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

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

China in Namibia: an appraisal of the construction industry

8 February 2016   

Over the last decade, China has become one of Africa’s most important partners for trade and economic co-operation. Engagement between China and Namibia started about three decades ago. Recently, significant developments have taken place in the areas of mining and infrastructure, including the establishment of the Husab Uranium Mine. The N$ 20 billion* mine, of which China’s Taurus Minerals Limited (owned by China General Nuclear Power Company) holds a majority 90 per cent stake (the state-owned Epangelo Mining Company has 10 per cent), is the biggest investment in Namibia since independence (1990). While Namibia’s vast uranium deposit at Husab will help China’s nuclear industry, the immediate return value is 6,000 temporary jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs. Furthermore, of the 34 registered Chinese companies operating in Namibia, 3,200 job opportunities have been created for Namibians. Nevertheless, Chinese state-owned and private construction companies have been making strategic inroads in the local construction sector. These trends have sparked an outcry from the local business community as well as employees of such Chinese firms who complain about unfair competition and poor working conditions, respectively. [Continue Reading]

By Rui Tyitende
Research Affiliate
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University