Research Reports present the results of research undertaken by the Centre for Chinese Studies either as a result of contract agreements or as collaboration with partner institutions.

Phandulwazi nge China research reports l 2016

1Report: Chinese Presence in Real Estate in South Africa and Mauritius

by Dr Honita Cowaloosur

­­­China has recently taken the global community by surprise with a surging interest in overseas real estate investment. While United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), Canada and Australia are the usual prized destination of these investments, China’s general economic activities give enough reasons to believe that Africa will soon be emerging as one of the new real estate investment destinations. Preliminary statistics from research centres, and media and public discourses highlight South Africa and Mauritius as two of the most popular destinations of Chinese real estate investment. This paper investigates the substantiality of these hypotheses and assesses the impact Chinese real estate activities have on the socio-economic environment of the respective two countries. It also provides policy propositions that would ease these prospective challenges to the two societies. [Download full report]

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.

Research Report: South Africa’s changing foreign policy in a multi-polar world The influence of China and other emerging powers

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by Ross Anthony, Paul Tembe and Olivia Gull

In recent years, critics of the South African government have accused it of increasingly abandoning its commitments to human rights and democracy in its international engagements. In addition to this being viewed as a turn toward an ‘African agenda’, the growing geopolitical influence of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) grouping has also been attributed to this perceived shift. As South Africa’s largest trading partner, China in particular has been singled out as exerting influence on relations with other countries. This mini-report discusses certain evidence related to this shift, including South Africa’s engagement with issues of human rights as well as its relationship with China. South Africa’s changing behaviour needs to be grasped within the context of broader geopolitical shifts and how a shared experience of colonialism unifies these new partners.

[Download full report]

Republished with the permission of the Austrian Embassy in South Africa.

Phandulwazi nge China research reports l 2014

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. [Currently unavailable]

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.

Research Report: South African relations with China and Taiwan Economic realism and the “One-China” doctrine

Since 2009, Research Report_FEB 2014_FormattingChina is South Africa’s largest bilateral trade partner with political relations between Beijing and Pretoria deepening in recent years. The Chinese government position claims it is a ‘win-win’ situation, but is South Africa maximizing its benefits in the relationship? The research report situated the current relationship within the broader context of South Africa’s foreign and economic policies toward China (the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong) as well as identifying challenges and opportunities marking the engagement. The launch of the report in Cape Town (21 February) invited debate and reflection on the current and future state of South Africa-China relations.

This project was financially supported by the South African Foreign Policy Initiative (SAFPI) of the Open Society Foundation (OSF) for South Africa.

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[Download full report]

[Download Policy Briefing]

Report: Chinese Investors – Saving the Zambian Textile and Clothing Industry?

By Ina Eirin Eliassen

October 2012

In the context of reduced aid from traditional donors and the changing modalities of aid, FDI from non-traditional development partners as China has become an important driver for development agenda’s in African countries. As FDI does not automatically lead to economic growth and poverty reduction, and since there is no single “Chinese model” for economic cooperation, it is up to African leaders to ensure institutions and policies to reap the benefit of FDI. This paper sets out to further our understanding of how Chinese investments in the Zambian textile and clothing industry impacts economic development, as a sector important for employment creation and ultimately poverty alleviation. Overall, this paper demonstrates the challenges to industrialise in the context of a liberal market and the globalised international economy. Despite Chinese engagements in manufacturing, Zambia remains an exporter of unprocessed natural resources and loses out in terms of economic development from TC manufacturing activities.

[Download CCS Research Report “Chinese Investments: Saving the Zambian Textile and Clothing Industry?” here]