Chinese battery giant continues dominating global EV battery market: Xinhuanet
April 4, 2022

Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. (CATL) continued to dominate the global electric vehicle (EV) battery market with its market share expanding in early 2022, data from market research firm SNE Research showed. Click here to read…

Over 38,000 medics dispatched to Shanghai to aid COVID-19 fight: Xinhuanet
April 4, 2022

More than 38,000 medics from 15 provincial-level regions nationwide have rushed to Shanghai to aid in the battle against the resurging COVID-19 epidemic in China’s financial hub, according to the National Health Commission (NHC). Click here to read…

Shanghai reports more than 13,000 new positive COVID-19 cases Monday, exceeding 10,000 for the first time: Global Times
April 5, 2022

The number of new daily positive COVID-19 cases in Shanghai exceeded 10,000 for the first time on Monday, reaching 13,354. More than 73,000 positive cases are reported during the latest flare-up in the city. Click here to read…

Chinese cities crack down on counterfeit incense money prior to Qingming Festival: Global Times
April 5, 2022

The Shanghai headquarters of the People’s Bank of China called on the public to avoid illegal incense paper in the shape of counterfeit renminbi during ancestral worship marking the Qingming Festival which falls on Tuesday, to maintain the solemn image of the official tender. Click here to read…

Online mourning activities grow during Qingming Festival due to pandemic: Global Times
April 5, 2022

As many as 6.95 million online mourning activities are held during the 2022 Qingming Festival, or Tomb-Sweeping Festival, in Chinese mainland, marking a year-on-year rise of 275.7 percent, said China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA). Click here to read…

China embraces digital future with growing computing power: People’s Daily
April 04, 2022

A recent industry report has highlighted China’s impressive advances in computing power, ranking the country as one of the best among major economies in the field. The report, jointly released by the Tsinghua University, the International Data Corporation and Chinese IT firm Inspur Information, comprehensively assesses the computing power, efficiency, application and infrastructure of 15 major economies. Click here to read…

China’s foreign minister speaks with Ukrainian counterpart: Reuters
April 5, 2022

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in a phone call on Monday, with Beijing again calling on talks to end the conflict in Ukraine. The call, which Beijing said was made at Ukraine’s request, was the first reported high-level conversation between the countries since March 1, when Kuleba asked Beijing to use its ties with Moscow to stop Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said at the time. Click here to read…

Shanghai to extend lockdown of 26 million people as it reviews COVID test results: Reuters
April 4, 2022

By David Kirton

Shanghai will remain under lockdown as it reviews results of an exercise to test all of its 26 million residents for COVID-19, authorities said on Monday. The city began its two-stage lockdown on March 28, initially in Shanghai’s eastern districts, and later expanded to cover the whole city. Click here to read…

China to test 26m in Shanghai: Reuters
April 5, 2022

China has sent the military and thousands of healthcare workers into Shanghai to help carry out COVID-19 tests for all of its 26 million residents as cases continued to rise yesterday, in one of the nation’s biggest-ever public health responses. Click here to read…

Shanghai to remain under lockdown following mass COVID-19 testing: Kyodo
April 4, 2022

Shanghai will remain under lockdown as it needs to analyze results of mass testing for the coronavirus conducted Monday, local authorities said, amid a rapid acceleration of infections. China has sent about 2,000 military medical staff and thousands of additional health care workers to Shanghai, official media said, as the number of new COVID-19 cases confirmed in the country’s most important financial center hit a record high for the third straight day. Click here to read…

Chinese activists Sophia Huang and Wang Jianbing expected to face court: South China Morning Post
April 4, 2022

Two activists in southern China are expected to face trial soon, with police handing their cases over to prosecutors for investigation. Women’s rights campaigner and freelance journalist Sophia Huang Xueqin and labour activist Wang Jianbing have been detained in Guangzhou since September, unable to meet their lawyers or families, according to friends close to the activists. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, April 01, 2022

Xi chairs CPC leadership meeting on plane crash emergency response: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Thursday held a meeting to hear a report on the emergency response to the recent China Eastern Airlines plane crash. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chaired the meeting, which made deployment for follow-up work. Click here to read…

Former senior official Fu Zhenghua expelled from Party, public office: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

Fu Zhenghua, a former official who had served as China’s deputy police chief and justice minister, was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and removed from public office over serious violations of Party discipline and laws. The punishment of Fu was announced by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, China’s top anti-graft body, on Thursday. Click here to read…

Xi’s article on agriculture, rural areas, rural residents to be published: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

An important article on issues related to agriculture, rural areas and rural residents by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will be published on Friday. Click here to read…

China urges Japan to stay out of Taiwan-related affairs: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

