CCS_10_Years_Logo2014: Ten Years of China-Africa research by the Centre for Chinese Studies

The Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS) at Stellenbosch University is the leading African research institution for innovative and policy relevant analysis of the relations between China and Africa.

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Important notice

Conference African-Asian Encounters (II) abstract submission deadline changed

Please note that the deadline for the submission of abstracts for African-Asian Encounters (II) Re-Thinking African-Asian Relationships: Changing Realities – New Concepts has been changed to: 15 October 2014

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Latest commentary

PRC 65: A Marxist Journey along the Capitalist Road

CCS_Commentary_PRC_65_FK_201430 September 2014

The founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) began one of the modern world’s most momentous transformations of an ancient civilization into a rising power currently reshaping the contemporary strategic landscape. In many respects this continuing transformation of what once was “The Middle Kingdom” remains an experimental “work in progress”. The outcome remains uncertain as China enters another and more complicated phase of transition. This is as a result of changing demographic dynamics and its moving up the value chain of production while giving greater priority to consumption rather than an export-driven geo-economic neo-mercantilism. However, in revisiting 65 years ago, one outcome of that period that seems to have been little  understood, is how the 1949 victory of the Chinese Communist Party, going forward, has turned Marxism-Leninism on its ideological head. [Continue reading]


By Francis A. Kornegay, Jr
Senior Fellow
Institute for Global Dialogue,  UNISA (RSA)
Global Fellow
Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars (USA)


African Regional Economic Communities’ engagement with China

CCS_Policy_Briefing_African_Regional_Economic_Communities’_engagement_with_ChinaNo. 3 – September 2014

The development of effective African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) stands to benefit African countries immensely. Transnational free trade regions, single customs unions, single markets, single currencies and other forms of political and economic integration have the potential to strengthen both inter-regional and international trade as well as creating more robust solutions to issues of food, climate, health and political security. Nevertheless, implementation has proved a formidable challenge: lack of adequate economic and political structures, institutions and policies has impeded progress.  The ability to strengthen many aspects of RECs are up to member states: agreeing on a set of political and socio-economic strategic priorities at the core of regional integration, implementing mechanisms for co-operation and integration as well as  ensuring compliance are all challenges which need to be negotiated internally.  A crucial aspect is formulating coherent policy on how to engage with external actors. Along with the European Union and the United States of America, China is now an undeniably influential actor with regards to all African RECs. With a co-ordinated China policy, RECs can effectively foster regional integration through both increased trade capacity and infrastructural development. This policy brief
focuses on three RECs – SADC (Southern African Development Community); ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and the EAC (East African community) – as illustration of how Chinese investment has been harnessed. [Continue reading]

Phandulwazi nge China research reports

Rex_PhanW_Report_Final_Rex_2014 CCS_PhanW_Clever_2014Report: Chinese Investments in Zimbabwe and Namibia - A Comparative Legal Analysis
by Clever Mapaure

The rapid expansion of Chinese investments in Africa has generated considerable interest among analysts of law, politics and economics. The said investments have sparked both hope and uncertainty about the true intentions of China on African soil and the implications they have on the development of African economies. Without sufficient official data available in most African countries let alone less transparent Namibia and Zimbabwe, especially in regards to data related to Chinese investments, it is rather intricate to ascertain with certainty the actual negative or positive contribution of Chinese investments to the said economies. In trying to decode the controversies that are attached to Chinese investments in Africa one is left to question the laws binding on the two countries and the regulatory framework within which Chinese investors conduct their business. [Download report - Mapaure]

Report: China-Africa agricultural co-operation – Mutual benefits or self-interest?
by Rex Ukaejiofo

This paper aims to contribute to the discourse on strategies, achievements and challenges of China and Africa agricultural cooperation while examining the relevance and implications of China’s motives in Africa’s food security concerns. It is worthy of note that some African commentators  notable among them is Professor Ayittey an economist at the American University in a facilitated debate by the Economist, labels China’s  investment in Africa as self-serving, this paper seeks to address the question: Is China’s investment in African agriculture, indeed mutual benefit or for self-interest? In order to better determine the nature and intention of its growing investments in African Agriculture; it is necessary to examine the details of this engagement in Africa. As a second objective, the paper also seeks to examine the engagement in Africa’s agricultural development and its potential impact on Africa’s food security concerns. Chinese investments in agriculture, though worth applauding, have not yet translated into well-meaning development to African states as voiced by regional stakeholders. [Download report - Ukaejiofo]

CCS_Image_Open_Society_Foundations_2014These research reports are part of the outcomes of the CCS scholarship programme, Phandulwazi nge China (“Knowledge about China” in isiXhosa). The scholarships offer opportunities for African researchers to spend research time at the Centre in order to advance mutual learning and a better exchange on interpretations of political, economic or environmental impact of Chinese engagement in Africa. This programme is kindly supported by Open Society Foundation.

Conference Announcement – Call for Papers


AFRASO – Goethe University, Frankfurt/Germany

The Centre for Chinese Studies, Stellenbosch/South Africa

Conference Announcement – Call for Papers

African-Asian Encounters (II) Re-Thinking African-Asian Relationships: Changing Realities – New Concepts

24 - 26 March 2015
Doubletree by Hilton, Cape Town, South Africa

Important Dates

 4 July 2014: Call for Papers
15 October 2014: Deadline for Abstracts
1 December 2014: Notification of Acceptance / Opening of Registration
01 February 2015: Deadline for Presenter Registration
01 March 2015: Deadline for Participant Registration
Conference: 24 – 26 March 2015

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CCS in the Media

“More research needed on China’s influence in Africa” – University World News

CCS_Image_University_World_News_201405 September 2014

Dr Ross Anthony, Interim Head CCS, discusses the future of research on China’s influence in Africa with Mandy Garner. China’s presence, particularly its economic presence, is relatively new in Africa, rising significantly only over the past decade or so. According to Dr Anthony, “there has been an institutional lag in responding to this challenge which is exacerbated by the lack of resources many African countries have to deal with”. [Read full article here]