China and Africa Resources Part 2: Books

by Julia Tatrai

Top Picks are marked with *


Africans in China

Bodomo, Adams (ed.) (2016) Africans in China: Guangdong and Beyond, New York: Diasporic Africa Press

Lan, Shanshan (2017) Mapping the New African Diaspora in China: Race and the Cultural Politics of Belonging, Washington: Routledge

Pledge, Robert; Pollack, Barbara; Castillo, Roberto & Traub, Daniel (eds.) (2016) Little North Road: Africa in China, Heidelberg: Kehrer Verlag


Bräutigam, Deborah (2009) The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa, New York: Oxford University Press

Chege, Joseph (2015) China’s Aid Policy and Its Impact on Air Pollution in Africa, Lambert Academic Publishing

Cheng, Zhangxi & Taylor, Ian (2017) China’s Aid to Africa: Does Friendship Really Matter?, Washington: Routledge

Lenz, Nicole (2013) Chinas Engagement in Afrika: Eine neue Form der Entwicklungshilfe?, Grin Verlag

Lorenz, Stefan (2013) Chinesische und westliche Entwicklungshilfe in Afrika im Vergleich: Cui bono? (Bachelorareit), Bachelor + Master Publishing

Wehrmann, Benjamin (2011) Africa’s Great Leap Forward? How Chinese Aid and Investment Efforts in Africa Might Reshape the Continent – And Development Aid as a Whole, Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller

BRICS / South-South Cooperation

Broadman, Harry G. (2007) Africa’s Silk Road: China and India’s New Economic Frontier, World Bank Publications

* Carmody, Padraig (2013) The Rise of the BRICS in Africa: The Geopolitics of South-South Relations, London: Zed Books

Cheru, Fantu & Obi, Cyril (2010) The Rise of China and India in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Critical Interventions (Africa Now), London: Zed Books

Verma, Rajneesh (2016) India and China in Africa: A Comparative Perspective of the Oil Industry, Washington: Routledge

China-Africa Relations

Alden, Christopher (2007) China in Africa (African Arguments), London: Zed Books

Alden, Christopher; Large, Daniel & De Oliveira, Ricardo (eds.) (2008) China Returns to Africa. A Superpower and a Continent Embrace, London: Hurst Publishers

Kitissou, Marcel (2007) Africa in China’s Global Strategy (PB), African Renaissance

Van Dijk, Meine Pieter (2010) The New Presence of China in Africa (European Association of Development Institutes Publications), Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press

Raine, Sarah (2009) China’s African Challenges, Abingdon: Routledge

Rotberg, I. Rotberg (ed.) (2008) China into Africa: Trade, Aid and Influence, Washington: Brookings Institutional Press

Shinn, David H. & Eisenman, Joshua (2012) China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, University of Pennsylvania Press

* Strauss, Julia C. (2009) China and Africa: Emerging Patterns in Globalization and Development (The China Quarterly Special Issues, Band 9), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Taylor, Ian (2008) China’s New Role in Africa, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers

Waldron, Arthur N. (ed.) (2009) China in Africa, Washington: The Jamestown Foundation

Xing, Li & Farah, Abdulkadir Osman (eds.) (2013) China-Africa Relations in an Era of Great Transformations, The International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series

Country Cases

Alden, Christopher & Chichava, Sergio (eds.) (2014) China and Mozambique: From Comrades to Capitalists, Johannesburg: Fanele

Amadhila, Nelago (2013) China in Africa: The Effects on Namibia’s Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics, Lambert Academic Publishing

Hogwe, Fortune (2014) The Role Of China In Africa’s Development: The Case Of Zambia And Zimbabwe, Lambert Academic Publishing

Power, Marcus & Alves, Ana Cristina (2012) China and Angola. A Marriage of Convenience?, Cape Town: Pambazuka Press

Economic Perspectives

Abdulai, David N. (2016) Chinese Investment in Africa: How African Countries Can Position Themselves to Benefit from China’s Foray into Africa, Washington: Routledge

Csizmadia, Peter (2016) What Determines Chinese Foreign Direct Investments in Africa? An Institutional Perspective, Lambert Academic Publishing

Lam, Katy N. (2016) Chinese State Owned Enterprises in West Africa: Triple-Embedded Globalization, Washington: Routledge

Michel, Serge; Beuret, Michel & Woods, Paolo (2009) China Safari: On the Trail of China’s Expansion in Africa, Nation Books

Wamboye, Evelyn & Tiruneh, Esubalew Alehegn (2017) Foreign Capital Flows and Economic Development in Africa: The Impact of BRICS versus OECD, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

