Bridges over Troubled Water: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and African Standards

Issue 62 – May 2011

Issue 62 of the China Monitor looks at Chinese infrastructure projects in African countries and concerns that exist particularly over Chinese respect for both environmental and labour standards.

In the Policy Watch, Oliver Hensengerth and Waltina Scheumann look at the Bui dam in Ghana, a source of renewable energy that nevertheless comes with environmental and social challenges.

For the Commentary piece, Lisa Sodalo explores labour standards in Sino-Cameroonian construction. Both pieces are building on empirical, on-the-spot research and provide a balanced picture about persistent challenges in Chinese infrastructure projects.

The China Briefing subsequently covers some of the most prominent China-Africa stories from the last month, drawn from our Weekly Briefings

You can read/download Issue 62 of the China Monitor here.

African and Chinese traders in Southern China and South Africa

Issue 61 – April 2011

The April issue of the China Monitor focuses on the lives and societies of the Chinese and African small- to medium business owners and traders that have set up shop in both Africa and China, on the back of the ever-swelling wave of Sino-African interaction. While much focus rests on the ‘macro’ elements of this relationship- billion dollar resource deals, and the grand pageantry of international diplomacy; the analysis cannot be complete without a focus on the ‘micro’ aspects of the relationship also

In the Policy Watch, researcher Yang Yang, a Master of Philosophy student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, focuses on the tens of thousands of African traders that have flooded intp Guangzhou, the centre of China’s “world factory”, near Hong Kong.

For the Commentary piece, PhD candidate Chen Fenlang, from Xiamen University, China, turns our attention to the communities of Chinese traders and businesses growing up around South Africa’s Gauteng province. This piece is drawn from her participation in a joint research project between Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Regional and Urban Innovation and Statistical Exploration (CRUISE), the CCS and Xiamen University, looking at Chinese migrant populations in Johannesburg.

The China Briefing subsequently covers some of the most prominent China-Africa stories from the last month, drawn from our Weekly Briefings

You can read/download Issue 61 of the China Monitor here.

Managing Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Africa

Issue 60 – March 2011

The February issue focuses on the increasing share of global foreign direct investment Africa is accruing, and that particularly due to the Chinese engagement of the continent. This engagement offers valuable opportunities to African states – if it is well handled.

In the Policy Watch, CCS Research Analyst, Sanne van der Lugt and colleagues present a summary of the findings of the recently published CCS report on Chinese foreign direct investment into Southern Africa and particularly to Zambia. The full report is available on the CCS website.

For the Commentary piece, Marco Sanfilippo of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy poses questions regarding China’s Africa engagement; in particular about the aim, the preference areas and the relative relevance of Chinese flows compared to other actors’ financial flows, which are important in policy debates as well as in the academic community. In brief: what is so special about Chinese investments?

The China Briefing subsequently covers some of the most prominent China-Africa stories from the last month, drawn from our Weekly Briefings

You can read/download Issue 60 of the China Monitor here.

Going ‘Glocal’ – Provincial Governance Dynamics in China and South Africa

Issue 59 – February 2011

The February issue focuses on development challenges within China. Parts of the country beyond the glass and steel skyline of Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen look very familiar to observers with an African background. China is a dynamic place, indeed, but development levels are uneven.

In the Policy Watch, Dr. Anja Lahtinen of the University of Helsinki shares some of the insights she gathered doing her doctoral research in China’s far western Qinghai province. These ‘Wild Western’ regions were neglected by policymakers in Beijing for a long time, but now money and policy are being directed towards their modernisation and development. Dr. Lahtinen examines the effects and possibilities in this massive social project.

For the Commentary piece, Matthew McDonald, a research analyst at the CCS draws comparisons between the challenges faced by these far flung provinces of China, and some of the challenges faced by provincial administrators closer to home. The discourse surrounding the development of China’s outer provinces may ring a bell to African policymakers.

The China Briefing subsequently covers some of the most prominent China-Africa stories from the last month, drawn from our Weekly Briefings

Finally, as the Chinese New Years celebrations draw to a close, we share a greeting the Consul General of the PRC, HE Hao Guangfeng offers to our readers.

You can read/download Issue 59 of the China Monitor here.

CCS China Monitor: The Chinese Impact: Africa’s Ambiguous Ally – Positioning the Centre for Chinese Studies in China-Africa Research

Issue 58 – January 2011

The China Monitor returns in 2011 with a new look! The January issue focuses on the recent appointment of new CCS Director, Dr. Sven Grimm, reports on his first public lecture at Stellenbosch University, and introduces him to the readership.

In the Policy Watch, we present a report on the first public lecture delivered by Dr. Sven Grimm, new CCS Director. Dr. Grimm’s speech was entitled ‘The Chinese Impact: Africa’s Ambiguous Ally’ and we present an abstract detailing his main points. The response to his contribution was led by eminent political scientist Dr. Garth Le Pere, from DAJO Associates in Gauteng. Dr. Le Pere’s response is reproduced in full.

For the Commentary piece, Ms Elizabeth Schickerling, Research Assistant at the Centre for Chinese Studies, conducted an interview with Dr. Grimm. Their conversation will enlighten readers as to Dr. Grimm’s origins and experiences, as well as what led him to the CCS. He also discusses the research path the Centre will be following under his Directorship.

The China Briefing subsequently covers some of the most prominent China-Africa stories from the last month, drawn from our Weekly Briefings

You can read/download Issue 58 of the China Monitor here.