Yesterday, we noted the results of a visit to Beijing by French President Emmanuel Macron. In summary: a few small business deals signed, larger deals delayed, and an important call for European unity in dealing with China.
Today, France 24 reports on another important area of French-Chinese cooperation: counterterrorism in Africa.
- France is promoting a five-country joint military force among Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad.
- The name of the joint force is “G5 Sahel,” referring to the region bordering North Africa that those five countries inhabit.
- China “is already committed militarily in the Sahel with the African-led International Support Mission to Mali, as well as in several other peacekeeping missions on the continent.”
- “Neither Macron nor Xi put forward a figure or a schedule with more detail,” but China is expected to contribute some amount of much-needed funding to the development of the force.
France 24 also noted the signing of a framework agreement for cooperation between the China Development Bank and France’s agency for development (AFD), which will support projects in Africa to combat climate change “as a strategic priority.”
China church demolition sparks fears of campaign against Christians / Guardian
“Footage has emerged of the Golden Lampstand Church in Shanxi Province being razed by local authorities.”
China heaping scorn on North Korea meeting next week in Vancouver / CBC
- Pollution research
China is winning its war on air pollution, at least in Beijing / Bloomberg
“Concentrations of PM2.5 — the tiny particles that pose the greatest health risks —plunged 33 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter across Beijing, Tianjin and 26 surrounding cities, Greenpeace East Asia said in a report Thursday.”
Chinese scientists discover microplastics in Antarctic waters / ECNS.cn
- All hail Xi, the Core
Xi Jinping cements power over China’s army and police / FT (paywall)
“Speeches, pledges of allegiance and songs drive home authority of supreme commander.”
- Hotels that hurt the feelings…
China blocks Marriott for listing Tibet and Taiwan as countries / CNN
“Chinese authorities say they have blocked the Marriott website and app for a week after the hotel group listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate ‘countries’ in its emails and app.”
- North Korea
China’s Xi supports progress in inter-Korean talks: South Korea’s Blue House / Reuters
Businesswoman’s fate a test of China’s resolve on North Korea / NYT (paywall)
“The fate of Ma Xiaohong, and the business empire she built on trade with North Korea, has become a measure of China’s willingness to confront its neighbor.”
- East China Sea
China, Japan trade accusations after Chinese warship seen near disputed Diaoyu Islands / SCMP