9 Readings on China’s Expansion you shouldn’t miss

9 Readings on China’s  Expansion you shouldn’t miss

China’s efforts to forge new economic and diplomatic alliances through its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative are well known. But Beijing is also extending its presence and power globally in quieter, smaller or surprising ways.

At every point of the compass, Beijing is laying the foundations of its new international order and shaping places and institutions outside its borders in its image.

We have compiled a collection of publications which are all available to download for free.

The Clash of Systems?

The Clash of Systems

Over the past fifteen years, China has positioned itself as a major partner and investor in Africa. In infrastructure projects and trade in raw materials, China has displaced Europe as the most important partner on the continent. This new competition is putting European trade, investment and development policies in Africa to the test.

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Subsea Infrastructure Western Indian Ocean

Subsea Infrastructure Western Indian Ocean

Connectivity and digitization are vital for Africa's growth. Undersea cables in the region are increasingly pivotal for the continent's development and international connections. Safeguarding this infrastructure is paramount for Africa's digital transformation and its global connectivity.

This analysis zeroes in on the undersea cables in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), their relevance to Africa's development, and the need for protective measures. It aims to map and discuss the infrastructure off the East African coast, covering countries from South Africa to Eritrea and the smaller African island nations in the WIO. While addressing both energy and data cable infrastructure, the primary focus lies on undersea data cable networks. Three main themes are explored: providing background and an overview of the undersea cables, discussing undersea cable networks and country-specific peculiarities of WIO coastal African states, and presenting regulatory measures, focusing on selected East African countries and regions as cooperation platforms for protection.

Beyond vulnerabilities due to physical influences on undersea cable environments, the increasing spread of information technology opens avenues for foreign influence. Cable networks become contested terrain susceptible to geopolitical manipulation, exemplified by China's technological diplomacy with a surveillance emphasis. As the primary financier, China poses risks to vulnerabilities of African nations seeking connectivity and digitization as developmental drivers, particularly if manipulation becomes militarized. Securing and cooperating in expanding these networks are essential to safeguard and promote African as well as global interests. The WIO cables serve not only African but also significant interests in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.