* Zhao, Suisheng (ed.) (2015) China in Africa: Strategic Motives and Economic Interests, Abingdon: Routledge

EU – China – Africa

Barton, Benjamin (2017, forthcoming) Political Trust and the Politics of Security Engagement: China and the European Union in Africa, Washington: Routledge

Men, Jing & Barton, Benjamin (2011) China and the European Union in Africa: Partners or Competitors?, Abingdon: Routledge

Steiler, Ilona (2009) The European Union and China in Africa: Explaining Conflict and Cooperation with International Relations Theory, Regensburger Studien zur Internationalen Politik, Verlag Dr. Kovac

Media and Education

Wasserman, Herman (ed.) (2014) Reporting China in Africa: Media Discourses on Shifting Geopolitics, Washington: Routledge

* Zhang, Xiaoling; Wasserman, Herman & Mano, Winston (2017, forthcoming) China’s Media and Soft Power in Africa: Promotion and Perceptions, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan


Bright, Rachel K. (2013) Chinese Labour in South Africa, 1902-10: Race, Violence, and Global Spectacle, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Cardenal, Juan Pablo & Araújo, Heriberto (2013) China’s Silent Army: The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who Are Remaking the World in Beijing’s Image, London: Allen Lane

* French, Howard W. (2014) China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa, New York: Vintage Books

Hess, Steve & Aidoo, Richard (2015) Charting the Roots of Anti-Chinese Populism in Africa (The Political Economy of the Asia Pacific), Berlin: Springer

Li, Anshan (2012) A History of Overseas Chinese in Africa to 1911, New York: Diasporic Africa Press

Natural Resources

Bräutigam, Deborah (2015) Will Africa Feed China?, New York: Oxford University Press

* Burgis, Tom (2016) The Looting Machine. Warlords, Tycoons, Smugglers and the Systematic Theft of Africa’s Wealth, New York: HarperCollins

Carmody, Padraig (2011) The New Scramble for Africa, Cambridge: Polity Press

Insaidoo, Kwame A. (2016) China: The New Imperialists and Neo-Colonialists in Africa?, Bloomington: Authorhouse

Moyo, Dambisa (2012) Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World, New York: Basic Books

Patey, Luke Anthony (2014) The New Kings of Crude: China, India and the Global Struggle for Oil in Sudan and South Sudan, London: Hurst Publisher

Power, Marcus; Mohan, Giles & Tan-Mullins, May (2012) China’s Resource Diplomacy in Africa: Powering Development?, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Weimar, Niclas Dominik (2013) Fossil fuels in international energy policy: China’s oil diplomacy in sub-Saharan Africa, Grin Publishing


Folador, Silvia (2016) China and the Darfur crisis: The evolution of China’s foreign policy towards engagement in Africa, Lambert Academic Publishing

Franzese, Patrick W. (2012) China’s Non-Interference Policy in Africa: Can it survive?, Biblioscholar


Chan, Stephen (ed.) (2013) The Morality of China in Africa: The Middle Kingdom and the Dark Continent, London: Zed Books

Harneit-Sievers, Axel; Marks, Stephen & Naidu, Sanusha (eds.) (2010) Chinese and African Perspectives on China in Africa, Cape Town: Pambazuka Press

* Manji, Firoze & Marks, Stephen (eds.) (2007) African Perspectives on China in Africa, Cape Town: Fahamu Books -> watch our interview with Firoze here

Naidu, Sanusha & Ampiah, Kweku (2008) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Africa and China, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal Press

Soft Power

King, Kenneth (2013) China’s Aid and Soft Power in Africa: The Case of Education and Training, Woodbridge: James Curry

Rebol, Max (2011) Pragmatism and Non-Interference: Explaining China’s Soft Power in Africa, Lambert Academic Publishing

UN Peacekeeping Operations

Ampwera, Meshach K. (2011) China’s UN Peacekeeping Experience in Africa: The Case of Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Liberia, Lambert Academic Publishing

Herman, Fanie (2016) China’s African Peacekeeping Decision-Making in the Hu Jintao Era, New Delhi: Vij Books India

Rogers, Philippe D. (2012) China and United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Africa, Bibliogov

China and Africa Resources Part 1: Blogs & Features

by Julia Tatrai


As a follow up to our interview with Firoze Manji a while back, we are happy to publish the first part of our China in Africa resources series featuring relevant blogs and features discussing different aspects of China in Africa. If you want to add anything to this list, shoot us an email.


