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The Need to Discuss Race in China-Africa Relations

The domestic racial homogeneity of China and most African countries, as well as the lack of cross-cultural understanding between Chinese and Africans, have always been attributed as the rationale for the people-level clashes between Chinese and Africans, be it in Africa or China. However, in the wake of a powerful confluence of a pandemic and anti-racist movements worldwide, we must re-evaluate the role of race, and racial understandings in the China-Africa sphere. Race is a central organizing factor in international relations, especially between states/regions of different racial composition.

It is time to acknowledge how race informs China-Africa relations and openly discuss the need for public education on race to address the rampancy of xenophobia (in Africa and in China) and racism (as well as other distorted allegations) in the Chinese and African cyberspace. 

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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.