Resources for Mapping China’s Participation and Contribution in Asian Regional Cooperation

Part II

Mapping Academic Scholarship on Regionalism

by Aya Adachi

For studying China’s behavioural pattern in regionalism it is useful to draw lessons from general work on comparative regionalism as well as scholarship on Asian specific regionalism. It not only allows us to place China’s regional politics into the wider academic debate but also to make statements with regards to distinct features of Chinese regionalism.

Comparative regionalism deals with issues such as, defining regions, regionalism, regionalisation and regional integration. As regions and their level of regionness (Hettne & Söderbaum 2000) are diverse, definition have been rather loose in order to accommodate flexibility when defining regions in a comparative context. While early scholarship has been narrowly centered around the EU and the European experience, scholars have since put efforts in trying to amend the bias. The scholars around the so-called new regionalism scholarship and other more recent work have re-conceptualised ontological perspectives and established a more or less consensus view on the following (Acharya 2012):

  1. Regionalism is no longer centred around the state but also includes interactions among non-state between states and within a given area.
  2. Regionalism in no longer defined in terms of formal intergovernmental organisations with a charter and its own bureaucracy
  3. Regionalization is understood different from regionalism: the former being market-driven and less political – alas not entirely apolitical.
  4. Regions are not a geographic given, but are socially constructed, made and remade through interactions.

Comparative regionalism as a discipline to actually compare one region to another suffers from difficulties of obtaining comparable data sets or establishing a research method that is applicable in all regions. Comparative regionalism has been criticized for thus far only having delivered regionally specific empirical generalizations, in which hypothesis were verified but relationship to other variables were not specified. Nevertheless, it is important to refer to the comparative regionalism scholarship to establish the link between area-specific or region-specific scholarship and academic work across all regions and to avoiding parochialism within your own academic discipline (e.g. China Studies, or East Asian Area Studies).




East Asian Regionalism
has proliferated since the 1990s. What has emerged is a complex structure of various different competing and overlapping initiatives and constellations (ASEAN, ASEAN + 3/+6, ASEAN Regional Forum, Asia Pacific Forum, East Asian Summit, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, amongst others). East Asian Regionalism has been studied by numerous scholars. Much work has been dedicated to exploring external aspect of effects of globalization on regionalism (Beeson 2014/2007; Dent 2016/2008) or on Sino-Japanese rivalry and its impact on regional economic order (Park 2013; Rathus 2011; Solis, Stallings & Katada 2009). However, scholarship on East Asian Regionalism has been rather state-centered and has shied away from taking on the research agenda of new regionalism by avoiding to include non-state actors and the analytical level of domestic politics. This can be attributed to the fact that many scholars are critical of the differentiability of state and non-state in East Asia (Fawn 2009) and no attempts have been made to dissolve the binary distinction between state and non-state to include other analytical levels.

With regards to how China
positions itself regionally, it is uncertain whether China has a clear singular stance or strategy towards regionalism. With the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) being a global project, it could be argued that China does not have a strategy towards regionalism, but rather relies on various regional frameworks as a means to an end. Nevertheless, China is engaging in multiple regional cooperation projects in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and in the Asia Pacific.


Resources for Mapping China’s Participation and Contribution in Asian Regional Cooperation

by Aya Adachi

Part I
Resources for Empirical Data

The People’s Republic of China shares borders with 14 states (excluding Hongkong and Macau). As China is one of the largest country in the world and second largest in Asia, its regional association is ambiguous and political. It can be rather challenging to geographically place China within a single “region”, understood as not geographically given, but socially constructed, made and remade through interactions.[1] While the coastal areas can be unambiguously regarded as “East Asian”, the relative and cultural proximity of China’s western (Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia) and southern (Yunnan, Guangxi) parts to Central and Southeast Asia are close. It is therefore interesting to map how China positions itself regionally.