A Chinese military spokesperson on Thursday said that Taiwan question is China’s internal affair and urged Japan to stay out of it. Wu Qian, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, made the comments when responding to a relevant question at a regular press conference. Click here to read…

Joint Statement of the Third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

The third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan was held in Tunxi, Anhui Province in China on March 31, 2022. Foreign Ministers or senior representatives of seven countries, namely China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, attended the meeting. Click here to read…

China-India corps commander level meeting yields positive, constructive results: spokesperson: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

The 15th round of the China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting has yielded positive and constructive results, Wu Qian, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, said at a press conference Thursday. Click here to read…

China sees deficit in int’l service trade: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

China continued to see a deficit in international service trade in the first two months of 2022, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange showed Thursday. Service trade exports stood at 411 billion yuan (about 64.6 billion U.S. dollars) during the January-February period, while imports came in at 485.9 billion yuan, resulting in a deficit of 74.9 billion yuan. Click here to read…

Construction of all 56 Venues for Hangzhou 2022 completed: Xinhuanet
March 31, 2022

With almost half a year to go before the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, venues are ready for a Green, Smart, Economical and Ethical Asian Games. Yangshan Sports Climbing Center, located in Keqiao District, Shaoxing, is the last venue scheduled to be finished by the end of March 2022, among the construction of all venues. As it passed the inspection of sports events function on Thursday, all 56 venues for the Hangzhou Asian Games and the Asian Para Games have been completed. Click here to read…

Enhanced domestic crude oil, gas output to help ensure energy security: Qiushi
April 1, 2022

China has vowed to further enhance national energy security through strengthening domestic crude and gas supplies while developing clean energy on a large scale to steadily push forward the country’s green energy transition. The National Energy Administration is targeting 200 million tons of crude production this year, up from last year’s 199 million tons, while the goal for domestic natural gas production in 2022 is 214 billion cubic meters, up 4.2 percent year-on-year, according to its annual energy industry guideline published on Tuesday. Click here to read…

China, Pakistan to further promote military cooperation in various fields China Military
March 31, 2022

The military-to-military relations, serving as the mainstay of the China-Pakistan friendship, have played an important role in the development of bilateral relations for a long time, said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday. Click here to read…

15th round China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting positive and constructive: China Military

China and India sides have agreed to properly handle the border issue through negotiation and consultation, firmly opposing interference from a third party, said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense (MND) at a regular press conference in Beijing today. Click here to read…

Ex-justice minister ousted from Party: China Daily
April 1, 2022

A former official who had served as China’s deputy police chief and justice minister was expelled from the Communist Party of China and removed from public office over serious violations of Party discipline and laws. Click here to read…

Shanghai to launch phase II of lockdown: China Daily
April 1, 2022

Shanghai will start the second phase of its lockdown on Friday and begin mass testing of more than 16 million residents living in Puxi, the area west of the Huangpu River. Two rounds of nucleic acid tests were due to have been completed by 3 am on Friday among around 9.1 million residents east of the Huangpu River, who have been under lockdown since Monday. Click here to read…

‘Patient zero’ in Yangzhou outbreak arrested: China Daily
March 31, 2022

A woman believed to be “patient zero” in last July’s COVID-19 outbreak in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province has been arrested on suspicion of obstructing the prevention and control of infectious diseases, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate announced on Thursday. Click here to read…

Changchun govt in Jilin punishes two officials over improper posts: China Daily
March 31, 2022

The Changchun government of Jilin province punished two officials for imposing unjust measures during the recent outbreak of COVID-19, according to a statement released by the government on Thursday. Click here to read…

US ‘biggest disrupter’ in South China Sea: China Daily
April 1, 2022

The United States is the biggest culprit behind the militarization of the South China Sea, and the “biggest disrupter and troublemaker” in the region, the Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday. Click here to read…

5 million people join a joyful ‘virtual disco dance’ on the eve of Puxi’s lockdown in Shanghai: Global Times
April 1, 2022

Over 5 million people on Thursday night joined a “virtual disco dance” with many Shanghai residents participating and sending best wishes before the city starts a second phase of closed-loop management from 3 am on Friday. Click here to read…

Regional meeting on Afghanistan stresses 8 consensuses, pledges aid: Global Times
April 1, 2022

China-hosted talks between foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and the Afghan Taliban concluded on Thursday in East China’s Tunxi, Anhui Province, foregrounding China’s role as a constructive leading force in addressing the Afghan issue. Some analysts said the mechanism has given regional countries confidence in the Afghan Taliban and more expectations to the international community. Click here to read…

