The Centre for Chinese Studies

The Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS), at Stellenbosch University, serves as the most prominent and high quality point of reference for the study of China and East Asia on the African continent.

Latest Commentary

China-Africa media co-operation: challenging Western media control

Picture116 August 2016

In an age prompted by accelerated technological innovation, the power of the Internet and global communication has significant bearing on a country’s ability to compete for global influence. The heightened focus on media diplomacy between China and Africa has emerged as a challenge to what has been considered a Western-dominated international media system. The Forum on China-Africa Media Co-operation has put into action new models for engagement and developed media institutions in order to further the influence of developing countries. The Forum has also made a call for alternative views in the media, which has strengthened solidarity among developing countries to tell their stories and promote cross-cultural exchanges. This commentary asks: will the Forum on China-Media Co-operation provide a more promising approach for mutual development? [Continue reading]

By Tichafa ChidzongaTich
Research Assistant
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University


Friday Seminar – Korean Migrants in the Rainbow State: Transnational Links and Practices

2016_CCS Event_Korean Migrants in the Rainbow State Transnational Links and Practices_Ahn

  • Title          Korean Migrants in the Rainbow State: Transnational Links and Practices
  • Speaker  Yonson Ahn,  Professor & Director of Korean Studies, Goethe-University of Frankfurt
  • Date         Friday, 12 August 2016
  • Time        12:15 – 13:30
  • Venue     Room 648, Arts and Social Sciences Building, Stellenbosch University

Prof. Ahn is director of Korean Studies at Frankfurt University.  Her research interests include transnational migration, such as transnational marriage migrants and Korean diasporas; gender-based violence in conflicts, especially the issues of “comfort women” during WWII; and historical controversies in East Asia and oral history. Her current research project  is related to transnational migration and gender, focusing on negotiating gender and ethnic identities of Korean migrant workers in Germany and Asian marriage migrants in South Korea.

Recent Publications

CCS Discussion Paper: Tanzania-China all-weather friendship from socialism to globalization: a case of relative decline

Discussion paper 01_201601/2016

By Jean-Pierre Cabestan and Jean-Raphaël Chaponnière

How close is the Tanzanian-Chinese partnership today? Bi-lateral trade and Chinese economic activity in Tanzania today is far more significant than in the 1970s; China’s “no strings attached” policy is still attractive and political solidarities and military co-operation have remained relatively strong. However, this bi-lateral relationship does not have the importance, nor the exclusiveness it enjoyed in the heydays of socialism. Today, China must compete economically, politically and culturally with the activism and soft power of a larger group of countries, particularly the United States. Although both in Dar es Salaam and in Beijing this relationship is still presented as “special”, it has lost the structural role that it had until the late 1970s in shaping Sino-African relations. Growing Sino-American and Sino-Western competition in Africa has increased Tanzania’s option and helped it, to some extent, to better defend its own interests. This paper examines Tanzanian-Chinese relations over the past half-century and more particularly since 2005, highlighting how global political, strategic and economic shifts have affected and on the whole reduced, in relative terms, the importance of this bi-lateral relationship.

[Download CCS Discussion Paper 01/2016]

CCS in the Media

Why is China silent as Mugabe fights for his political future? – Rand Daily Mail

rand daily mail logo21 July 2016

Non-intervention is a double-edged sword: just as China won’t intervene against him, it won’t intervene for him either. As Zimbabwe teeters on the brink of economic and political crisis, there’s one voice that has been conspicuously silent: China. Despite the mutual professions of admiration and everlasting friendship, it seems that President Robert Mugabe has been abandoned by his Chinese counterpart in his hour of need. It wasn’t meant to be this way. [Continue reading]