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Technology and infrastructure Under The Radar

Under the Radar: The 5G Spat in the Balkans

The US Presidency will finally shift in Joe Biden’s hand come January 2021. Yet, there is a fil rouge that connects Barack Obama’s tenure to the current and future foreign-policy orientation of the US, especially vis-à-vis China. The struggle against China is not set to fade in the foreseeable future. Banning Huawei from servicing Western countries’ 5G infrastructure has been a key part of this antagonism. A group of Balkan capitals have just sided with Washnington in its feud with Beijing. However, should the US be concerned about these countries’ economic ties with Beijing undermining their commitment to the common cause?

Africa She Said

Amal Center – Rethinking Empowerment in the Midst of a Pandemic

The Amal Center is a non-profit organization in Marrakesh, Morocco focused on helping lift Moroccan women between the ages of 18 and 35 out of poverty. Through a six-month training in the culinary arts, which is funded entirely through the organization, women are to be introduced to the restaurant industry to feel empowered to provide for themselves through employment in this very industry.

China Technology and infrastructure

China’s Technological Self-Reliance Ambitions: Updates from the Fifth Plenum

[Article by Josh Bramble.] Beijing has long focused on self-reliance in technological innovation as a goal to mitigate dependence on foreign firms. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee’s Fifth

Economics International

The Uncertain Future of the EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement

In June 2020, the EU and the Mercosur trade bloc, which consists of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, concluded negotiations over the Political Dialogue and Cooperation part of their Association Agreement, after the free trade section was completed in June 2019. With a number of EU member states and civil society organisations voicing concerns about the environmental impact of the deal, its ratification is becoming more unlikely in the short-term.

China Economics

China’s pivot towards domestic-driven growth: not as easy as Xi hopes

China desperately wants to and must recover from its long-lasting dependence on exports as a means of economic growth. This is the objective of the dual-circulation strategy, which is set to become Beijing’s escape plan from the feared middle-income trap. However, with domestic consumption still weak, China is unable to survive without a good injection of public investment to boost its economic engine. The rush of rapid supply-side growth is hard to give up for a country used to abnormally high levels of GDP growth. 

Africa Politics

The Curse of the White Elephant: The Pitfalls of Zambia’s Dependence on China

Zambia appears to be the first African state that has defaulted on its international debt payments as a consequence of Coronavirus. The Zambian government potentially owes the Chinese government in excess of $23 billion in loans, project money and infrastructure. This article explores some of the problems concerning the Sino-Zambian relationship.

Europe Politics

When pandemics fuel aborted revolutions: Serbia’s hot summer and what comes next

The failure of a surge of popular protests in Serbia to halt President Aleksandr Vucic’s apparently irresistible steer towards a demokratura could mark a milestone in the country’s path in the shadow of a global pandemic.