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

The Internationalisation of Renminbi in an African Context

chinas-renminbi19 September 2016

Beyond the usual motifs of China-Africa co-operation in infrastructural development and extractive industries, the forthcoming inclusion of the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) into the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Drawing Rights Basket on 1st October 2016 potentially harkens new types of financial co-operation between China and Africa. Including the RMB into the global basket of reserve currencies is a natural corollary to China’s expanding scale of trade and investment flows globally, and Africa is a region with rising uptake of the RMB given the depth of China-Africa mutual interests. However, these new modes of financial co-operation also depend on China’s own complicated relationship between RMB internationalisation, capital account liberalisation and exchange rates regimes. Resultantly, these complications can affect the speed of RMB uptake in Africa, such as the non-granting of Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) status, while exerting spillovers effects to China-Africa outbound Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). [Continue reading]

By Yi Ren Thng
Visiting Scholar
Centre for Chinese Studies
Stellenbosch University


Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarship opportunity for Korean Studies in 2017


The Academy of Korean Studies supports postgraduate students in the writing stages if a Master’s thesis on issues relating to Korea.  The fund is available to candidates for the 2017 academic year.

The submission deadline for applications is 31 October 2016 for funding in 2017.

Scholarship Amount

The scholarship provides up to ZAR 84’000.  Eligible candidates will receive additional support to field research in Korea.


• Candidates must be at least in the final year of their Honour’s degrees when they apply for the Scholarship.
• They must already have been admitted to their studies at Stellenbosch University (Humanities & Social Sciences).
• Their thesis topic must be aligned to Korea or the Korea-Africa relationship.

How to Apply

The following (in English) must be submitted with the application:

• Cover letter (max. 1 page)
• CV (max. 1 page / including name and contact information of one reference)
• Research Proposal (max. 2 pages)
• Academic transcripts (BA and Honours degrees)


Centre for Chinese Studies
Dr Yejoo Kim (

Recent Publications

Economic repercussions of the Look East Policy in Zimbabwe

ccs_pb_china_zimbabwe_look-east-policy_2016Policy Brief no. 3 – September 2016

In 2003, Zimbabwe formally announced the Look East Policy (LEP) in the face of economic sanctions by the West. This, coupled with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) of 2000, has strengthened trade and bilateral investments between Zimbabwe and China. China is increasingly involved in Zimbabwe’s agriculture, mining, construction, and tourism industries. There is also an influx of Chinese entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe’s retail industry. The repercussions of the LEP have been mixed. In this policy brief, we critically engage with three sectors: agriculture, mining, and the informal sector; in order to provide an overview of the effects that LEP has had on Zimbabwe focusing on the period 2010-2016. We also propound some recommendations for more positive outcomes in the future. [Continue reading]


CCS in the Media

Why is China buying up the global supply of donkeys?

29 September 2016cnn-logo-white

Gelatin produced from donkey hide is a key ingredient of one of China’s favorite traditional remedies, known as ejiao, which is used to treat a range of ailments from colds to insomnia.  But as the rising power shifts towards advanced industry and away from traditional agriculture, donkeys are in decline. State statistics show the population has fallen from 11 million to six million over the last 20 years. China is now increasingly looking to Africa to boost its stocks, and imports donkeys from countries across the continent. But flourishing trade has hit several roadblocks. [Continue reading]