Commentaries are written by Research Analysts at the Centre and focus on current and topical discussions or media events with regard to China or China/Africa relations. Occasionally, the CCS accepts commentaries from non-CCS affiliated writers with expertise in specific fields. Their views do not necessarily reflect those of the CCS. Commentaries can be used freely by the media or other members of the interested public if duly referenced to the author(s) and the CCS

China’s Hydraulic Fracturing Activities: Implications and Lessons for Africa

14 July 2017

Under the Chinese 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020), China is keen to promote shale gas and oil usage to 10 per cent of China’s annual energy usage, a significant supply shock for many oil and gas exporting countries. Hydraulic Fracturing involves using high-pressured water mixtures to fracture gas or petroleum-bearing rocks to release oil and gas to the surface for extraction. Utilising such technology in developing countries is not economically one-dimensional. Local adoption of fracking technologies, whilst difficult, afford developing countries opportunities in transiting to cleaner forms of energy, as well as stimulating infrastructure investment. What is the projected impact of Chinese fracking on African oil and gas exporters, and what implications does this have for African hydraulic fracturing ventures? [Continue reading]

By Yi Ren Thng
Research Affiliate
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

The African Link in China’s OBOR Initiative

 download15 May 2017

The “One Belt, One Road Initiative” (OBOR), also known as the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), has become synonymous with China’s foreign policy in recent years. However, not much attention has been given to how Africa is positioned within OBOR’s potential sphere of influence and what it might mean for Sino-African relations. This dearth of attention is likely due to OBOR still being in its formative stages; it was only officially presented by the Chinese government in March 2015. Although OBOR is portrayed as an opportunity to strengthen Sino-African relations and provide economic development opportunities for the continent, evidence suggests that only African countries of strategic value will be prioritised and benefit the most from the initiative. [Continue reading]

                                                    

   By Mandira Bagwandeen   
Independent Researcher  

Chinese Shadow Banking and Regulatory Frameworks: Lessons for Africa

Picture02 May 2017

Chinese shadow banking – activities or entities other than formal banking institutions that perform financial intermediation – has proliferated at 34 per cent year-on-year growth rates since 2010. Some Chinese financial policies, such as 75 per cent bank loan to deposits ratio and interest rate ceilings, unintentionally encourage yield-hungry investors with cash surpluses towards shadow banking so as to obtain more investment value. The recent responses of Chinese regulators, such as the China Banking Regulatory Commission, are instructive for African financial regulators regarding the design of shadow banking regulations that facilitate economic activity and promote financial inclusion, while preventing systemic financial defaults. [Continue reading]

By Yi Ren Thng
Research Affiliate
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

A word from the director

20 February 2017

Regular users of the CCS website may have noticed that updates of content, such as commentaries and our weekly briefing, have been put on hold. In recent years, the Centre (and South African higher education as a whole) has come under significant financial strain, forcing us to reduce staff to the point where we are at present unable to maintain previous levels of output. This has been exacerbated by shifting our meagre resources increasingly into teaching, curriculum development and peer-reviewed research outputs. [Continue reading]

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By Dr Ross Anthony
Director
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: China-Africa co-operation

15 December 2016

The transformation from steam and water mechanised production to electric-powered production to automated production and leading to the present digital revolution marks the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR). In the 21st century, the digital revolution has spurred on technological innovations in electronics and information, firmly establishing knowledge economies as the foundation of economically-advanced countries. Yet, many developing countries still lag behind in reorienting the development of their economies towards knowledge and technology generation on a global scale. The role of co-operation in knowledge-based industries between China and Africa is making progress in helping developing countries realise the rewards of the FIR. Technology usage and investment in research and development in the information communication technology (ICT) sectors of emerging and developing countries is on the rise. In light of these trends, this commentary asks: how is China-Africa co-operation in the ICT sector navigating the FIR? [Continue reading]

By Tichafa ChidzongaTich
Research Assistant 
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University