Beijing specifies rules for construction of pilot FTZ, focus on high-tech, innovation: Global Times
March 31, 2022

Beijing on Thursday passed a detailed regulation that lays out the city’s policy priority and development plan for the China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), covering 10 areas, ranging from the FTZ’s development target, management system and finance service to talent service guarantees. The regulation will be effective from May 1Click here to read…

EU to push China at summit to not help Russia in Ukraine war: Reuters
April 1, 2022

EU and Chinese leaders meet for a first summit in two years on Friday with Brussels keen for assurances from Beijing that it will neither supply Russia with arms nor help Moscow circumvent Western sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine. Click here to read…

Hong Kong govt ‘strongly opposes’ UK, US report on city’s diminishing freedoms: Reuters
April 1, 2022

Hong Kong’s government said on Friday it rejected “unfounded and ridiculous” allegations made in policy reports from Britain and the United States of a deteriorating political and legal situation due to the city’s sweeping national security law. Click here to read…

China’s farmers face fertiliser crunch as COVID measures hamper deliveries: Reuters
April 1, 2022

China’s COVID-19 curbs are disrupting the supply of fertiliser to the country’s northeastern bread basket just a month away from spring planting, threatening this year’s corn and soybean crops if not resolved soon. Click here to read…

As Shanghai expands COVID lockdown, life on hold in city of 26 million: Reuters
April 1, 2022

China’s commercial hub of Shanghai ground to halt on Friday after the government locked down most of the city’s 26 million residents to stop the spread of COVID-19, even as official numbers put local cases falling for the second day in a row. The city government late on Thursday extended an existing lockdown in eastern districts, just as western parts of the city were shut down as scheduled. Click here to read…

Chinese professor censured by Taipei: Taipei Times
April 1, 2022

A university in Milan is investigating a Chinese lecturer after a video showing him upbraiding a Taiwanese student over nationality went viral
Staff Writer, with CAN. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned a Chinese professor for pressing a Taiwanese student over his nationality, calling it an abuse of power. Click here to read…

VIF Neighbourhood News Digest: March 31, 2022

Afghanistan
Central Bank Holds Street Demonstration to Free Foreign Assets: Tolo News

The Central Bank held an exhibit on a street in Kabul city displaying photos and banners to encourage the international community and particularly the US to release the Afghan assets that remain in the US banks. Click here to read…

China, US, Russia, Pakistan to Hold Talks on Afghanistan: Tolo News

A top US diplomat will meet this week in China to discuss issues in Afghanistan with his Chinese, Russian and Pakistani counterparts, the Chinese foreign ministry and the State Department said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Prosperous Afghanistan is in interest of regional countries, international community: President Xi: The Khaama Press

China’s President Xi Jinping said a prosperous, peaceful, and stable Afghanistan is not only a hope of the Afghanistan people but also in the interest of the countries in the region and the world community. Click here to read…

Bangladesh
Indo-Bangla ties vital for South Asia’s stability- The Daily Star

Constructive Bangladesh-India ties could be a major stabilising factor for South Asia, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, insisting on resolving the irritants and harnessing the potentials of the two countries. Click here to read…

UNGA vote on Russia: Dhaka stood for humanity- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution reprimanding Russia for invading Ukraine as it was against a particular country. Click here to read…

Malaysia’s role in Rohingya issue lauded- The Daily Star

Malaysia’s strong support to Bangladesh in the Rohingya crisis was lauded at a webinar that focused on shared heritage and good relations between the two countries. Click here to read…

Misuse of law stifles press freedom- The Daily Star

The country’s newspapers have made significant contribution to the Liberation War struggle, creating a nation as well as establishing democracy, said speakers yesterday. Click here to read…

Border deaths a major stain on bilateral engagement with India: Shahriar- The Daily Star

The death toll of Bangladeshis on the border has become a major stain on bilateral engagement with India, along with the thorny water-sharing issue of transboundary 54 rivers, said State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam today. Click here to read…

PM enjoys concert while public struggle to buy food: BNP- The Daily Star

BNP today slammed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for joining a gala concert that was organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) spending crores of taka, while they claimed that common people are struggling to cope with skyrocketing prices of daily essentials. Click here to read…

The biggest joy: PM breaks down in tears in parliament- The Daily Star

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today broke down in tears in the parliament while stating that providing land and houses from the government to the destitute in Bangladesh has been one of the biggest joys of her life. Click here to read…

Bangladesh Embassy gives reception to diplomats in Egypt marking Independence Day- The Daily Star

On the occasion of the Independence Day and National Day of Bangladesh, the Embassy of Bangladesh hosted a reception and dinner in honour of foreign diplomats in Egypt. Click here to read…

