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

Chinese Shadow Banking and Regulatory Frameworks: Lessons for Africa


02 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


Referencing China and East Asia in Southern African Visual Culture_ 29-30 April

You are invited to a two-day conference on cultural responses to the developing relationship between the African continent and the People’s Republic of China.

PRESENTED BY: Michael MacGarry, Juliette Leeb-du Toit, Jochen Becker and Ross Anthony. [Click here for information]


CCS in the Media

Is China the new lodestar for Africa’s students?

Picture111 April 2017

Within the global context, 20th century higher education has been dominated by institutions of the Global North. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent spread of market economies to the Global South, a growing band of elites hankered to attend fabled institutions such as Oxford, Harvard, the Sorbonne or at least to secure themselves a tertiary education in the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the like. As anyone who has worked in higher education, either in the Euro-American sphere or beyond, knows, the aforementioned countries function as brands, in and of themselves. For example, when I worked as a lecturer in Taiwan, hardly anyone in the faculty had a PhD from Taiwan; they mostly attended US institutions, with the remainder from the United Kingdom and France. If you had a PhD from Taiwan, it seemed as if you didn’t stand much of a chance.

While the African context, broadly speaking, is not as extreme a case as Taiwan, these centres have long functioned as the gravity points of African scholarly pilgrimage – for the lucky few, in practice; for most, in the imagination. But this is changing. [Continue reading]