Eric Olander 欧瑞克, Medium

Eric Olander 欧瑞克



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Past articles by Eric:

China to Finance & Build a Massive New Coal Power Plant in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government announced last month that construction of the new $3 billion Sengwa coal power plant will proceed after years of negotiation. The new 2,800-megawatt plant will be a joint… → Read More

Is South America China’s ‘New Africa’?

At first glance, China’s engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) looks a lot like what it’s doing in Africa. Just as China surpassed Europe as Africa’s largest trading partner, China has become the top trading partner of several LAC countries, including Brazil, Chile, Peru, and others. While China’s trade with Africa dipped significantly between 2015 and 2017, only this past year… → Read More

How Chinese Traders Both Help and Hurt Local Merchants in Ghana

It is well documented that a lot of people in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa resent the growing Chinese migrant presence, in terms of both the people who come into their countries and the Chinese way of doing business that is often culturally out of sync with local customs. Those perceptions, however, can be misleading. While an influx of Chinese business people in places like Accra, the capital… → Read More

Is the Belt and Road Initiative a Bold Economic Agenda or a Political Ploy?

In an ongoing series that explores different interpretations of what exactly is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Eric and Cobus are joined by Zhu Zheng, an international affairs columnist for Caixin and a research fellow at the China-Eastern Europe Institute. Zhu has traveled extensively across Belt and Road countries in Asia, the Americas, and Eastern Europe, where he is currently conducting… → Read More

A Conservative American View on U.S.-China-Africa Relations

Colonel Chris Wyatt, Director of African Studies at the U.S. Army War College, joins Eric and Cobus to discuss a conservative U.S. foreign policy outlook regarding Africa and his views on Chinese engagement on the continent. → Read More

Gabon Takes Action Against Chinese Logging Company Following Damning Report

The Gabon government has suspended the logging license at two sites run by large, privately-owned Chinese logging company that allegedly engaged in widespread illegal activities, according to a… → Read More

The Promise and Peril of Chinese Tech Investment in Africa

In this week's show, we bring you two perspectives on the promise and peril of increased Chinese technology investment in Africa.Harriet Kariuki is an emerging markets analyst in Kenya where she surveys the digital landscape and local start-up scene to identify investment opportunities for foreign companies, including many from China. Harriet also writes extensively on China-Africa tech issues… → Read More

The End of China’s Non-Intervention Policy in Africa

Obert Hodzi discusses his new book, “The End of China’s Non-Intervention Policy in Africa,” and why he thinks this major Chinese policy shift is happening in Africa faster than in other parts of the world.{chop} → Read More

Should African Governments Welcome Or Be Wary of Chinese Infrastructure Investment?

China announced a U.S.$60 billion financing package for African states to build out new roads, airports, railways, and other needed infrastructure. While no one questions the need for infrastructure, there are legitimate concerns as to whether it makes sense to borrow so much from China to pay for it. → Read More

Is This Really the Best Time for a China-Africa Summit?

Does it still make sense for China to put on big, expensive mega-summits with African leaders, like FOCAC, which will take place in Beijing in September? Facing a slowing economy and a potentially devastating trade war with the U.S., maybe China is being pulled in other directions. That said, Africa presents a huge potential market and enormous geopolitical opportunities for Beijing in this time… → Read More

Where Does Africa Fit in Xi Jinping’s Worldview?

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit will take place at a delicate time for Chinese President Xi Jinping, as he confronts enormous challenges related to the ongoing trade war with the United States and, at the same time, huge opportunities to expand his country’s role in global affairs. What should African leaders should be prepared for when they arrive in Beijing? → Read More

A U.S. View on China’s So-Called ‘Debtbook Diplomacy’ Agenda

For the past year or so, senior U.S. government officials have been accusing China of engaging in so-called “debtbook diplomacy,” a tactic that Washington contends intentionally burdens developing countries with billions of dollars of loans. When these countries, many of them some of the poorest in the world, invariably can’t pay back the loans, Beijing extracts concessions that further China’s… → Read More

For Better or Worse, Africa’s Digital Future is Tied to China

Chinese tech companies are now the most important players in Africa’s rapid emergence as one of the world’s fastest growing digital markets. People’s Republic of China companies, private and state-owned, are working with local telecom operators across Africa to build powerful new data hubs to accommodate the surge in Internet traffic, wiring up the continent with new fiber optic connections, and… → Read More

How Africa Benefits from China’s Rapidly Aging Population

China’s rapidly aging population presents a huge challenge for the country as it needs to find new ways to pay for rising healthcare and social welfare benefits. And that’s where Africa may be able to help. Home to one of the youngest populations on the planet, young African workers might be able to help resolve the problem of China’s shrinking labor pool. → Read More

Angola: China’s Risky Gamble in Africa

China has loaned Angola an estimated U.S.$60 billion dollars since the two countries established diplomatic relations back in 1983, making it one of the top destinations for Chinese financing in Africa. Angola is especially attractive for the Chinese because of its abundant oil reserves that it uses to pay back all those loans. → Read More

China-Africa Relations in the Xi Jinping Era

For much of the past 20 years, China’s strategy in Africa could be summarized in two words: invest and extract. Today, that is no longer the case. China’s agenda in Africa, and throughout much of the global south, has broadened significantly in pursuit of Beijing’s military, humanitarian, and geopolitical interests. → Read More

‘Black Panther’ Sparks Debate over Anti-Black Racism in China

The seemingly sharp fall in attendance prompted Western media outlets to write a series of articles that suggested Chinese moviegoers objected to Black Panther because of its all-black leading cast. “A torture for the eyes: Chinese moviegoers think Black Panther is just too black,” read Quartz reporter Echo Huang’s dismally-sourced story where she relied on online movie review sites, often… → Read More

Where China’s Leaders Go in Africa May Surprise You

Over the past 10 years Chinese leaders have made 79 official visits to 43 different African countries, according to new data from the Beijing-based consultancy Development Reimagined. Where the senior leadership goes offers some fascinating insights on China’s priorities in Africa. → Read More

How Trump’s Vulgar Comments Towards Africa Play Right into China’s Hands

Somali-British freelance journalist Ismail Einahse joins Eric and Cobus to discuss his recent opinion column, “Trump’s Insults Will Nudge African Nations Closer To China.” The article, published on, reflects a contentious debate going on about the future of U.S. foreign policy in Africa and whether the void left by Washington’s apparent retreat will be filled by the Chinese. → Read More

China’s Evolving Military Strategy in Africa

Chris Alden, a professor of international relations and China-Africa scholar at the London School of Economics, joins Eric and Cobus to discuss his new book, China and Africa: Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent. → Read More