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Why Pragmatism, Not Ideology Drives Chinese Economic Engagement in Africa

In these contentious times, China is often accused of exporting its statist economic model to Africa and other developing regions as part of a broader ideological agenda to create a new Sinocentric international order. But Tsinghua University Professor Tang Xiaoyang argues 

Why Perceptions of China Vary So Much Depending on Where You Live

Public perceptions of China vary markedly depending on where you live in the world. In wealthy advanced economies in the Global North, negative sentiment towards China is now at all-time highs and ...

China’s Role in the Burgeoning Debt Challenge in Africa

The debt situation in Africa is changing very quickly as some countries race to negotiate urgent bailouts with the IMF while others are struggling to service their debts amid the ongoing pandemic. Pretty much every country across the continent is struggling ...

A Peek Into the Mysterious World of Chinese Diplomacy

Chinese diplomats around the world are comprised of a mix of reclusive bureaucrats who strenuously avoid public engagement and a new generation of assertive, sometimes even downright aggressive so-called "Wolf Warriors" who wage combat with Beijing's critics.

The Pushback Against China’s Coercive Diplomacy

Although China has successfully leveraged its strengths in COVID-19 vaccine production to replenish its reservoir of goodwill in many developing countries, elsewhere Beijing is facing growing resistance to its increasingly assertive foreign policy agenda. The ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

FOCAC’s Powerful Optics Present a Challenge to China’s Rivals

FOCAC is for me what the Winter Olympics is for a curling fan – the one moment every few years when the world briefly shares one’s obsession. So it was interesting (and revealing) how relatively muted the coverage of the triennial meeting has been this time around.

In part, this is due to the fact that FOCAC 8 itself has been slightly smaller than usual. It was held at the ...

The Back Rooms in Johannesburg’s Chinatown

South Africa is home to the largest and one of the oldest Chinese diaspora populations in Africa, dating back hundreds of years. Although there are no precise figures, the ethnic Chinese population in the country is estimated to be at least ...

Deciphering China’s Belt & Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a central theme of China's foreign policy, particularly in developing regions like Africa where it's linked to billions of dollars of infrastructure development. But when you ask Chinese officials "what exactly is the BRI?" ...

Book Review: “What Is China up To in Africa? Read This Book.”

Laura Seay, a well-known professor of African politics at Colby College in the United States, gave a glowing review in the Washington Post's Monkey Cage column this week to the new book by Wake Forest University assistant professor Lina Benabdallah.

New Book Explains Why You Shouldn’t Focus Only on Hard Metrics to Evaluate China’s Engagement in Africa

A highly-anticipated new book by acclaimed China-Africa scholar Lina Benabdallah went on sale today. "Shaping the Future of Power" details a key difference that distinguishes China's engagement strategy in Africa from that of other countries: its extensive professional and skills-transfer initiatives.  ...

Relationships: China’s Competitive Advantage in Africa

To many outside observers, Chinese engagement in Africa is often evaluated based on hard metrics like the amount of trade, the number of immigrants, investment figures. While those data points are no doubt important, Wake Forest University Assistant Professor Lina Benabdallah ...
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