CCS FOCAC Policy Briefing (RSA) | The temptations and promotion of “China Dream”: calling for Africa’s home-grown rhetoric

CCS_PB_SA_FOCAC_PT_2015Policy Briefing No. 3 – August 2015

Scholars have raised concerns that political rhetoric manifest in China-Africa relations tend to replicate China’s domestic ideals on the African continent. The exercise is witnessed in the coupling of the “Chinese Dream” and the “African Dream” in the rhetoric of China-Africa relations. In essence, the slogan “African Dream” is framed within the historical trajectory of “Chinese Dream” which articulates China’s reform policy implementation goals for the 21st century. The “Chinese Dream” is the first Chinese political slogan which has been witnessed to directly seek spaces and manifest beyond China’s domestic borders. Such manifestation deviates from China’s past political norms, that of limiting political propaganda to domestic consumption. One of the spaces used beyond China’s borders to promote the Chinese Dream has been the media; this includes African media outlets. Media groups such as CCTV international and Xinhua have African headquarters where they have partnered and co-operate with a variety of local media agencies. South Africa is no exception. The People’s Daily Online established a subsidiary company in South Africa and has linkages to the New Age newspaper, a state newspaper in South Africa. In addition, African academics, journalists and students have since 2013 been invited to China to participate in the “Chinese Dream” promotional events. It is within this context that the notion “Chinese Dream” has found fertile ground to manifest and even replicate itself on the African continent in the form of the “African Dream”. This policy brief discusses the domestic context of the Chinese Dream and analyses its extension into Africa in the form of the “African Dream”. It concludes with recommendations on the need to establish an African home-grown rhetoric that will help Africa maximise gains in the spaces provided by China’s paradigm shift and offer lessons that will better prepare China for its engagement in Africa.

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The China Monitor | FOCAC VI – African initiatives toward a sustainable Chinese relationship

CCS_China_Monitor_FOCAC_July 201527 July 2015

Prior to the upcoming 6th Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), to be held in South Africa in 2015, it is crucial that scholars and other stakeholders review previous FOCAC commitments so as to enhance and deepen understanding on the African side and maximise benefits in the upcoming engagement. FOCAC 2015 provides an opportunity to assess China’s presence on the continent and map out its future direction, but doing so vis-à-vis the maximising of African benefits and opportunities. The special edition of the China Monitor seeks to raise awareness and provide balanced perspectives towards FOCAC and China-Africa relations more generally through debate and information exchange. A host of international scholars, specialising in a number of fields, have been invited to contribute their reflections on various aspects feeding directly into the FOCAC policy process. It is the intention that collaborative work of this nature will help contribute toward coherent, credible policy options for African decision-makers, in the interests of a sustainable relationship between China and Africa.

In this special edition:

FOCAC: The evolving China-Africa security relationship
By David Shinn

Shaping China-Africa co-operation on Post-2015 Agenda
By Zhang Chun

FOCAC VI: The Chinese Dream meets African realities?
By Ian Taylor

Placing FOCAC in its South-South co-operation narrative
By Sven Grimm

FOCAC VI: African initiatives toward a sustainable Chinese relationship
By Liu Haifang

Policy meets practice: Chinese environmental protection in Africa in the wake of FOCAC VI
By May Tan-Mullins

Regimes of truth, localisation of Chinese Enterprises, and African agency
By Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong

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Conference | “FOCAC: Creating a platform for Africa’s sustainable development”

Date: The conference was held from 26 August – 27 August 2015

Venue: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Cape Town, South Africa

Along with the evolution of China-Africa relations, the implications and subsequent responsibility of China has become greater than before. The pattern of Chinese engagement has become diversified and various actors have become involved; therefore a comprehensive approach is needed. This conference aimed to assess the role of FOCAC and to contribute to the preparation for the upcoming FOCAC VI meeting in South Africa by creating more in-depth knowledge. The conference served as a high level platform for discussion, fostering understanding among stakeholders and developing shared visions.

[Download programme here]

The conference was co-hosted with the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies