Follow CAP on Social Media

Listen to the CAP Podcast

Zhang Hongming: China’s Strategic Need for Africa in a Time of Great Change

The perception among many stakeholders in the West and across Africa is that China’s engagement in Africa is motivated by a need for natural resources and markets for its finished goods. While that may have been true during the early stages of China’s presence on the continent in the mid-2000, it isn’t the case today.

According to Zhang Hongming (张宏明), a researcher at The Institute Of West Asian and African Studies at the influential Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Africa now plays a pivotal role in China’s escalating stand-off with the United States and Beijing’s ambition to realign the existing international order more in its favor.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.