The China Africa Blog
The blog has not been updated in recent months, but it remains an in-depth source on articles about China in Africa for recent years. Topics include: Sustainable Development, Industrialization, Infrastructure and Migration. The makers have by now founded The ChinaAfricaAdvisory.

The ChinaAfrica Project
Arguably the biggest and most influential project on China in Africa, run by Cobus von Staden and Eric Oleander. The blog features a recommended weekly podcast, an Email newsletter as well as a number of resources, articles and books about China’s engagement with Africa.

China in Africa The Real Story
Run by Deborah Bräutigam, one of the most prolific scholars on China in Africa, the blog features a number of articles and news commented by Bräutigam. The blogs also features a list of her publications and research ideas.

China Africa News
China Africa News features both a weekly newsletter, including but not limited on business as well as a blog commenting on all Chinese-African matters. The commentary is quite funny to read and the list of recourses used for the blog is expansive.

Exporting China’s Development to the World (MqVU)
MqVU is a team of anthropologists based at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) and the Free University (VU, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) who research China’s development projects around the world. Articles are not limited to China in Africa but feature a number of viewpoints not ordinarily read in the media. Not regularly updated any longer.

Interesting blog run by Helmut Reisen on the recalibration of the world economy from the West to the East. Helmut Reisen was the head of research of the OECD Development Centre before founding ShiftingWealth. The blog focuses primarily on implications for policy-makers, investors and the rich and the poor.

A Chinese in Africa
One of the most interesting blogs out there, run by a young Chinese professional in Africa, who is commenting on news on China in Africa with his perspective and on the ground knowledge of the relationship. Features both English and Chinese articles.

David Shinn Blog
The official blog of Amb. David Shinn, former US ambassador to Ehtiopia and Burkino Faso, where he is featuring and commenting on newspaper articles. Not exclusively China-Africa centered.

Africans in China Blog
Blog run by Roberto Castillo, himself based at Hong Kong University, who is looking at the daily life of the African diaspora in Guangzhou and beyond in China. Features discussions of daily life, as well as academic resources and research. Very popular: the discussion on the by now infamously popular racist Chinese ad.

Aiddate is tracking Chinese aid in Africa and is publishing research as well. Data is accessible for a number of different countries, as well as other regions such as Latin America.



Howard W. French, Into Africa: China’s Wild Rush, New York Times
French is looking at new challenges after a decade of engagement of China in Africa, particular from African civil societies.

Zhang Zizhu, Inside the Chinese factory in Ethiopia where Ivanka Trump places her shoe orders, Initium Media. Original story, updated here.
Zhang traces the claim of Trump to bring back shoes to America from the perspective of a Chinese factory in Ethiopia that is, ironically, producing shoes for Ivanka Trump

Jenni Marsh, Afro-Chinese marriages boom in Guangzhou: but will it be ’til death do us part’?, South China Morning Post
A fascinating long read on the trials and tribulations of the mixed-race couples of Guangzhou that are slowly changing Chinese society

Damien Ma, Chinese Workers in Africa who marry Locals face puzzled Reception at Home, The Atlantic
The other side of the coin: Chinese marrying Africans while abroad. Not a long read but a lot of pictures and short stories about the lives of Chinese-African couples

Richard Poplak, The new scramble for Africa: how China became the partner of choice, The Guardian
Poplak traces the beginngings and interlinkages of geopolitics and infrastructure as one of the foundations of China’s engagement in Africa

Jacob Kushner, Leaving China in Pursuit of the African Dream, Vice
Kushner is looking at on the ground lives of Chinese in the DRC and Kenya with four fascinating documentaries about daily lives and construction projects in both countries

Paolo Woods, China Goes to Africa, Time
A short look into Woods celebrated book China Goes to Africa

Liu Hongqiao, South China Tigers Lost in the African Wilderness, Caixin, English here, Chinese original here
A long read on one of the topics generating heated discussions in all parts of the world: China’s involvement in wildlife crime in Africa

Fousseni Saibou, Impact of China-West Africa Healthcare Cooperation, Africa China Reporting Project
Saibou takes an in-depth view on the often surprising impacts of Chinese involvement in healthcare in West Africa

More interesting features can be found at the homepage of the Africa-China Reporting Project of Wits Journalism


Firoze Manji on China – Africa Relations

Firoze Manji gave Mapping China an interview on May 4th on the state of China – Africa Relations. Firoze’s book “African Perspectives on China in Africa” is part of our upcoming top book picks on China in Africa. The interview with Firoze is the kick-off of a new series focusing on different resources on Sino-African relations. It will comprise references to academic literature as well as blogs, video-documentaries and much more. The contributions to this series will be posted over the coming weeks. We would like to thank Firoze for the series a truly interesting start!