Bhutan
Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal meet Sri Lankan President: Colombo Page

The Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal who are in Sri Lanka to attend the BIMSTEC Summit called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Colombo this afternoon (30). Click here to read…

Maldives
MMPRC launches campaigns to market Maldives in Southeast Asia: Raajje Mv

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) have launched campaigns to promote Maldives in the Southeast Asian market. Click here to read…

Myanmar
Response to Ukraine underscores foot-dragging on Myanmar crisis- Frontier Myanmar

But in Myanmar, where the military seized power in a coup more than one year ago, the expressions of support for the Ukrainian people are all the more moving because of the terrifying risks implicit in the very act of gathering – being shot by soldiers or police officers, or arbitrary arrest, torture and death in custodyClick here to read…

Response plan launched to support 1.4 million Rohingya and Bangladeshis – UN News

“Humanitarian agencies are seeking more than $881 million to support approximately 1.4 million people, including over 918,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char, and around 540,000 Bangladeshis in neighbouring communities,” UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch told journalists during a press briefing in Geneva. Click here to read…

Myanmar’s rebellion, divided, outgunned and outnumbered, fights on – Washington Post

Nearly seven months after Myanmar’s parallel government declared a “people’s defensive war” against the military junta, pro-democracy rebels are hanging on — not winning, but not losing either — using explosives, black market weapons and widespread popular support to keep junta soldiers out of key territories. Click here to read…

Misreading the room: Why Hun Sen is failing on Myanmar – Aljazeera

When Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen became the first head of state to visit Myanmar since the military seized power in a coup last year, he seemed to think he would be able to bring the generals back into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) despite the country’s worsening humanitarian crisis. Click here to read…

Damning report exposes atrocities committed by junta forces in Myanmar – People’s Dispatch

The 193-page report accuses army chief General Min Aung Hlaing of creating a special command that deployed snipers to kill unarmed protesters. It also identifies 61 military and police officials from the junta forces who it recommends must be investigated for committing crimes against humanity Click here to read…

Nepal
Nepal PM Deuba’s visit to India: How New Delhi can drive Kathmandu’s policy of strategic diversify: Daiji World

Nepal PM Deuba’s visit to India: How New Delhi can drive Kathmandu’s policy of strategic diversific. Additionally, it has also been reported that Deuba and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi are likely to inaugurate the Kurtha-Jayanagar Railway Project. Click here to read…

Milestones in India-Nepal development partnership: ANI

Recent initiatives and milestones in India’s development cooperation with Nepal are likely to be highlighted during the upcoming visit of Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to India, his first official trip since his appointment as PM in July last year. Click here to read…

Pakistan
Editorial: Fait accompli: Dawn

THE prime minister is as good as gone. With the MQM’s departure, the coalition government has lost the sliver of a margin it stood on. There is at the moment not much that Prime Minister Imran Khan can do politically to prevent further desertions. The mysterious foreign letter he had hoped would rehabilitate his misfortunes seems now to have been of limited utility. Click here to read…

PM discloses contents of ‘threat letter: Dawn

The government confirmed on Wednesday that its allegation about a foreign conspiracy against the prime minister was based on a diplomatic cable received from one of the country’s missions abroad. Click here to read…

No-trust vote: Sindh nationalist parties unhappy with PPP, MQM-P pact: The Express Tribune

Hours after Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leadership reached written agreements, Sindhi nationalist parties on Wednesday expressed “serious concerns” over it. Click here to read…

China agrees to fresh rollover of $2.5bn commercial loans: The News

Out of the approximately $21 billion in outstanding official loans, including commercial, bilateral and safe deposits, China has agreed in principle for granting a fresh rollover of $2.5 billion in commercial loans to Pakistan for one year. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka
Explained: Sri Lanka economic crisis and India’s $2.5 billion line of credit: Hindustan Times

Sri Lanka economic crisis: India has lent over $2.5 billion in credit so far, in addition to $500 million for a shipment of diesel. Click here to read…

Sri Lanka: No medicines, 10-hour power cuts as economic crisis worsens: Business Standard

Ceylon Petroleum requested the public not to queue for diesel on Wednesday and Thursday after the state-run refiner failed to unload a shipment of 37,500 metric tonnes of the fuel. Click here to read…

China: Daily Scan, March 28, 2022

5,800 cases of Party conduct violation investigated in Feb: Xinhuanet
March 27, 2022

More than 5,800 cases involving violations of the Communist Party of China (CPC) code on improving Party conduct were investigated in February, China’s top anti-graft agency said Sunday. Click here to read…

Chinese FM calls for long-term vision, win-win cooperation in ties with India: Xinhuanet
March 26, 2022

