China’s Lending to Africa Hits a Low, Study Shows

chinas lending to africa hits a low study shows

johannesburg —  As China marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of its global infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), new data show lending to Africa has fallen to its lowest level in almost two decades. A paper released this week by researchers at Boston University’s Global China Initiative said the pandemic, domestic economic woes, a policy shift and concerns about African debt were among the reasons lending in 2021 and 2022 dropped below $2 billion for the first time since the inception of the BRI. In 2000-22,…

Arizona Governor: Taiwan Firm’s Semiconductor Plant Back on Schedule

arizona governor taiwan firms semiconductor plant back on schedule

Earlier this year, Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC announced that it was delaying the opening of a computer chip plant in the U.S. state of Arizona because of a shortage of specialized workers. But during a visit to Taiwan this week, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs told officials that the project is back on schedule and should have no further delays. From Phoenix, Arizona, Levi Stallings has our story. Voice of America

US to Provide $116 Million in Aid to Myanmar, Bangladesh

us to provide 116 million in aid to myanmar bangladesh

The U.S. has committed to providing an additional $116 million in aid to people impacted by humanitarian crises in Myanmar, Bangladesh and the surrounding region. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Thursday that the package aims to provide critical resources to nearly one million Rohingya refugees living in Bangladesh, many of whom fled genocide in Myanmar, and to more than a million of their Bangladeshi hosts. According to ACLED, an international data mapping group, Myanmar in 2022 was by far the worst country in terms of…

Chinese Dissident in Transit at Taiwan Airport Pleads for Help in Seeking Asylum

chinese dissident in transit at taiwan airport pleads for help in seeking asylum

TAIPEI, Taiwan —  A Chinese dissident known for regularly commemorating the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square fled to Taiwan on Friday and pleaded for help in seeking asylum in the United States or Canada. In a video he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Chen Siming said he was in the transit area at Taoyuan International Airport to escape Chinese political persecution. “The Chinese police’s stability maintenance methods directed towards me were becoming more and more cruel and crazy,” he said in his post. “They…

Thailand Removes Visas for Chinese Visitors to Boost Tourism

thailand removes visas for chinese visitors to boost tourism

BANGKOK —  Starting next week, Chinese nationals will be able to visit Thailand without a visa, as part of new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s strategy to boost the country’s economy. Beginning September 25, nationals from China and Kazakhstan can enter the kingdom under a temporary visa exemption scheme for 30 days. The waiver is due to expire at the end of February. The prospect of more tourism has excited hotel groups and professionals, who hope Thailand will welcome more visitors from China. “China pre-pandemic used to be one of our…

Major Indonesia Coal Plant Back Near Capacity Despite Pollution Concerns

major indonesia coal plant back near capacity despite pollution concerns

Indonesia has restored one of the biggest coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia to near full capacity, its operator told AFP Friday, after it was ordered to slice output to curb pollution in capital Jakarta. The Suralaya coal-fired power plant in Java island’s Banten province nearly halved production starting August 29 as the country geared up to host Southeast Asian leaders, as well as US, Chinese and Japanese officials at a regional bloc’s summit. Just ahead of the September 3-7 ASEAN talks, the megalopolis of about 30 million people was…

US Treasury Launches US-China Economic, Financial Working Groups

us treasury launches us china economic financial working groups

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday said it was formally launching two new U.S.-China working groups on economic and financial issues aimed at providing a regular policy communications forum between the world’s two largest economies. In a statement, the Treasury said the two groups would “meet on a regular cadence” and report to Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng. China’s Ministry of Finance will be Treasury’s counterpart for the Economic Working Group, while the People’s Bank of China will be its counterpart for the Financial Working Group.…

Australia to Examine National COVID-19 Response

australia to examine national covid 19 response

SYDNEY —  Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese Thursday announced the government will conduct a yearlong inquiry into the country’s approach to COVID-19, but opposition politicians say the limited scope and powers of the inquiry will make it “a complete waste of time.” International border closures made Australia a fortress for much of the pandemic. It had some of the world’s longest and toughest lockdowns. Australian efforts to contain the virus were some of the most restrictive in the world, with residents of Melbourne spending more time in lockdowns than almost…

Report: World Powers Building New Facilities at Nuclear Test Sites

report world powers building new facilities at nuclear test sites

China, Russia and the United States have all built new facilities and dug new tunnels at their nuclear test sites in the last few years, reports CNN, citing satellite images that show the new construction and increased vehicle traffic coming in and out of the sites. The images were “exclusively” obtained and provided by a prominent analyst in military nonproliferation studies, according to the CNN report Friday. “There are really a lot of hints that we’re seeing that suggest Russia, China and the United States might resume nuclear testing,” the…

Asian Games Open Saturday in China

asian games open saturday in china

The Asian Games are an attention grabber. For starters, they involve more participants than the Summer Olympics. Organizers say more than 12,000 will be entered when the opening ceremony takes place Saturday in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. That is more than the 10,500 expected for next year’s Paris Olympics. The giant numbers are partly due to the staggering array of events with many regional specialties, sports, and games you won’t find in the Olympics. And there’s also cricket, which appears headed to the Olympics as soon as 2028…