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.
In 2015, China’s People’s Congress revised and ratified a controversial foreign non-governmental organisation (NGO) management law that is set to take effect in 2017. According to reports, the new law will directly affect approximately 7,000 foreign NGOs operating within the country’s borders as well as local NGOs who receive financial support from overseas donors. These groups include foundations, social groups, NGOs and think tanks. Strict government control toward these groups will likely manifest from the law. Whilst the Chinese government may have their own reasoning for the new regulations (concerns about foreign NGOs harming national security), at a time when environmental problems are only increasing in the country and around the world (often with Chinese involvement), this law can only do more harm than good. Globally and in China, often it is international environmental NGOs that do most of the work in trying to address vast environmental challenges. [Continue reading]
By Meryl Burgess
Centre for Chinese Studies
CCS Discussion Paper: Tanzania-China all-weather friendship from socialism to globalization: a case of relative decline
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.
CCS in the Media
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]