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21. The China-Africa 'narrative'

The China-Africa 'narrative'

Is China good or bad for Africa? Is it benevolent or neo-imperial? Well, it all depends on who you ask and what 'narrative' they subscribe to. One of the world's leading Sino-African scholars, Solange Chatelard, joins us to discuss the different, often conflicting, narratives used to describe China's engagement in Africa.

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22. Why China's development model is gaining popularity in Africa

Why China's development model is gaining popularity in Africa

Phd candidate Eljse Fourie is the special guest this week to discuss her research on how China's economic development model is gaining popularity in parts of Africa | Anti-Chinese, anti-immigrant journalism in South Africa | The increasingly cozy relationship between Chinese and African elites.

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23. 2018 China-Africa Year in Review

2018 China-Africa Year in Review

In this special episode of the China in Africa Podcast, Eric & Cobus look back on the most important stories of 2018. Not surprisingly, debt dominated the agenda as key stakeholders on both sides began to show signs of concern that China is lending too much and Africa is borrowing way more than it can reasonably handle. Join the discussion. What do you think were the top China-Africa stories of 2018?  Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque  Email: [email protected]   And if you would like to join our weekly email newsletter mailing list for a carefully curated selection of the week's top China-Africa news. Sign up here:

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24. Amid economic turbulence, China-Africa ties face new, uncertain future

Amid economic turbulence, China-Africa ties face new, uncertain future

Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden discuss the impact in Africa of China's faltering economy and how Chinese officials are prompting a new, somewhat counter-intuitive message that the PRC's economic slowdown may actually be a good thing for Africa. Share your thoughts on today's show and follow the very latest China-Africa news at Stay on the top of the week's most important China-Africa news with the China Africa Project's weekly email newsletter. Sign up here: Follow us on Twitter: Eric: @eolander Cobus: @stadenesque This podcast is a production of the China Africa Project:

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25. Can the U.S. Under Donald Trump Compete with the Chinese in Africa?

Can the U.S. Under Donald Trump Compete with the Chinese in Africa?

In this edition of the China in Africa podcast, Washington, D.C.-based Africa scholar and investment advisor Aubrey Hruby joins Eric & Cobus to discuss how she thinks American business can compete in Africa despite visible challenges from both China and a U.S. foreign policy that is seemingly adrift. Join the discuss. Do you share Hruby's outlook that despite a number of current challenges, the United States remains relevant in Africa while China continues to both deepen and broaden its engagement on the continent? Let us know what you think? Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @AubreyHruby

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26. China in Africa Podcast: Strategic Competition between India & China

China in Africa Podcast: Strategic Competition between India & China

In this edition of the China in Africa podcast, host Eric Olander discusses the increased strategic competition between India and China on the continent with Edmund Balina, the founder of African risk consultancy firm Stratis Incite.

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27. Eric Olander: What is China Doing in Africa?

Eric Olander: What is China Doing in Africa?

What is China doing in Africa? Is it to establish a beachhead for access to natural resources and commodities? Is it a new frontier for China investment, technology and services? Does China see Africa as the last among market greenfield opportunities, where telecom networks, roads, ports, power plants and payment systems are all in the earliest stages of development? Some observers question China’s means of doing business in Africa. Specifically, the way Chinese companies extract government concessions or do closed-door deals with the African elite. It feels shady to some, and perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn’t. The lingering fear is that China wont’s so much enrich Africa as it will exploit it. There’s certainly no scarcity of controversy and bad press swirling around the topic. In this episode, we get past the hype and hullabaloo by speaking to Eric Olander, founder, host and mastermind behind the China Africa Project. As many of our listeners will already know, Eric is also the host of the China in Africa Podcast which has a listenership that numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Each week Eric and his co-host— South African-based Cobus van Staden—showcase experts with deep knowledge of the trends, developments, investments and controversies associated with China in Africa. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Eric has established himself as one of the most rigorously informed and brilliantly articulate voices on the subject. I sat down with him on my last trip to Shanghai, and from the executive lounge atop the JW Marriott, and I asked him what he made of the China/Africa connection. Eric’s brilliant and brilliantly articulate—and can be controversial. Thanks for listening. source:

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28. Terrorism forces its way onto the China-Africa agenda

Terrorism forces its way onto the China-Africa agenda

Until just a few weeks, security had not been expected to be a major topic at the December Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Johannesburg. In the span of just a few short weeks, terrorism and security issues will likely move close to the top of the agenda when Chinese president Xi Jinping meets with 50+ African counterparts. China's vulnerability to terrorism was brazenly exposed when ISIS killed Chinese national Fan Jinghui. That killing sparked an immediate backlash on Chinese social media with calls for Beijing to strike back against the terrorist group. Predictably, it didn't take long for those online discussions to be quashed by the government. Then, just a few days later, three more Chinese were killed by terrorists. This time at the hands of al-Qaeda affiliates in the Malian capital of Bamako. The attackers stormed the Renaissance Blu Hotel where the three executives from the state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation were shot. These two events are just the latest attacks on Chinese nationals abroad, particularly in MENA and sub-Saharan Africa. Within the past couple of years, Chinese citizens have been taken captive by Boko Haram in Cameroon, kidnapped in Egypt and taken hostage in Sudan among other places. In Angola, the situation is so dire that a senior embassy official in Luanda made a rare public appeal to the government to do something or else future Chinese investment in the country could be at stake. With each of these attacks, the perception at home is that China may now be a great power but one that can't seem to protect its people abroad. This presents a real for the government's legitimacy because, really, Chinese officials don't have a lot of options available to counter the rising threat of terrorism against its people and interests abroad. Unlike the United States, France and Britain who have all made unilateral military deployments into other countries without UN authorization, the Chinese are bound by their own non-interference doctrine to avoid such interventions. Secondly, even if China did want to retaliate or take some other form of military action to combat violence against its interests, it's not immediately clear that it has the capability to do so. Although rapidly modernizing, China's ability to project force, especially using special operations forces far away from home, is questionable at best. The Chinese clearly recognize the problem. The question is can they do anything about it? This week, Eric & Cobus discuss the new security realities confronting China's engagement in Africa and MENA and explore what options, if any, policy makers have to confront the mounting threat against their people and interests. Correction: In the podcast, Eric incorrectly said that the Chinese ambassador to Luanda had issued the warning to the Angolan government about the high-frequency of kidnappings of Chinese nationals. It was actually the embassy's first secretary, Zhao Haihan, who made the remarks during an interview with Bloomberg.

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29. China in Africa Podcast: China's old friend in Africa edition

China in Africa Podcast: China's old friend in Africa edition

Episode 2 of the China in Africa podcast: we begin in Ethiopia where the Chinese recently closed a 100 million dollars water supply loan while. Cobus and Eric discuss how this type of project differs from the engagement offered by the United States in the country. Then, we delve into the complexities of China's relations with Zimbabwe and why it alone chooses to stand by Robert Mugabe. Finally, in honor of the November 28 elections in the DRC, we conclude with a discussion on China's increasingly important ties to the DR Congo.

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30. China/Africa vs. China/South America

China/Africa vs. China/South America

China's engagement in Africa is often seen by many observers in a vacuum without a broader understanding of how the relationship compares to Beijing's strategy in other regions of the world. South America, in particular, provides an interesting contrast for how China's engagement is both similar to what it's doing in Africa but also highlights a number of fascinating distinctions. Dr. Matt Ferchen is a leading expert on Chinese-South American relations. Dr. Ferchen is an Associate Professor of international relations at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing and he is also a Resident Scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center where he runs the China and the Developing World program. Dr. Ferchen joins Eric & Cobus for the latest installment in our ongoing series of China and the world discussions to compare China's engagement in Africa with what it's doing in Latin and South America. If you would like to join the discussion, tell us what you think by heading over to the China Africa Project Facebook page at or hit us up on Twitter: Eric: @eolanderCobus: @stadenesqueMatt Ferchen: @mattferchen

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31. China-Africa: is the honeymoon over?

China-Africa: is the honeymoon over?

Author & scholar ambassador David Shinn is our special guest this week to discuss US and Chinese competition in Africa | Zimbabwe's Deputy Prime Minister has a 'tough love' message for China and a 'wake up' call for Africans | Is the China-Africa relationship now headed for a collision?

