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

Re-negotiating international investment treaties: prospects for investment relations between South Africa and China

14 June 201Mandela WB6

The rise of many emerging states has the potential to shape the international legal system. In both Asia and Africa, the actions of various countries have given rise to the notion of emerging powers undermining the normative implications of international law and, thus, compromising the international legal regime. China and South Africa are two cases in point: the former’s territorial disputes in the South China Sea have seen China reluctant with regard to dispute resolution, while South Africa’s proposed withdrawal of African states from the International Criminal Court and its termination of first generation bilateral investment treaties (BITs) highlight a deviance from the normative order. Both China and South Africa appear generally as firm believers of sovereignty in a traditional sense. Yet, with regard to economic law, China seems to adopt a more liberal approach than South Africa. In the following article, this notion is tested in light of changing approaches to state sovereignty within international economic law. [Continue reading]


By Anna Hankings-EvansCCS visiting scholar_Anna Hanking Evans
Visiting Scholar

Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University



Important notice

Short Course: China-Africa: Strategy and Skills for Engagement

5 – 8 July 2016

The Centre for Chinese Studies will be hosting a 4-day Short Course on China’s engagement on the African continent, covering its motives, methods of operation and the potential for future engagement.

If your work entails engagement with China, or you are a student considering a career path relating to the East Asia region. Then this course is for you.  Register here



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

Trillion dollar deals: The China-Africa partnership in pictures

10 May 2016CNN logo

A recent report by the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town documented increased Chinese investment in real estate in South Africa and Mauritius, worth about $740 million in the island state since 2005 [Continue reading]