The recent visit to Zambia by China’s top foreign policy official Yang Jiechi highlights the outsized importance Lusaka plays in Beijing’s broader Africa strategy. Relations between the countries are among China’s oldest on the continent, dating back to the anti-colonial struggles of the 1960s.
Today, ideology has given way to economics. Zambia is a key supplier of copper and iron ore while China is Lusaka’s largest bilateral creditor.
Emmanuel Matambo, a native-Zambian and research director at the Centre for Africa-China Studies at the University of Johannesburg, joins Eric & Cobus to discuss how debt, xenophobia, and geopolitics are together placing unprecedented strains on the Sino-Zambian relationship.
Emmanuel Matambo was born in Lusaka, Zambia. He did school at Chingwele Primary School and his high school at Matero Boys Secondary School. He began his tertiary experience at St Joseph’s Theological Institute in 2009 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) in philosophy in 2011. He later went to the University of KwaZulu-Natal for an honors degree in political science. He graduated (summa cum laude) in 2014. His interest in China-Africa relations emerged after his honors degree. His dissertation for a Master of Social Science degree was based on China-South Africa relations. His doctorate dissertation, also done at the University of KwaZulu-Natal was a constructivist analysis of Sino-Zambian relations. While he has published academic articles on a range of topics from conflict resolution, contemporary terrorism, educational theory, and African agency, his main interest is on the growing China-Africa relationship.
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