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32. Everything you ever wanted to know about the Chinese in Africa... but were too afraid to ask

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Chinese in Africa... but were too afraid to ask

The Chinese presence in Africa has been so sudden and so all-encompassing that it's left a lot of people confused. Chinese farmers now compete for space and customers in Lusaka's open-air markets, Chinese textiles are undercutting Nigerian manufacturers, tens of thousands of Africans now work for Chinese companies and hundreds of thousands, even millions of Chinese now call Africa home. This has all happened in just the past decade, leaving people little time to adjust and understand the cultural, political and economic changes that have been set in motion by the Chinese. So it's understandable that people have questions, and not always polite, politically correct questions about one another: Why are Chinese so racist towards black people? Why do Chinese bosses think African workers are lazy? Why do the Chinese import workers when there are so many unemployed people already here? Over the past six years a growing number of people have directed those sensitive question towards us at The China Africa Project where every week we receive a growing amount of DMs, PMs and emails from curious listeners and social media followers. Since many of these questions deal with incendiary issues of race, stereotypes and caricatures, Cobus & Eric would discretely provide one-to-one replies. However it became apparent that these are in fact the key issues that are on everyone's minds and that it's critical that they get seen by a wider audience. Beginning May 2016, The China Africa Project launched a new site "Africa-China Q&A" that tackles head-on the hardest, most sensitive issues in the China-Africa relationship. Every week, a new Q&A column will be posted and distributed to newspaper sites and popular portals in the United States, Africa and soon in China as well (translated into Chinese). If you have a question or comment and would like to join the discussion, just send us an email at [email protected], message us on Facebook at or DM us on Twitter: @eolander | @standenesque.

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33. New short film humanizes the China-Africa relationship

New short film humanizes the China-Africa relationship

When independent filmmaker Carl Houston Mc Millan was growing up in the tiny southern African country of Lesotho he saw firsthand the effects of China's surging engagement in Africa. Even in this remote country, embedded within South Africa, far away from the major hubs of Chinese immigration in Johannesburg and Nairobi he could feel his community was undergoing a profound change. Unlike larger countries where the Chinese are building massive infrastructure projects and attracting thousands of PRC workers and expatriates, in Lesotho the Chinese are largely economic migrants in search of a foothold to open a small business where many work tirelessly to earn enough extra money to send back to their families in China. These migrants are often poor, uneducated and totally unfamiliar with the local language, Sesotho. These new foreigners, Carl explained, were not warmly welcome in Lesotho where they encountered widespread prejudice. Sure, the new 'China shops' offered lower prices and were conveniently open seven days a week, but they also put enormous strain on local competitors who were often unaccustomed to facing this new competitive pressure. Then there were the constant language and cultural barriers that sparked countless micro-tensions between the Chinese and locals. While this phenomenon of new immigrants struggling to adapt to their adopted country is typical in every country, it was very new and unfamiliar in Lesotho. Within this struggle for acceptance and assimilation between Chinese and Lesotho, Carl saw the opportunity to tell a bigger story about human dimension of the China-Africa relationship that is largely overlooked in the mainstream press and academic scholarship. His new short-film, Laisuotuo (the romanization of the word Lesotho in Chinese) tells the story of two migrants, an African doctor living in China and a Chinese shop owner in Lesotho, who both struggle to overcome painful stereotypes and racial profiling. The film was shot on location in both China and Lesotho all on a miniscule, self-funded budget by Carl and his friends. This beautifully shot short-film featured a cast of amateur actors who shared Carl's passion to tell a different, more human side of the China-Africa story. Carl joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the challenges he had to overcome to make this film and what he hopes the audience will take away from the film's core message. Join the discussion. What did you think of the movie? Are you more or less sympathetic to the plight of Chinese and African immigrants who both struggle to adapt to new languages, cultures and customs? Facebook: Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque

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34. The US & China are NOT competitors in Africa

The US & China are NOT competitors in Africa

The Western media often portrays US & China as zero-sum game competitors in Africa, where if one wins the other loses by default. A new report from the Rand Corporation challenges that perception by detailing how the US & China are often complementary to one another in Africa and ultimately benefit African states themselves through enhanced competition. This week, Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris from the Rand Corporation join us from Washington D.C. to discuss.