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Friday that China and India should stick to their own development paths and join hands to safeguard peace and stability in the region and the world at large. Click here to read…

China provides 2,000 tons of rice as emergency food aid to Sri Lanka: Xinhuanet
March 26, 2022

China decides to provide 2,000 tons of rice as emergency food aid to Sri Lanka, said the Chinese embassy here in a press release on Friday. The donation, which was valued at about 2.5 million U.S. dollars (including freight cost), was made at the request of the Sri Lankan government upon its current difficulty of food shortage in the island country, according to the embassy. Click here to read…

China ready to help Afghanistan achieve true independence, self-development: Xinhuanet
March 25, 2022

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Thursday that China is ready to help Afghanistan achieve true independence and self-development. During a meeting with Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister of the Afghan Taliban’s caretaker government, Wang said China respects Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respects the independent choice made by the Afghan people, and respects Afghanistan’s religious beliefs and national customs. Click here to read…

China Development Bank ups financial support for rural revitalization in 2021: Xinhuanet
March 27, 2022

The China Development Bank has boosted its loan support in 2021 to advance rural revitalization on all fronts. Last year, the bank has offered 594.8 billion yuan (93.5 billion U.S. dollars) in loans, promoting key areas including advancing the modernization of the agricultural sector and providing follow-up support for those who have relocated from inhospitable areas, it saidClick here to read…

China’s Hualong One reactor demonstration project fully operational: Xinhuanet
March 25, 2022

China’s Hualong One demonstration project, a domestically designed third-generation nuclear reactor, has been completed and put into commercial operation, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said on Friday. Click here to read…

New Bohai Sea gas field project starts construction: Xinhuanet
March 27, 2022

Construction started Saturday for the first phase of a new gas field project in the Bohai Sea, according to its constructor. The gas field, known as the Bozhong 19-6, was discovered in 2019 in the central Bohai Sea. It has proven reserves of over 150 million cubic meters of oil and nearly 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Click here to read…

Nation cuts market access negative list down to 117: Quishi
March 28, 2022

China unveiled a new, shortened negative list for market access on Friday, opening more industries to Chinese and foreign investment, according to the country’s top economic regulator. Experts said the move is a continuation of the country’s ongoing efforts to expand market access and introduce greater opening-up. Click here to read…

Former rail minister accused of disciplinary violations: China Daily
March 26, 2022

Former railway minister Sheng Guangzu has been accused of serious disciplinary violations and is cooperating with a probe by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, the disciplinary watchdogs said on Friday. Click here to read…

China denounces sending military aid to Russia as ‘pure fabrication’: China Daily
March 25, 2022

A Chinese military spokesperson on Thursday said the claim that China sent military aid to Russia is nothing but pure fabrication. Both Chinese and Russian sides have clarified the issue. The rumor repeatedly spread by the United States against China exposed its sinister intention, said Wu Qian, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense. Click here to read…

Official in Shandong removed from post over improper behavior: Global Times
March 25, 2022

A grassroots official in Pingdu, East China’s Shandong Province, has been removed from her post for improper behavior in resolving a petitioning case, authorities announced Wednesday. Click here to read…

Shanghai carries out staggered lockdown, vows to ensure sufficient daily commodities in closed-loop management: Global Times
March 28, 2022

Shanghai carried out a staggered lockdown starting on Monday in Pudong and Puxi (divided by the Huangpu River) in turn and mass nucleic acid tests will be conducted in the city covering over 6,340 square kilometers and with a population of over 24 million to cut out hidden transmission routes in communities to curb the rapid spread of Omicron.

Shanghai reported a record number of 50 local transmitted COVID-19 cases and 3,450 local asymptomatic infections amid this round of outbreak on Monday. Among the 3,450 local asymptomatic carriers, 2,833 were found under the closed-loop mechanism. Click here to read…

China, India stress managing border dispute, urge Ukraine peace and dialogue during Wang Yi’s visit: Global Times
Mar 25, 2022

China and India, two major developing countries and emerging economies, should stick to their own development paths and join hands to safeguard peace and stability in the region and the world, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday during a visit in New Delhi, stressing the two sides should place the border issue in a proper position in bilateral relations and manage conflicts to facilitate the development of relations. Click here to read…

PLA Marine Corps holds amphibious landing drills with the world’s largest hovercraft: Global Times
March 27, 2022

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps recently conducted a series of round-the-clock joint amphibious landing drills with Navy surface vessels and the world’s largest hovercraft, enhancing and displaying the PLA Navy’s amphibious landing capabilities, analysts said on Sunday. Click here to read…

Number of private firms in China quadruples in 10 years: People’s Daily
March 25, 2022

