Weekend Reads

China’s Quest For A Role In Africa
Bilateral trade between China and Africa has grown 20-fold in the last two decades, which is a sign of the kind of investment the Asian giant is making.

While China may not be embracing a kind of “soft power” – using diplomacy, rather than force – to achieve its goals, it has coupled its trade investment with humanitarian assistance, such as in the case of the Ebola outbreak, says Mark Varga of the Foreign Policy Association.

“Even if it has responded with unprecedented generosity to the Ebola crisis, China’s “health diplomacy” so far has closely followed Chinese investments and businesses. In Guinea, where the current outbreak began, a $446 million hydroelectric power plant is being built courtesy of China Three Gorges Corporation, while in Sierra Leone investments are expected to top $10 billion by 2015. If these long-term, strategic investments had been absent, China’s attitude in the face of the worst Ebola epidemic on record would have been one of complete aloofness,” Varga notes.

Holding Hungary To Account For Anti-Democratic Policies Hungary’s increasingly authoritarian prime minister has been taking his lead from Russia’s Vladimir Putin — but the Community of Democracies is making moves to strip them of their membership for their anti-democratic policies, according to Elizabeth Winkler at Foreign Policy magazine.

Global Inequality Talks Mean Nothing Without A Formal Action Plan
Mohamed el-Erian says that discussions about global inequality at the recent IMF/World Bank meetings will mean nothing without a formal action plan for governments to address it. Anything less, he argues, represents a profound failure of policy imagination.

Addressing The Ebola Communications Gap
Two members of the Global Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders recognized there was a failure to adequately communicate information about the Ebola and have launched a new initiative to more effectively raise awareness, to educate and to generate solutions-driven thinking about how to combat the deadly disease.



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