Increase China’s Soft Power in Africa?

China’s fellow competitors in global influence, enjoy considerable advantage in Africa due to colonialism and history that exists between Africa and the West. Joseph Nye (1990) defines soft power as when „one country gets other countries to want what it wants‟. This means, the country uses attraction to get support by other states rather than the traditional use of military force and pressure. China has over the years strived to increase its soft power over other competitors. Through her slogan of „peaceful development‟ (hepingfazhan) she has sought to create a niche for herself as a peace loving, development minded global citizen, who has noble intention in her relations with other states.

Belt and Road Initiative: Contribution by all, benefits for all 

Actually, while the project is fully realized it makes the world more interconnected and creates more amity between nations.

Chinese say, “It reinforces people-to-people connectivity” along the Belt and Road.  

 China says BRI is a green project

As energy is one of the main drivers of the BRI project, sticking to clean energy is of utmost importance. In advancing the project, clean energy should be given high priority as global warming and environmental degradation are causing serious headache for humanity and other species.

Speaking at the media conference, an official from China’s power grid corporation said Beijing attaches great importance to “renewable energy” in implementing the BRI project.

Though China has turned into the biggest polluter in the world in the recent years, superseding the United States, it is now the world leader by investing in renewable energy


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What Can OBOR Offer On Infrastructure?

Firstly, with China involved in all these infrastructural projects in Africa, coupled with OBOR‟s vision for improving connectivity among countries, the initiative will offer a centralized, clear vision, and concerted effort in streamlining infrastructural development in Africa. A case in point is the railway line in Angola which is complete on their side of the border, but under-utilized because neither Democratic Republic of Congo nor Zambia have linked up to connect to the port, hence hindering efforts to export their products. Secondly, capital for infrastructural development in Africa comes from various Chinese bank loans under individual bilateral agreements entered into by these countries. Through OBOR, the capital inflow can be clearly centrally monitored through the AIIB and the SRF. This need is further strengthened with China signing a memorandum of understanding with the African Union (AU) in January 2015 to connect all 54 countries with high speed rails, ports and roads. The traditional „equatorial land bridge‟ which is the natural trade route between East and West Africa can be a good starting point for OBOR in Africa expansion. This route begins in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Congo’s, Central African Republic, to the West in Douala Cameroon.

Highlights from 10th Annual BRICS Summit

Since 2010, China has financially bailed out many parastatals (state-owned entities), which are common throughout Africa. At the 10th BRICS summit in July, China announced significant loans to two South African parastatals—Eskom, the public utility that provides electricity to 95 percent of South Africans and is the largest producer of electricity in Africa, along with Transnet, the country’s largest port, rail, and pipelines company. Eskom secured a US$2.5 billion loan from the China Development Bank, while the Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICB) extended US$27 million to Transnet. Transnet is said to deploy the funds for “general corporate uses,” providing the port and freight-rail operator “with liquidity in the near term.” Both loans have been described as “normal commercial loans” that are guaranteed by the government, which Eskom will use to fund the construction of the Kusile coal-fired power station.

Gamification 4.0 is necessary for all business.

Gamification is another trend that is on the up and up. We’re predicting that soon consumers, within an Uber vehicle, will be playing online games against other passengers in separate Ubers – real time. There is massive potential of brand-sponsored augmented reality in the Uber environment. This trend will become more accessible as improved technology becomes more available. Pokemon Go was a good example of gamification in application. Taking it even further, you could point your phone at a certain object or device whilst in transit and receive special discounts or more information on a campaign you’ve just engaged with, or if you’re feeling generous why not gift someone a Coca-Cola in a different car? The opportunities are endless.  Brands are engaging more and more in the gamification space and we’re very excited to see the innovation that results from these few outlined trends. Interestingly, we’ve found that when consumers are asked to test their skills in an application such as ours, they generate three times as many leads for our advertisers.

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The end of notarisation in China?

As the SPC allows digital evidence, and China is further moving into the digital domain, the developments with regard to allowing blockchain as evidence in the internet courts are positive.  It definitely makes it easier for rightholders to prove certain infringements upon their rights. 

With all these new technologies that can be used as evidence nowadays, rightholders can prove infringements easier and uphold their rights faster. For now, this will not yet mean the end of notarization in China. However, we will keep a close eye on the developments of the use of blockchain as evidence in the higher courts in China. 

With all the terms at the moment from "Internet of things", to "blockchain" to "Industry 4.0", maybe we should also speak of new evidence 4.0 in China, or maybe just simply call it evidence 2.0? We will keep you updated on the further developments with regard to law and ICT. 


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