Will Western museums return treasures taken from Asia and Africa?
American and European museums are reassessing whether and how to return artefacts claimed in Asia and Africa during conflicts and colonial eras as global sentiment changes over their rightful ownership. Museums are considering which items should be given back to their countries of origin, whose governments have been asking for decades for the return of pieces of their heritage, with activists becoming increasingly strident. Treasures from China’s Qing dynasty, including a carved white jade figure of the star god of longevity, Shulao, are scheduled for auction in Hong Kong on November 30 in a sale titled “Imperial Glories from the Springfield Museums Collection.” The decision by Springfield M
How much money has China lent to Africa?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. $147 billion: How much China loaned to Africa from 2000 to 2018.  In less than two decades, China has grown to become the largest lender to sub-Saharan Africa, surpassing the World Bank and the Paris Club.  China’s loans to Africa are lent from the Chinese government, banks and contractors to African governments and their state-owned enterprises.  The investments have helped to lift living standards in the continent. But China’s growing presence in Africa has also alarmed the US and Europe as they jockey for global influence.  China holds loans in 50 of the 54 count
Covid-19 forces Africa to seek mercy from its biggest creditor: China
African states expect a devastating economic impact from the Covid-19 pandemic and are appealing for relief from repayments on billions of dollars in debt. Most of those appeals involve China, the biggest lender to the continent, but it is unclear how Beijing will respond. Angola, Zambia, Sudan and the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) are among those seeking relief, arguing they need to reallocate funds to health care and equipping hospitals to fight the coronavirus, which has infected almost 3.7 million people worldwide. Africa was largely spared in the early days of the outbreak, but cases as of Tuesday had jumped to 47,581, with 1,862 dead. London-based Jubilee Debt Campaign, which is pus
The post-coronavirus world doesn’t look good for China
The new coronavirus has killed over 200,000 people and nearly ground the global economy to a halt. The next ripple effect could be a new Cold War, this time between China and the United States. Although it remains unclear when and how the pandemic will end, Beijing is preparing for an international backlash of blame over the disease outbreak and appears ready to push back, according to analysts. Chinese authorities have kick-started an internal process to solicit advice from think tanks, academics and others on how to deal with an increasingly adversarial global environment, said a government adviser who declined to give his name. At the same time, the devastating human toll and suffering c
Inside the reggae empire built by a Chinese-Jamaican family
Almost five years ago on a local TV show in New York, the host was taken aback when the Jamaican reggae artist Gyptian was introduced by a diminutive, elderly Asian woman. “He was not expecting to see a Chinese woman talking about reggae,” Patricia Chin, now 82, recalls with a laugh, during a telephone interview from New York. But the half-Chinese, half-Indian Chin, who was born in Jamaica, knows just about everything there is to know about reggae.  She and her late husband, Vincent “Randy” Chin, helped build the nascent reggae music scene in the late 1950s from their home in Kingston, Jamaica, along with the likes of the legendary Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. In 1975, the Chins emigrated to t
Rwandan troops trained by China mark genocide anniversary
For the first time, Rwandan troops have marched in a Chinese-style military parade to mark the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The troops had previously marched in Western military formations, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. In April, the Rwanda Defence Force invited commanders from the Chinese army to help train soldiers and police in the East African nation. Six Chinese instructors worked to train about 2,000 Rwandans, who made up 22 squads in the military parade. “We are very satisfied with their performance,” CCTV quoted Liu Baoxin, a Chinese instructor, as saying. Leaders from seven African nations were among the thousands commemorating Rwanda’s Liberation Day in
The African athletes running marathons for cash in China
It was an unbearably hot Sunday in Hengdian, a small town in eastern China that’s famous for being home to the world’s largest film studio. Some 25,000 runners had come from all over the country. Against the backdrop of a nearly life-size replica of the Forbidden City, the Hengdian Marathon felt like a carnival.  Music was blasting. Chinese runners of all ages, in full athletic gear or loud costumes, busied themselves with warming up, visiting the many sponsored booths and taking selfies. But a small group of athletes – tall, lean and African – didn’t come for the fun. Their eyes were firmly set on the cash prizes: $4,600 to the winners of the full marathon, and $1,500 for winners of the ha
What is it like to be Black in China?
China is a country plagued by racism. To be Black or African in China is to be labeled unintelligent, dangerous, unattractive, or to see an empty seat next to you on a crowded subway. To deny any acts of neo-colonialism in its dealings with African countries, China has, in recent years, repeatedly said it views them as partners, not recipients of charity. But this is not consistent with the way China treats African and Black people. The 2018 CCTV gala, an annual variety show, showed us that China views Africa as a helpless place in desperate need of China’s altruism. During the Spring Festival broadcast, which draws 800 million viewers, a Chinese woman parades on stage in blackface wearing a
Tillerson disses China on Africa ties
America’s top diplomat had tough words for China, Africa’s biggest trading partner, ahead of his first official tour of the continent. Rex Tillerson accused China of encouraging dependency, using predatory loan practices and engaging in corruption. The diplomat praised his own country’s engagement with countries in Africa, saying the US promoted good governance to meet long-term security and development goals. “This stands in stark contrast to China's approach, which encourages dependency using opaque contracts, predatory loan practices and corrupt deals that mire nations in debt and undercut their sovereignty,” he said. “Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa's infras