The number of private enterprises operating in China has more than quadrupled during the period from 2012 to 2021, according to official data. The country’s private firms increased from 10.857 million in 2012 to 44.575 million in 2021, data released by the State Administration for Market Regulation showed. Click here to read…

China’s Sinopec plans its biggest capital expenditure in history :Reuters
March 28, 2022

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (600028.SS), better known as Sinopec, is planning its highest capital investment in history for 2022 after recording its best profit in a decade, echoing Beijing’s call for energy companies to raise production. Click here to read…

Tesla suspends Shanghai factory output for four days on COVID curbs: Reuters
March 28, 2022

U.S. automaker Tesla (TSLA.O) is suspending production at its Shanghai factory for four days after the financial hub said on Sunday it would lock down in two stages to carry out mass testing for COVID 19, two people familiar with the matter said. The company has notified its workers and suppliers of the move, the people said. Click here to read…

China’s Shanghai launches two-phase lockdown as COVID surges: Reuters
March 28, 2022

China’s financial hub of Shanghai launched a two-stage lockdown of its 26 million residents on Monday, closing bridges and tunnels, and restricting highway traffic in a scramble to contain surging COVID-19 cases. The snap lockdown, announced by Shanghai’s city government on Sunday, will split the city in two roughly along the Huangpu River for nine days to allow for “staggered” testing. It is the biggest COVID-related disruption to hit the city. Click here to read…

China’s financial hub Shanghai starts 9-day COVID lockdown: Kyodo
March 28, 2022

China’s financial hub of Shanghai came under lockdown for nine days starting Monday, with each half of the city to be shut down in turns to conduct mass COVID-19 testing, sparking fears about the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy. Click here to read…

Students force Chinese university to lift Covid-19 lockdown after protest over restrictions that ‘gave dogs more freedom than undergraduates’: South China Morning Post
March 26, 2022

Students in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu have forced the university authorities to lift an extended lockdown on campus after protesting over strict restrictions that one undergraduate said meant even dogs had more freedom of movement.
China’s stringent dynamic zero-Covid policies mean that the authorities rely on swift, local lockdowns to stop the spread of the disease as clusters of cases appear across the country, fuelled by the highly infectious Omicron variant. Click here to read…

Why the secrecy with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s trip to South Asia?: South China Morning Post
March 26, 2022

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made an unexpected whirlwind tour of South Asia this week, with unannounced stops in India, Afghanistan and Nepal. The secrecy surrounding the visits comes as Beijing scrambles to drum up support against intense scrutiny by the United States and its Western allies, particularly over China’s ambiguity on the Ukraine war. Observers said the unannounced nature of the trip was highly unusual and motivated in part by Beijing’s fears of diplomatic isolation. Click here to read…

Africa Now – Weekly Newsletter (Week 12, 2022)

Welcome to Africa Now, your weekly newsletter for Africa, presenting the most important developments in the continent – news that matters.

COMMENTARY

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Where do African Countries Stand?

On 21st February 2022, President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of Ukraine’s breakaway regions, Donetsk and Luhansk and decided to support Moscow-backed separatists with a military operation. Three days later, when Russia started its air and missile strikes in Ukraine’s Donbas region, it transformed into a full-blown war. Click here to read…

NEWS

Tensions rise in Libya as risk of ‘parallel governments’ grows, Security Council hears

Amid a political impasse that threatens to see Libya fractured again by two parallel governments, the priority must be maintaining hard-won gains and fulfilling the electoral aspirations of nearly three million registered voters. Click here to read…

Tanzania is getting a political remake as President Hassan eyes the 2025 polls

The sudden death of Tanzania’s populist president John Pombe Magufuli on 17 March 2021 catapulted his then little-known vice-president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, to the helm of political leadership. Click here to read…

Somalia delays election process again as deadline lapses

Somalia has again pushed back the deadline for completing lower house elections, delaying until March 31 a process that is already more than a year overdue and has resulted in political sanctions. Click here to read…

West African bloc says it won’t abandon Burkina Faso after coup

A representative of West Africa’s regional bloc said it would keep working with Burkina Faso despite concerns about the military’s plan to hold power for three years after a January coup. Click here to read…

Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan hold secret talks on GERD dispute in UAE

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are holding secret talks mediated by the United Arab Emirates on the filing and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Click here to read…

Niger pushes for peace with jihadist talks

Niger is pressing ahead with an initiative to talk to jihadists whose attacks have shaken the country’s southwest, amid fears that a new wave of bloodshed lies ahead. Click here to read…