Firoze is a Kenyan-born activist and author who is working on social justice in Africa. He not only has extensive knowledge on Chinese-African relations but also on health, social policy, human rights and political sciences.

You can watch the video below or on youtube!

01:10 Why did you become interested in Sino-African relations?

04:20 How is China related to issues of social justice in Africa?

07:15 What was particularly important in editing your books on Sino-African relations?

09:00 What has changed in terms of “African agency” in the relationship with China since your books were published ten years ago?

13:50 How well do African civil society actors understand China? How well do Chinese living in Africa understand Africa?

17:30 Why do we not see much African scholarship on Sino-African relations?

20:15 Where do we have to search to find African voices on the topic?

21:30 Are the Chinese “exporting” an “unfree media model” to Africa?

25:06 In the public discussion of Sino-African relations, “Africa” is often treated as if it was one country, “China” as one monolithic block: What is missed this way?

30:45 Politically, is there such a thing as a “Chinese model” that is being exported to Africa?

34:52 What do you think about the Western claim that China is “exploiting Africa”?

The interview was conducted by Julia Tatrai.

National Museum Beijing

CfP “Maturing Relations between China and Africa: What’s special in the “special relationship”?” Contribution: The Darfur Dilemma

From “non-interference” to a more constructive engagement: China’s role in the attempt to bring peace to Darfur


Madelaine Wiebalck



In the West, it was widely assumed that the major obstacle to ending the atrocities in Darfur was Beijing’s political support of Khartoum. This paper aims to give a more precise account of China’s role in the conflict in Darfur. The study also sets out to analyze the stages of, and reasons behind, China’s changing attitude vis-à-vis Khartoum. The explanation for this shift proves to be highly complex, as it includes factors such as China’s political and economic interests in Sudan, its aspiration to uphold good relations with the international community and its desire to host a successful Beijing Olympics in 2008 despite calls for boycott due to China’s close ties with Khartoum.

The main conclusion that can be drawn from this research is that China’s approach to foreign policy, which differs greatly from that of its Western counterparts, initially invoked a lot of international criticism; however, when China over time moved closer to the pre-existing conventions of foreign diplomacy, such reproaches were heard less and less.


Read the first Mapping China Working Paper of 2017 here: Working Paper Series 2017 1.


Einführung China in Afrika

von Julia Tatrai

Spätestens mit dem ersten Gipfel des „Forum on China-Africa Cooperation“ (FOCAC) im Jahre 2000 sind Chinas diplomatische Beziehungen mit den Ländern des afrikanischen Kontinents in den Blickwinkel von Entwicklungszusammenarbeit, Forschung und Medien geraten. Dabei ist es an wichtig anzumerken, dass es Chinas Beziehung zu „Afrika“ nicht gibt. So verschieden wie die 54 Länder Afrikas sind, so unterschiedlich sind Chinas Beziehungen auch zu den einzelnen Staaten mit denen China diplomatische Beziehungen unterhält. Ebenso wenig agiert „China“ als kohärenter Akteur, der in der Lage ist alle Aktivitäten chinesischer Offizieller, Unternehmen und Staatsbürger zu lenken. Je nach Analysegegenstand und Fragestellung kommen wissenschaftliche Arbeiten zum breiten Thema chinesisch-afrikanische Beziehungen so zu ganz unterschiedlichen Forschungsergebnissen.

Vor allem in westlichen Publikationen lässt sich eine negative Wahrnehmung chinesischer Interessen in Afrika feststellen, die China Neo-Imperialismus gepaart mit Ressourcenhunger vorwirft und ein Aufweichen internationaler Entwicklungshilfestandards beklagt. China wiederum betont seit den frühen 50er Jahren, dass es sich bei seinen Beziehungen zu afrikanischen Staaten um eine strategische Partnerschaft handelt, die gegenseitigen Nutzen und Respekt rhetorisch in den Vordergrund stellt und Chinas Status als drittgrößter Handelspartner des afrikanischen Kontinents gerecht wird. Chinesische Forschungsarbeiten zeichnen ein Bild gegenseitiger win-win-Beziehungen, die auf gemeinsamen kolonialen Erfahrungen und einer Dritte-Welt-Solidarität aufgebaut sind. Afrikanische Forschung kritisiert vor allem neoliberale Politik und betont in erster Linie die eigene Verantwortung afrikanischer Regierungen durch Zusammenarbeit mit jeglichen anderen Staaten Wachstum und Wohlstand für die Zivilbevölkerung anzukurbeln.

