Commentary

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

Economic implication of China’s military base in Djibouti

Xi Djibouti19 April 2016

On 20 January 2016, President Ismail Guelleh of Djibouti announced the establishment of a Chinese military outpost in the African enclave. Scheduled to be completed in 2017, the base will act as a command and logistics hub to enable Beijing extend its maritime reach and provides an airfield which will increase its ability to gather intelligence reports in the Middle East, Northern and Eastern African regions. While the establishment of the base has attracted much international media attention, the base is a raft of new Chinese initiatives which offers the promise of economic growth in this small African country. [Continue reading]

By Dr Emmanuel Igbinoba
Research Fellow

Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

 

Sino-Arab, Sino Egyptian relation’s: 60 years on!

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04 April 2016

2016 marks the 60th year of Sino-Arab relations and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Egyptian bi-lateral relations where Egypt was the first Arab and first African country to establish diplomatic relations with China. To begin the year, China issued its first Arab Policy Paper which uses multilateralism by promoting different mechanisms and fora through which Arab states can co-operate with China. This commentary shows that China–Arab relations are beginning a process of institutionalisation built on energy, infrastructure, and trade deals as well as on agreements in the field of culture. Following that, Chinese President Xi Jinping published an article on Sino-Arab and Sino-Egyptian relations in the Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram, ahead of a state visit to the country – home to the Headquarters of the Arab League. This commentary will focus on the contents of the two aforementioned publications, placing Sino-Egyptian relations within the context of China’s Arab co-operation, and the 2016 China-Egypt cultural year within the context of China’s cultural diplomacy. [Continue reading]

Emma ScottCCS_Visiting_Scholar_Emma_2013
CCS Affiliates

Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

 

 

 

Beijing’s policy impact on South Africa’s mining industry

mining24 March 2016

China’s waning economic growth and decision to devalue its currency is having a significant impact on economies and currencies globally, due to China’s significant contribution to worldwide growth. From the rouble to the rupee, from the real to the rand, currencies and economies are all facing serious challenges as commodity prices tumbled on the global market. South Africa’s reliance on mining-related exports to China has, thus, been heavily effected, obliging South Africa to rethink its trade strategies. [Continue Reading]

 

By Dr Emmanuel Igbinoba
Research Fellow

Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

South Africa’s relationship with the International Criminal Court: moving closer to the BRICS?

zuma-bashir-icc07 March 2016

Important debates are taking place in South Africa as well as within the African Union (AU) as a whole about the future of Africa’s participation in the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was set up in 1998 to help end impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. South Africa claims to be considering a withdrawal from the ICC, and its Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) is debating whether or not the country is required to arrest incumbent African presidents who have been indicted by the ICC. Both moves would signal a shift away from the European stance on the ICC, moving South Africa closer towards the position of fellow BRICS members China, Russia and India. [Continue Reading]

 

By Floor KeuleersFloor_photo_portret (1)
Visiting Scholar

Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University

 

 

History and diplomacy in East Asia: settling the comfort women issue

Rob picture22 February 2016

History is a contentious subject in East Asia. Diplomacy between Japan, the Koreas and China is consistently damaged by disagreements over historical accuracy and representation. All of these arise from Japan’s colonial legacy. However, in the final weeks of 2015, Japan and South Korea agreed to settle the so-called “comfort women” issue. Japanese President Abe Shinzo expressed his “profound grief” and “sincere condolences” and the Japanese government will grant reparations to the surviving comfort women in South Korea. However, settling the issue is going to be more difficult than both Seoul and Tokyo would like. [Continue Reading]

CCS_Intern_Robert_4

By Robert Attwell
Research Affiliate
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University