Sudan: Russian influence and Ukraine war stir domestic tensions

Officials courted Russian influence but the interference and the war in Ukraine are driving a wedge between its two most powerful men and stirring up domestic tensions. Click here to read…

Mali to suspend France 24 TV station and RFI radio

The Malian military government is moving to suspend broadcasts by French state-funded international RFI radio and France 24 television channel, accusing the news outlets of reporting “false allegations” that the army killed dozens of civilians. Click here to read…

‘Union will not remain silent’: Tunisia’s UGTT demands dialogue

Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labour union says it will not remain silent if authorities do not include it in negotiations over the country’s political and economic future, rejecting proposed reforms. Click here to read…

UK approves Rwandan envoy ahead of Commonwealth meet

The United Kingdom has approved Rwanda’s new envoy to the country, Johnston Busingye, despite calls from critics to London to reject the nomination. The approval comes three months before Kigali hosts the Commonwealth Head of Governments meeting slated on June 20. Click here to read…

Ambush and reprisals in western Ethiopia kill 64 – rights body

At least 53 people have died in western Ethiopia after an unidentified armed group attacked a civilian convoy and its military escort in a region plagued by ethnic violence. Click here to read…

South Africa’s Ramaphosa blames NATO for Russia’s war in Ukraine

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa blamed NATO for the war in Ukraine and said he would resist calls to condemn Russia, in comments that cast doubt over whether he would be accepted by Ukraine or the West as a mediator. Click here to read…

Russia, China Build Ties in Africa as U.S. Falls Behind

In a new “scramble for Africa”, Russia and China are cutting deals, extending loans, making friends and allies across the continent at a time when jihadists in many countries have posed a growing threat to citizens and national security forces. Click here to read…

US’s Blinken meets Ivory Coast PM to discuss trade, security

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has welcomed Patrick Achi, prime minister of Ivory Coast, for bilateral talks on a number of trade and security issues at the US Department of State. Click here to read…

Complementing Rafales, US Could Sell Its ‘Top Dogfighters’ to Egypt as Cairo Moves Away from Russian SU-35 Jets

The Biden administration is planning to approve the sale of F-15 Eagles to Egypt, a top US military official said. This comes despite speculation that Washington might cut military aid to Cairo due to concerns about Egypt’s human rights record. Click here to read…

Chad military gov’t, armed groups peace talks in Doha on hold

A first round of negotiations between Chad’s ruling transitional military council (TMC) and representatives of armed groups set to kick off in Doha, the Qatari capital, has been delayed by 48 hours. Click here to read…

Nigeria moving ahead on nuclear power plant plan

Speaking at the Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja earlier this month, Idris said that Nigeria had had a small nuclear research reactor in operation for 18 years “so if anyone tells you Nigeria can’t manage a nuclear power plant – they are just telling you a story”.Click here to read…

Italy Negotiates with Libya, Algeria for Renewable Energy Deal

Italy is currently holding negotiations with Libya and Algeria for the mobilization and development of renewable energy resources. The European country is looking to diversify its energy mix, adopting clean energy sources from renewable-rich countries in northern Africa. Click here to read…

Rebel attacks in eastern Congo kill more than 60

Suspected Islamist militants have killed more than 60 people over five days of attacks on villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local residents said on Tuesday. Click here to read…

Western Sahara: Spain and Morocco near end to diplomatic row over disputed territory

Morocco and Spain have moved closer to resolving a decades-long dispute over Western Sahara. Spain’s Prime Minister stated that a proposed autonomous region under Rabat control is the “most serious, realistic and credible” solution, according to Morocco’s royal palace. Click here to read…

Cameroon’s separatist conflict spills into Nigeria

The peaceful Nigerian fishing village of Manga sits not far from Cameroon’s border, but its residents know all about the separatist war raging inside their West African neighbour. Click here to read…

What drives South Africa’s political violence?

South Africa has a history of political violence, including a culture of violent protests and political killings. Historically, the violence is rooted in diverse drivers such as ethnic and tribal differences, and political intolerance. Click here to read…

The Chagos archipelago: Between British colonial past, American interests and Mauritian sovereignty

Last month, while global attention was fixated on the Ukraine crisis, Mauritius sent an expedition, a first of its kind, to the Chagos archipelago, also known as the Chagos Islands. Click here to read…

OIC Africa Group in Solid Support of Gambia Hosting Summit

In response to false and misleading rumours emerging largely on social media, The Gambia OIC Secretariat wishes to inform the public that The Gambia maintains its role as the rightful host of the next OIC Heads of State and Governments Summit. Click here to read…

