A discussion with Ambassador Kuang Weilin on current issues in China-Africa relations


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For much of the past two decades, China’s engagement in Africa has been steady, rather predictable, and largely uneventful. That is, until this year.

The China-Africa relationship is facing an unprecedented mix of challenges today across a wide range of issues, including the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic on the continent, the crisis in Guangzhou, and how Beijing will respond to Africa’s calls for debt relief.

Given how quickly events on the ground are changing, it’s really too early to tell how all of this will impact the future course of ties between these two regions.

For some perspective on the Chinese outlook on the current state of Sino-African ties, China’s former ambassador to Sierra Leone and the African Union, Kuang Weilin, joins Eric and Cobus from Shanghai for a wide-ranging discussion on all the key issues confronting policymakers.

This week’s episode features questions submitted by a diverse group of journalists, activists, and policy analysts:

  1. Aggrey Mutambo (@agmutambo), senior diplomatic affairs writer for the Daily Nation and The EastAfrican newspapers in Kenya.
  2. W. Gyude Moore (@gyude_moore), former Liberian minister of public works and now a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.
  3. Dickens Olewe (@DickensOlewe), BBC journalist and podcaster.
  4. Solomon Elusoji (@solomonelusoji), digital journalist at Channels TV in Nigeria and author.
  5. Hervé Lado (@hervelado), Guinea country manager for the Natural Resource Governance Institute.

Please note that Ambassador Kuang’s comments on this podcast represent his personal views only. He is retired from the foreign ministry and does not currently hold any government position, nor does he speak on behalf of the Chinese government.