Particularly for those interested in studying the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), it can be useful to use resources from other regional projects and their associated research institutions along with independent regional research institutions. A number of projects (e.g. infrastructure plans) have been initiated before the BRI has been announced and have since been incorporated into the BRI. It can therefore be valuable and more accurate to include regional cooperation that are spatially smaller in scope and have existed longer into studies of the BRI. Not only is reliable data on the BRI scarce, but it is also very challenging or nearly impossible to find data from a single source for the BRI as a whole – since the full geographic reach of the project remains open and vague. Furthermore, providing data on the BRI as a whole is complicated by the fact that it relies on independent and standardized reporting and collection of data from the associated countries. Needless to say, although these resources can be very useful for BRI cross-country-comparison analysis, they should also be used with caution as the methods of data collection may differ widely.

The following kinds of resources will be listed below:

  • regional organizations or cooperation frameworks
  • research institutions,
  • media outlets with a regional focus

Regional Organizations or Regional Cooperation Frameworks[2]

Official documents, reports, publications, information on ongoing and previous projects

Research Organizations with a Regional Focus

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established in 1966 to promote social and economic development in Asia. Regional Cooperation and Integration was promoted from the early beginning but efforts were dramatically increased since the 1990s with an official ADB Regional Cooperation Policy constituting one of the main focus areas. The annual Asian Economic Integration Report published by the ADB, is one of the most comprehensive publications on the economic development of the region. The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) publishes books, working papers, policy briefs that are helpful for the study of East Asian Regionalism.

Asian Regional Integration Center (ARIC)
ARIC was initially founded following the Asian financial crisis as a technical assistance of the ADB to monitor recover and vulnerabilities as well as policy recommendations. ARIC keeps track of all news and publications related to regional integration and cooperation on its website. ARIC’s comprehensive database includes features, such as general economic and financial indicators of the region, daily market watch, integration indicators, as well as an overview of all bilateral and plurilateral FTAs that include at least one of ADB’s 48 regional members as signatory.

Economic Research Intitute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
An international organization established among 16 governments at the East Asia Summit in 2007, ERIA works closely with the ASEAN Secretariat, researchers and research institutes from East Asia to contribute to allocate analytical research and policy recommendations. In addition, ERIA’s activities are aimed at capacity building in strengthening policy research capacities of less developed countries. Publications by ERIA include various formats, such as books, discussion papers, policy briefs. ERIA, together with UNCTAD, tracks all updates in matters of non-tariff measures to foster transparency in economic integration.

Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia (ERINA)
ERINA is a Japanese institution that conducts research, collects and disseminates information on Northeast Asian economies. Its aim is to contribute to the formulation and development of the integrated Northeast Asia Economic Subregion, and to the advancement of an international society through this research.

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) Yusof Ishak Institute
A research institute based in Singapore aimed at “the study of socio-political, security, and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment. ISEAS offers a wide range of different publication formats, such as journal articles, ISEAS Perspective papers, and multiple working paper series.

Mekong Institute
Mekong Institute (MI) is an intergovernmental organization founded by the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), to support implement and facilitate integrated human resource development (HRD), capacity building programs and development projects related to regional cooperation and integration. As an intergovernmental organization it is managed by GMS national and international staff and supported by international academics and subject-matter experts and consultants. MI provides databases and publications on specific thematic issues concerning the Greater Mekong region.

Reconnecting Asia
Reconnecting Asia is particularly interesting for those who are looking for an overview of BRI infrastructure projects. Reconnecting Asia is an initiative by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) and maps new linkages – roads, railways, and other infrastructure – that are reshaping economic and geopolitical developments across Eurasia. The project aims to fill Asia’s infrastructure-information gap, by carefully curating all relevant data. In addition to the highly developed visualization tool that maps all planned and implemented projects Reconnecting Asia also provides analysis on recent trends. One of the most interesting analysis are the mappings of competing geoeconomic visions (including ASEAN, China, EU, India, Iran, Japan, Russia).

United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)
UNU-CRIS, based in Bruges, serves as a think tank for the UN, with particular links to the UN bodies dealing with regional integration. It works in partnership with institutes and initiatives throughout the world that are concerned with issues of integration and cooperation.