African Countries Build Capacity on Cyber security

Sixty-five participants from 32 countries are attending a forum in Accra to promote cybersecurity capacity building in Africa. Dubbed Africa Cyber Experts (ACE) Community Kick-Off Meeting, it is on the theme “Setting the Scene for Cybersecurity Status in Africa.” Click here to read…

President of Guinea-Bissau says he stands firm in his post

The President of Guinea-Bissau said on Thursday that the Guinean State is still standing and that he remains firm in his post. The president’s speech, delivered on Thursday, takes place after the attempted coup on the 1st of February. Click here to read…

Eswatini Air adds first aircraft, an E145

Eswatini Air – the new regional airline brand of state-owned Royal Eswatini National Airways (RENAC) – plans to debut by the end of 2Q22 on Southern African regional routes using two EMB-145EPs. Click here to read…

How China-African trade may evolve

China is taking a more cautious approach to trade and investment in Africa and shifting its focus from governments to multilateral institutions. Click here to read…

Uganda bids to host Africa drugs agency

Uganda has the required capacity to host the African Medicine Agency (AMA) following its investments in developing and manufacturing drugs over the years. Click here to read…

Kenya Receives A $750 Million Boost to Support Economic Transformation Post-Pandemic

In an effort to help accelerate Kenya’s ongoing inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, the World Bank has approved a $750 million Development Policy Operation (DPO) that will help strengthen fiscal sustainability through reforms that contribute to greater transparency and the fight against corruption. Click here to read…

Mauritania says fight against slavery an ‘irreversible priority’

Fighting slavery in Mauritania is “a constant and irreversible” priority for the authorities, one of the country’s top rights officials said Wednesday, in a rare public comment on the issue there. Click here to read…

Talks underway to resume iron ore project in Guinea

Company representatives and officials are actively seeking a joint solution to a quick resumption of work at the Simandou project in Guinea, which has the world’s largest untapped iron ore reserves, the Global Times has learned. Click here to read…

Zambia’s late former President Rupiah Banda buried

Zambian late former President Rupiah Banda, who ruled from 2008 to 2011 and died at 85 last week after a battle with cancer, was buried at Embassy Park in Lusaka, the capital. Click here to read…

Mozambique: Cyclone Gombe death toll rises to 53

Tropical Cyclone Gombe has killed at least 53 people since it hit Mozambique a week ago, a sharp rise from earlier estimates. Click here to read…

INDIA IN AFRICA

‘Green Triangle’ named after Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated in Madagascar’s capital as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav

As part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to commemorate India’s 75th year of independence, a “Green Triangle” named after Mahatma Gandhi was jointly inaugurated in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo. Click here to read…

Delegation from Telangana announced for Namibia for diamonds and pharma sectors

The India Africa Trade Council organized the India Namibia Summit which was attended by the Business community in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Click here to read…

Indian-American Puneet Talwar Appointed New US Ambassador to Morocco

US President Joe Biden on Friday announced Indian American Puneet Talwar for Ambassador of Morocco as part of some key nominations for his administration, a White House press release said. Click here to read…

India, Namibia committed to partnership in pharma sector

Trade between India and Namibia stood at approximately $80 million in the last few years. Namibia imports drugs and pharmaceuticals, chemicals and agricultural machinery from India. Click here to read…

South Africa Tourism aims at 64% rise in arrivals from India

With 48 per cent of the total Indian visitors to South Africa travelling from Mumbai, the city is the leading source market for South African Tourism in India. Click here to read…

South Africa to soon start e-visa facility for Indian travellers

The South African Tourism Board has recently expressed that it’s eyeing 64% year-on-year growth in arrivals from India this year. Click here to read…

2022 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports launched in India at Rs 16.01 lakh, bookings open

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India announced today that bookings for the new 2022 Africa Twin Adventure Sports are now open in India at Honda’s exclusive Big Wing Topline dealerships. Click here to read…

South Africa, India, EU, US reach compromise on Covid-19 vaccine patent

Any agreement must be accepted by the WTO’s 164 member countries in order to be adopted. If one country rejects the proposal, it could mean the end of the waiver. Click here to read…

India at UNSC calls for elections in Libya, hopes issues resolve peacefully

At the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) briefing on the situation in Libya, R. Madhu Sudan, Counsellor at Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations reiterated the imperative for holding the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the North African country at the earliest. Click here to read…

34 countries, including India, confirm presence at Commonwealth Summit in Rwanda

The CHOGM or Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting has been scheduled to start in the third week of June with President of Rwanda Paul Kagame being the host of the summit. Click here to read…

South Africa to issue e-visas for Indian travellers soon

As part of post-pandemic revival plans, South Africa will introduce e-visas for Indians to attract more tourists, business travellers and movie-makers, mainly from the south. Click here to read…
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