Few figures defined China’s early engagement more than Zambia’s late president Michael Sata. As as opposition leader, the man known as the “King Cobra” was among Beijing’s most vocal critics in Zambia but later, once in power, became an avid supporter of China’s investment in Zambia. He was a shrewd politician who viewed the presence of the Chinese in his country as a useful political lever that could be used to bludgeon his opponents be they domestic or foreign. Few outsider analysts knew Sata better than researcher Solange Guo Chatelard who spent years following his rise to power and his interactions with the Chinese. She joins us this week to discuss his legacy, particularly as it relates to his dealings with China.
Solange Guo Chatelard is a Phd candidate at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques (Science Po) in Paris and an associated at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropolgy in Halle/Saale, Germany. Chatelard is among the world’s leading experts on Sino-Zambia relations with a particular emphasis on the social, cultural and economics surrounding the emergence of nascent Chinese communities throughout Zambia. Additionally, Chatelard wrote and hosted the landmark television documentary “King Cobra and the Dragon” on Al Jazeera English about China’s complex engagment in Zambia.
Watch the documentary “King Cobra and the Dragon” that hosted and produced by Solange for the People and Power program on Al Jazeera English
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