 Media outlets with a regional focus

The Diplomat
The Diplomat provides analysis and commentary on events occurring in Asia. Its expert coverage includes topics such as, geo-political trends throughout the Asia Pacific, defence and intelligence, as well as environment, human security and development. Categories are regionally divided into Central, East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Oceania. In addition, The Diplomat also has sub-categories that put a special emphasis on reporting on the ASEAN (called ASEAN Beat) and on the New Silk Road (Crossroads Asia).

East Asia Forum
A platform for analysis and research the East Asia Forum covers politics, economics, business, law, security, international relations and society relevant to public policy, centred on the Asia Pacific region. It consists of an online publication and a quarterly magazine, East Asia Forum Quarterly, which aim to provide clear and original analysis from the leading minds in the region and beyond.

Part II of Mapping China’s Participation and Contribution in Asian Regional Cooperation will recommend academic readings – books and journal articles dedicated to comparative regionalism as well as East Asia and China-specific regionalism.

[1] For a literature recommendation on definition of region, regionalisation and regionalism see part 2, resources of academic scholarship on regionalism.

[2] Only included are those in which China is an official member.

Top Features on China in 2017

by Julia Tatrai

This Is What A 21st-Century Police State Really Looks Like
Buzzfeed didn’t exactly ring a bell as a China specialized news page, but this chilling report by Megha Rajagopalan changed that (to a degree). After interviewing about two dozen of affected Uighurs, her report draws a grim picture of what the combination of a hyper-modern surveillance state with Maoist paranoia and CPC-controlled courts can do to whoever the state is thinking of as an enemy needing re-education.

Out West: A Visual Narrative of China’s Westernmost Region
Xinjiang has always been a top priority on my travel list, a place of longing that seemed to be as magical and remote as images of times long gone. This reportage with exceptionally beautiful pictures by the outstanding Patrick Wack underlines that the region is transforming and that China is eager to transform its dualities into an obedient singularity (if anyone travels there in 2018, send me pictures).

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens
China is making citizen obedience a mandatory online gaming experience by 2020 moving all of us closer to an “onlife” experience. Read about the consequences in this long read by Rachel Botsman in Wired.

Remembering Liu Xiaobo
Liu Xiaobo’s tragic death was one of the China top stories of 2017. Liu, detained for 8 years by the time he died of cancer, was one of China’s most outspoken dissidents and the only Chinese Nobel peace prize winner. In the aftermath of his death, Citizen Lab analysed the scope of censorship in the Chinese internet. Just as with the Tiananmen massacre, citizens interest in Liu is high, but China seems to be keen to remove Liu’s legacy by making searching for information on him virtually impossible.

Zwischen Realität und Spielerei (German)
Another boy band, another success but this time with a twist: the five young singers are not men but women who identify as female but prefer to be addressed without gender pronouns. At first glance, the band seems to be startingly progressive in a country where no laws against discrimination of homosexuals exist and where homosexual content was just banned online. Digging deeper, TAZ author Maxie Römhild explains why FFC-Acrush is no symbol of changing gender politics in China.

Is it too late to save Hong Kong from Beijing’s authoritarian grasp?
Howard W. French, himself author of two highly interesting books on China, is writing about the future of Hong Kong between Beijing’s increasingly oppressive politics and fragmented movements fighting for an independent Hong Kong in this Guardian Long Read.

China’s Urbancide in Tibet
The last years saw a relaxation of the strict Chinese hukou system. Once hailed as a progressive reform, reports this month about migrant cleansing in Beijing have put the social welfare aspect of the reform in serious doubt. Earlier this year, Rinzin Dorjee was already writing about the uniquely negative impact of the reform in Tibet for the Diplomat, resulting in “urbancide” of Tibetan traditions and culture.

Homeless Take Shelter in Hefei’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Making a bookstore your home – for a booklover like me, this sounds like an appealing option at first. Read why it’s not for China’s poor and homeless in this sad story by Guo Quanzhi in Sixthtone.

