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’s Hydraulic Fracturing Activities: Implications and Lessons for Africa

14 July 2017

Under the Chinese 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), China is keen to promote shale gas and oil usage to 10 per cent of China’s annual energy usage, a significant supply shock for many oil and gas exporting countries. Hydraulic Fracturing involves using high-pressured water mixtures to fracture gas or petroleum-bearing rocks to release oil and gas to the surface for extraction. Utilising such technology in developing countries is not economically one-dimensional. Local adoption of fracking technologies, whilst difficult, afford developing countries opportunities in transiting to cleaner forms of energy, as well as stimulating infrastructure investment. What is the projected impact of Chinese fracking on African oil and gas exporters, and what implications does this have for African hydraulic fracturing ventures? [Continue reading]

By Yi Ren Thng
Research Affiliate
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

CCS Learning Programmes

While the past decade of research at the CCS has played a valuable role in developing home-grown political and economic expertise on China, shifting domestic circumstances necessitate the nurturing of new educational approaches. Against this background, the CCS has provided a number of teaching opportunities through various platforms.

Summer School (July 4-11)

The CCS convenes a course on China-Africa relations for international students. Please see the syllabus here.

Online Course (October)

The new 4-week Online Course (an overview of China–Africa relations and basic Chinese language skills) is currently being developed and will begin in October 2017.

CCS in the Media

Is China the new lodestar for Africa’s students?

Picture111 April 2017

Within the global context, 20th century higher education has been dominated by institutions of the Global North. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent spread of market economies to the Global South, a growing band of elites hankered to attend fabled institutions such as Oxford, Harvard, the Sorbonne or at least to secure themselves a tertiary education in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the like. As anyone who has worked in higher education, either in the Euro-American sphere or beyond, knows, the aforementioned countries function as brands, in and of themselves. For example, when I worked as a lecturer in Taiwan, hardly anyone in the faculty had a PhD from Taiwan; they mostly attended US institutions, with the remainder from the United Kingdom and France. If you had a PhD from Taiwan, it seemed as if you didn’t stand much of a chance.

While the African context, broadly speaking, is not as extreme a case as Taiwan, these centres have long functioned as the gravity points of African scholarly pilgrimage – for the lucky few, in practice; for most, in the imagination. But this is changing. [Continue reading]