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Copyright: Lin Qi

Call For Papers

The China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for its fourth annual conference: "Matters of State: Politics, Governance, and Agency in China-Africa Engagement."
The conference will be held at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington DC from Thursday, April 19 to Friday, April 20, 2018. Proposals are due by January 21, 2018. 

Prospective authors should submit a three-page proposal to by 11:59 pm EST on January 21, 2018.

Read the complete Call for Papers (PDF) »

Photo Credit: Xiaoxiao Jiang Kwete

Photo Credit: Xiaoxiao Jiang Kwete

Policy Brief 21: Chinese medical teams in the DRC: A
comparative case study

This paper by Xiaoxiao Jiang Kwete analyzes China's program of sending a Chinese Medical Team (CMT) to an African country, in this case the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The CMT in the DRC, from HeBei Province, started its 15th deployment in May 2012, for a two-year mission in the Chinese-Congolese Friendship Hospital in Kinshasa. This brief focuses on the challenges the CMT faced in the DRC, compares it to Médecins Sans Frontières's operations in the DRC, and proposes recommendations for improvements in the future. Download Policy Brief (PDF) »

Economic Bulletin 1: Challenges of and opportunities from the commodity price slump

The first edition of the China-Africa Economic Bulletin provides a comprehensive overview of the key channels of China-Africa economic engagement over the last decade, with a focus on shifting economic trends in the past five years. The collapse of global commodity prices beginning in 2014, tied with the domestic slowdown in China, has significant implications for the tenor and nature of China’s economic relationship with African countries going forward. This bulletin provides more information on trends in bilateral trade, Chinese outward direct investment to Africa, Chinese labor and contract values, and Chinese loans to African governments. Download Economic Bulletin (PDF) »

Photo Credit: Jiao Yang

Photo Credit: Jiao Yang

Photo Credit:  Qi Lin

Photo Credit:  Qi Lin

Policy Brief 20: Community engagement in Chinese and American gold mining companies

This paper by Jiao Yang presents the results of field research examining local engagement and impact on local communities by a Chinese company and an American company operating in Ghana. Golden Sunshine Mining Company Ltd., a large-scale Chinese gold mining corporation, is a relatively young company, and is just starting to venture into the world of corporate social responsibility. It relies on local expertise in its engagement with the local community, and so far it has had a limited impact on local labor recruitment. Meanwhile, Newmont Ghana Gold Limited, an American company that has operated in Ghana for over ten years, has developed a robust local governance structure for supporting community development projects. Although locals seem to expect this level of effort from mining companies, Golden Sunshine does not prioritize community development. Download Policy Brief (PDF) »

Working Paper 14: Creating a market for skills transfer

This paper by Irene Yuan Sun and Qi Lin provides an in-depth case study of a set of local workforce development programs established by Chinese corporation AVIC International in Kenya. These programs' interesting characteristics challenge the stereotype that Chinese firms in Africa care little about local development. Although it is difficult to generalize from one example, AVIC’s case has the potential to change our understanding of Chinese companies’ contribution to skills development in Africa, showing at the very least that they can perceive such local investment as being in their self-interest. Chinese and African governments have expressed the desire for Chinese companies to do more in the area of skills transfer: AVIC’s strategy, as one of the earliest and most prominent, may well offer a model for the future. Download Working Paper (PDF) »

Zimbabwe China

China and Zimbabwe: After Mugabe

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What is China’s role in the downfall of Robert Mugabe? As Zimbabwe’s major investor and provider of development finance, China has considerable interests in the country’s stability. Yet it is highly unlikely that there was any official Chinese involvement in Robert Mugabe's resignation and the end of his 37 years in power. Beijing would have little to gain and much to lose from becoming directly involved. Why is this the case? And how is Mugabe's resignation likely to affect China-Zimbabwe relations going forward? 

First, Chinese leaders have a long-term mindset and China’s domestic politics is always foremost in that mindset. Direct involvement in even an informal coup would break very long-standing principles that are part of China’s core foreign policy — and it would signal that “interference in the internal affairs of other countries” is acceptable. Beijing does not want, in any way, to promote this idea. It is far more likely that they sat back and waited for Mugabe’s endgame to be played out by Zimbabweans -- which is what appears to have happened. And then they would move smoothly to befriend the official winner. This is what happened, for example, in Zambia when Michael Sata, an outspoken critic of Chinese investment, was elected as president in 2011.

Read the complete Blog post »