Treating What Ails the Study of Chinese Politics
This essay is the top-pick of both Aya and Tatjana; William Hurst is analysing what is ailing the study of Chinese politics, claiming that a lack of context and comparison resulting in either “neglected isolation” or “arrogant exceptionalism” is hindering the development of this subfield of Chinese Studies. Written for Chinoiresie, one of my favourite resources on China.

Trump’s Unlikely Ally: The Chinese Dissident
Edward White is talking about something I have thought about a lot this year: Are Chinese dissidents unlikely allies of Trump? Does the Trump presidency mean a – however twisted and yucky (I mean, it’s still Trump) – return of human rights in the official debate between the US and China? At the end of this year, the most likely answer is probably not after all, but White’s essay written in January this year is making a number of interesting points worth considering in depth.

The World Needs to Hear China’s Feminist Voices
WAGIC is my personal favorite initiative on China this year with its welcome focus on Gender in China. The first issue of the has seen a number of highly interesting reads, but this one by Li Maizi has to be my favorite.

Excuse us, while we build new futures.
Our partners Sinonerds have written a number of wonderful stories on China this year; my favorite is this one by Lin Hierse, even though I didn’t see the exhibition she is talking about myself (but she writes as if one was there with her).















Resource Special: The 19th Party Congress of the Communist Party of China

by Tatjana Romig

Today’s kick-off of the CPC’s 19th party congress is a milestone for the future direction of Chinese politics. Thus, China watchers around the world closely track potential developments and outcomes. To help you fill in any knowledge gaps and keep you informed throughout the party congress, Mapping China collected its favourite sources and analyses covering topics linked to the party congress from the election of delegates to the position of Xi Jinping himself.

Media Coverage

Since the beginning of 2017 the 19th party congress received coverage in Chinese and international media with a new high since the beginning of October. The following news outlets offer special sections made up of a variety of articles on the party congress, e.g. the process of the election of the delegates, Xi Jinping’s position and plans, possible successors etc. Consuming different media outlets, especially Chinese and international ones, allows to gather a more differentiated picture. We recommend the following:

SCMP: China’s Leadership Reshuffle 2017
The South China Morning Post offers a special on China’s leadership reshuffle in 2017 with a focus on Xi Jinping’s agenda, rising stars, coverage on ongoing appointments and various opinion pieces.

The Diplomat: 19th Party Congress
The Diplomat offers a category for the 19th Party Congress collecting various articles with different points of view. The articles e.g. cover the creation of ideology, leadership succession, internet policies and the question of possible changes to the party’s constitution.

Xinhua: 19th CPC National Congress
Xinhua has a special linked to the 19th party congress that offers a lot: from commentaries to official documents or even video material – you will find every kind of information you need.

Think Tanks

If you are looking for a deeper analysis and experts’ opinions, the following series and papers by established Think Tanks covering the developments linked to the party congress might be your first choice. Moreover, these analyses offer condensed information, in case you want to catch up with the preceding steps that happened throughout the last year.

Brookings: Looking Ahead to the 19th Party Congress
Brookings Institution offers a series titled “Looking Ahead to the 19th Party Congress” that aims at analysing China’s socio-political and economic landscape in the run-up to the party congress and discusses implications for US-Sino relations.

MERICS: 19th Party Congress
The Mercator Institute for China Studies based in Berlin is also tracking the developments in the forerun of the party congress and its potential outcomes. For example, in the MERICS China Monitor No. 41 it is argued that the party congress will boost strongman politics.

Hoover Institution’s China Leadership Monitor
Although the China Leadership Monitor does not offer a special series dedicated to the Party Congress, its reports and analysis are among the best when it comes to Chinese leadership politics. As a foundation, we recommend Alice Miller’s “The road to the 19th Party Congress”, while the current edition includes papers on Xi’s influence on the party’s guiding ideology and domestic policy trajectories.


In case you prefer podcasts, this China Power conversation with Joseph Fewsmith “Xi Jinping and the 19th Party Congress” is a good choice.

What are your recommendations for resources linked to the 19th party congress? We are looking forward to your suggestions 🙂

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