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Published 1st April 2009

Vol 2 (AAC) No 6

South Africa

Ditching the Dalai Lama

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The barring of the Dalai Lama appalls Archbishop Desmond Tutu but gets strong backing from the finance and foreign ministers

The South African authorities' refusal of a visa to the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet in late March shows how the 'One China' policy extends into relations with Africa, where governments refuse to let the issue of Tibet obstruct their hopes of investment. China boasts that it will not interfere in African's internal affairs but is ready to do so when its own Tibet policies are called into question.

This wheel's on fire

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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China may be popular amongst some politicians, but support on the ground can be much thinner. In spite of increased trade and warmer relations, there has been a rise in anti-Chin...

The Bong revival

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New facts about China Union's iron ore deal reveal the failure and high costs of Monrovia's negotiating tactics

On closer scrutiny, the agreement between China Union and the Liberian government to resume iron ore production at Bong Mines hugely favours the Chinese company with only a minim...

Deal or no deal

The Minerals Development Agreement between China Union and the Liberian government, which Africa-Asia Confidential has seen, offers China Union royalty payments and tax exemption...

Debt, markets and Beijing

All three sides - the IMF, Kinshasa and Beijing - say there is little room for compromise on this month's debt relief talks

Kinshasa's negotiators are preparing for more talks with the International Monetary Fund's debt experts at the Fund and World Bank's spring meetings in Washington on 25-26 April....

Old King Coal

Japanese and Indian interest in Mozambican coal is growing and export prices are rising again. In a deal in March between the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and Japan's Nippon ...

Where confidence is currency

Although China's exports have fallen by more than a quarter from last year's levels, the Export-Import Bank of China is busier than ever financing trade with Africa, Latin Americ...

If not trade or aid, then what?

Taiwanese diplomacy faces an awkward commercial challenge. Stripped of the warm words and diplomatic ambiguities, it is clear that Taipei's biggest trading partners no longer rec...

Not learning lessons

A year after Malaysian company Ramatex abandoned its US$100 million textile factory in Windhoek, the authorities are at last tackling the environmental impact of the operations of ...


Pornthiva Nakasai

Minister of Commerce, Thailand

If effort can be measured in miles, Thailand's new Commerce Minister is earning her pay. Pornthiva Nakasi has been travelling constantly this year, in India in February and Chin...

Nobuhide Minorikawa

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

Nobuhide Minorikawa plays a leading role in the development of Japan's African diplomacy. With wide experience of development economics and diplomacy, he is a familiar face on th...

Pradeep Kumar Chaudhery

Additional Secretary, Commerce and Industry Ministry, India

After the India-Africa summit in April 2008 set out Delhi's new policies for the continent, Pradeep Kumar Chaudhery was given a leading role in the strategy with his appointment ...

Wu Zexian

China's Ambassador to Congo-Kinshasa

The posting of Wu Zexian, one of Beijing's most experienced Francophone diplomats, to Kinshasa in March 2007 shows the seriousness of China's Africa strategy. Initially, it looke...