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35. View From Beijing: A Conversation with Jeremy Goldkorn

View From Beijing: A Conversation with Jeremy Goldkorn

South African-native and Jeremy Goldkorn is an outspoken commentator, blogger and podcaster. Jeremy is the founder of the media research blog and the co-host of the popular Sinica podcast with Kaiser Kuo. He is among the most insightful, provocative commentators on contemporary China and In this episode of the China in Africa podcast, Jeremy joins Eric and Cobus for a free-wheeling discussion on what the Sino-African relationship looks like from Beijing.

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36. China's expanding military presence in Africa

China's expanding military presence in Africa

China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People's Liberation Army and Navy now have an estimated 2,700 soldiers, sailors, engineers and medical staff stationed across the continent. The number of troops deployed in Africa is extremely small, even insignificant, in the broader context of the massive Chinese military. However, a discernible trend is becoming increasingly apparent as Beijing expands the range of operations that its forces are engaged in Africa to include post-conflict stabilization (Mali), medical humanitarian missions (Liberia), on-going conflict stabilization (South Sudan) and anti-piracy operations (Somalia) among others. In all, Chinese military personnel are now involved in 7 out of 9 UN peacekeeping operations on the continent, the most of any permanent Security Council member. Although it will be a long time, if ever, that China's small military footprint will rival those of the United States and European countries in Africa, the steadily rising number of PLA/PLAN forces on the continent may indeed have profound consequences. Africa appears to be the theater of operations that is testing two bedrock principles of Chinese foreign policy: 1) The long-held non-interference doctrine and 2)no overseas military bases. Former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shinn, who is also a prominent Sino-African scholar at the George Washington University's Eliott School of International Affairs in Washington, D.C., is to publish a new research paper that explores what's motivating the Chinese military push in Africa and how it's being received by both Africans and the international community at large. Ambassador Shinn joins Eric & Cobus to discuss the new geopolitics of Chinese force projection in Africa.

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37. China-Africa trade may be booming, but big problems loom

China-Africa trade may be booming, but big problems loom

Trade between China and Africa will break another new record this year as it's expected to top $200 billion. As trade continues to grow, officials from both regions frequently point to these figures as evidence of steadily improving ties. However, Beijing-based attorney Kai Xue warns that while the trade stats are indeed impressive, they also mask emerging difficulties in the Sino-African relationship.

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38. The 2015 China-Africa Roundtable at Wits University

The 2015 China-Africa Roundtable at Wits University

Leading scholars, journalists and activists convened in Johannesburg last week for the annual Wits China-Africa Reporting Project's annual roundtable discussion. This year's conference focused on reporting challenges related to the upcoming Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit that will be held in Johannesburg in December. The FOCAC meetings occur every three years, typically alternating venues in both China and Africa. In past FOCAC conferences, the mood has been largely upbeat as China showered African leaders with investment and development cash. Now, amid a dramatic slowdown in the Chinese economy, a a plunge in PRC FDI in Africa and the ongoing slump in global commodity prices, a very different tone is expected at this year's summit of African and Chinese leaders. Barry van Wyk of the China-Africa Reporting Project organized this year's conference on the Wits University campus and he joined Eric & Cobus to discuss whether this year's FOCAC represents at turning point in China's engagement strategy in Africa.

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39. How China & US are "complementary rivals" in Africa

How China & US are

There is a persistent meme within the international media that China's rise in Africa represents a "new scramble" for resources on the continent or a new form of colonialism. Beijing-based China-Africa analyst and attorney Kai Xue says contrary to this view, increased engagement of the Chinese and the US in Africa among other major powers actually offers tremendous benefits for Africans through increased trade and development. He argues the world two largest economies are "complementary rivals" on the continent whose interests don't really overlap with one another.

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40. CAP Interview: China's Influence In Africa

CAP Interview: China's Influence In Africa

Korean radio station TBS eFM interviewed China Africa Project Editor Eric Olander about China's growing influence in Africa. Host Harry Shinn raised the interesting question of whether China is becoming a tributary power in Africa which is fascinating given Korea's past a former Chinese tributary state.

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