Wie auch in anderen Weltgegenden üblich, beruft sich China auch in der Zusammenarbeit mit afrikanischen Staaten auf die Prinzipien seiner Außenpolitik. Vor allem das Nichteinmischungsprinzip und dessen Folgen für Chinas Kooperation mit afrikanischen Staaten stehen hier im Schwerpunkt der Forschung. Unterhalb der Ebene staatlicher Beziehungen sind durch zunehmende Migrationsbewegungen von Chinesen in afrikanische Staaten und entgegengesetzt von afrikanischen Menschen nach China sowie der Aktivitäten chinesischer Unternehmen in Afrika jedoch eine Reihe an Berührungspunkten festzustellen, die nicht durch Nichteinmischung geprägt sind. Vor allem im direkten Kontakt gibt es daher ein hohes Konfliktpotenzial, wenn unter den Zivilbevölkerungen afrikanischer Staaten der Eindruck entsteht, dass die Präsenz Chinas einheimische Industriezweige zerstört oder afrikanische Arbeitskräfte chinesischer Firmen ausgebeutet werden.

Chinesische Interaktionen mit afrikanischen Staaten bleiben trotz der Popularität des Themas weiterhin in vielen Bereichen untererforscht. Notwendige Empirie zur Theoriebildung fehlt, was wiederum eine realistische Einschätzung der Wirkung Chinas auf afrikanische Staaten schwierig macht. Dies gilt vor allem in Bezug auf die Frage ob wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit die gesamtgesellschaftliche Entwicklung fördert. China wird zudem oft als unitärer Akteur wahrgenommen (und präsentiert sich auch selbst als solcher), obwohl Kooperationen mit afrikanischen Partnern nicht selten auf einer komplexen Interessenslage verschiedener Akteure beruhen. Zudem leiden eine Reihe an Forschungsarbeiten darunter die Rolle westlicher Staaten sowohl in Vergangenheit als auch Gegenwart nicht kritisch genug aufzuarbeiten. Auch die unreflektierte Verwendung des Begriffs „Entwicklung“ ist ein Problem aktueller Forschung. Die verschiedenen afrikanischen Staaten sind zudem schlecht in Diskurse der Internationalen Beziehungen eingegliedert, was Analysen chinesisch-afrikanischer Beziehungen im Politikfeld Internationale Beziehungen erschwert.

Zusammenfassend ist zu sagen:

  • Chinas Interaktionen mit afrikanischen Staaten werden von chinesischer Seite als „win-win“-Beziehungen oder Süd-Süd-Beziehungen bezeichnet, die auf gegenseitigem Vertrauen und einer gemeinsamen Geschichte durch Erfahrungen des Kolonialismus aufbauen.
  • Seit 2000 institutionalisieren sich die Beziehungen zunehmend. Seit 2000 werden alle drei Jahre das Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) veranstaltet. Zudem gibt es eine Reihe an bilateralen Treffen auf verschiedenen Ebenen.
  • Zahlen zu chinesischen Migranten in afrikanischen Staaten sind stark unterschiedlich. Ausgegangen wird von bis zu einer Million chinesischen Migranten, die auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent wohnen. Ebenso unsicher ist, wie viele Migranten aus Afrika in China wohnen. Schätzungen zufolge gibt es bis zu 200.000 afrikanische Migranten in Guangzhou.

Nächster CfP: Voraussichtlich Mitte November 2016

Zur Einführung in das Thema eignen sich:
Alden, Chris (2007). China in Africa. Zed Books, London.
Dent, Christopher M. (2011). China and Africa Development Relations. Routledge, London.
French, Howard W. (2015). China’s second continent: How a million migrants are building a new empire in Africa. Vintage Books, New York.
Manji, Firoze; Marks, Stephen (2007). African Perspectives on China in Africa. Fahamu, Cape Town, Nairobi, Oxford.
Taylor, Ian (2010). China’s new role in Africa. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder.
Zhao, Suisheng (2014). A Neo-Colonialist Predator or Development Partner? China’s
engagement and rebalance in Africa. Journal of Contemporary China, 23: 90, pp. 1033-1052.

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Julia studiert derzeit einen Master in Politikwissenschaft an der FU Berlin. Sie ist studentische Hilfskraft, Vorstandsmitglied von Abaana Uganda e.V. und bei Mapping China als Teil des Boards of Directors verantwortlich für Mapping Studies und die Mapping Issues and Structures Kategorien China-Afrika und Politische Partizipation.