Why did Chinese shoppers hold back spending even ahead of Covid wave?

Why did Chinese shoppers hold back spending even ahead of Covid wave?

China in Africa: FOCAC celebrates two decades of mutually beneficial relationship

What happened?
On 29 and 30 November, the People’s Republic of China and the African countries participated in the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Dakar, Senegal. The forum’s theme was ‘Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa with a Shared Future in a New Era’ and was attended by 53 African countries and the African Union. Eswatini, the only African country with diplomatic relations with Taiwan, did not participate in the forum.

Despite being a ministerial meet, the opening ceremony was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who addressed the forum online and delivered a speech highlighting agricultural cooperation, Chinese investments in Africa and greater trade exchanges between China and the African continent. President Xi delivered his speech based on the White Paper published by the State Council Information Office on China’s cooperation with Africa in the new era. It emphasized China’s intentions of helping the African Union with achieving its goals of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population by 2022, alleviating poverty, promoting agricultural development, encouraging investments worth USD 10 billion in Africa, providing means to digitization of the economy and green development and advocating closer cultural ties and people-to-people exchanges

The forum also adopted four resolutions: the Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024), the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, the Sino-African Declaration on Climate Change and the Declaration of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC.

What does it mean?
The cooperation between China and Africa will continue to grow in the coming decade as the country establishes itself as one of the foremost supporters of African development and economic sustainability. Africa’s support for the country is bound to grow further in the coming decades as China pushes billions in investment and provides greater assistance than other countries. There is much criticism regarding China’s lending to African countries and the status of their independence in the face of China’s extreme support that at times leads them into a debt trap. However, African countries such as Rwanda and Guinea have rejected accusations of lack of freedom in their relationship and have deeply appreciated the assistance offered by China.

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North Korea: UN excludes Pyongyang for humanitarian assistance plan

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reacts during a press conference held in the parliament building Beehive in Wellington, New Zealand, on Aug. 17, 2020.  Courtesy: Xinhua/Guo Lei/IANS

New Zealand: Prime Minister sends peacekeeping force to the Solomon Islands
On 1 December, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asked troops to join the international peacekeeping mission against the deadly anti-government riots in the Solomon Islands. The riots erupted last week against government policies and issues like poverty, unemployment, and inter-island rivalries. Ardern said, “an initial force of 15 New Zealand personnel would set off on December 2 and another 50 would join them over the weekend” followed by a request from the Solomons government. She also said, “about 200 peacekeepers are already on the ground in Honiara from Australia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.”

 

 

Sweden elects 1st fSweden elects 1st female PMemale PM.(photo: .facebook.com/magdalenaeandersson )

Sweden elects 1st female PM. Courtesy: Facebook.com/magdalenaeandersson

Myanmar: UN committee postpones decision on Myanmar and Afghanistan representation 
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Maldives: Chinese firm signs deal to provide hybrid solar-diesel power system
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Afghanistan: Taliban reacts to the decision on who will represent Afghanistan at the UN 
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Pakistan: NSA meets with Russian counterpart in Moscow

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French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron

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Sweden: First female Prime Minister re-elected

On 29 November, Magdalena Andersson who resigned from the position of the Prime Minister after being the first woman elected to the post was re-elected. She received 173 votes in the 349-seat parliament while 101 voted against and 75 abstained. On 30 November, she formed her cabinet and created a one-party, minority government. She addressed the parliament and said: “A female prime minister means a lot to many girls and women, to see this glass roof shattered. I am proud that the Center Party is involved and makes this possible.”

The US: Washington Post claims of massive troop build-up at Russia-Ukraine border

On 30 November, the Washington Post reported that the CIA had discovered the movement of Russian troops towards the Ukrainian border and issued a word of caution against heightened violence in the border areas. The report alarmed the US intelligence and the government at a time when US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin were scheduled to meet and discuss the Ukrainian issue. The report claimed that Russia was readying 100 battalion tactical groups on the border. 

About the Authors:
Sukanya Bali is a doctoral candidate at OP Jindal Global University. Porkkodi Ganeshpandian is a research intern in the School of Conflict and Security Studies at the National Institute of Advanced Studies. Avishka Ashok is Research Associate at NIAS.