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

Chinese companies awarded US$ 9 billion to construct railways in Tanzania

Commentary_China_Tanzania_Infrastructure_NT_June_201529 June 2015

Tanzania’s relations with China date back to the 1960s, when Chinese construction firms developed  what has come to be known as the flagship project of China in Africa, the Tanzania-Zambia railway (TAZARA). The aim was to give Zambia an alternative export route to the apartheid stricken South African route, thus easing commodity export as well as improving connectivity for the Zambian and Tanzanian people. On the 31 May 2015, Tanzanian authorities announced that Chinese railway companies, led by the China Railway Materials (CRM) consortium have been awarded US$ 7.46 billion to build a 2,561 km standard gauge railway connecting Dar es Salaam port to land-locked neighbours. In addition, China Railway No.2 Engineering Group Co. Ltd., was awarded US$ 1.4 billion to build a 1000km railway line linking coal and iron ore mine projects in Southern Tanzania, to the southern port of Mtwara. This development can be viewed as part of a broader trans-regional east-African transport and energy network involving Chinese partners- the most prominent of which is the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport project (LAPSET). Such developments have significant implications for East Africa, not only in terms of intra-regional travel and trade, but also intra-regional competition, which has the potential to speed up economic growth. [Continue reading]

By Nuša TukićCCS_Research_Analyst_Nusa_Tukic_2013_6
Research Associate
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University


Centre for Chinese Studies Annual Report: China Africa Relations 2014

CCS_Annual_Report 2014_Online_High_DefThe annual report of the Centre for Chinese Studies, China Africa Relations 2013, highlights the development of China-Africa relations including changes and achievements of the Centre during 2014. This annual report is a palette of key events and developments in China-Africa relations in 2013 and the CCS activities on and around these developments.

The year 2014 was a very special year for the Centre for Chinese Studies as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. In the decade since the center’s founding, the importance of China, on a global scale, has grown significantly. Furthermore China’s growing engagement on the African continent has been phenomenal. When we consider that China is now Africa’s dominant trading partner, coupled with the fact that there is dearth of higher education institutions focusing on China within Africa, the strategic value of the CCS comes into clearer focus. While with its establishment in 2004, the CCS may have seemed like an exotic anomaly on the South African academic landscape, in 2014, it has become an indispensable resource for research, policy and general public interest as more and more people grasp the global importance of China. In the past decade, we have witnessed a sea-change, with a growing number of academic institutions within South Africa and beyond adding China to their research agenda. Stellenbosch University should be commended for having the foresight to establish such a center as well as the commitment required to keep the center running for the past decade.

Download CCS Annual Report: China Africa Relations 2014:

[CCS Annual Report 2014 – High Definition – High Resolution Images]

China-Egypt trade and investment ties – seeking a better balance

CCS_PB_China_Egypt_Trade_Ties_Emma_Final_2015Policy Briefing No. 2 – June 2015

This policy brief examines Chinese investments in Egypt and the bi-lateral trading relationship between the two countries in order to better understand the extent of economic engagement. Since 2013, a spur in high-level diplomatic exchanges led to the signing of numerous agreements, including a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreement. Promises of Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into large-scale transport and energy infrastructure projects have been cited. With the trade balance heavily tipped in favour of China, this policy brief identifies ways for Egypt to more broadly benefit from the relationship. [Continue reading]

CCS in the Media

“Laundromat withdraws offensive ad” – Business Day Live

Business Day2 June 2015

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa has ordered Madame Zingara to withdraw an offending advert that made fun of the way Chinese people are perceived to speak English. Dr Paul Tembe, Research Fellow at the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University said that, “[with] the way race is framed in SA — our perception of the other — Chinese [people] still don’t feature as an important entity.” He howevr added that, “attitudes towards Chinese people are changing. South Africans had a negative notion of Chinese people, but they are now viewed more positively as job creators.” [Read article here]