China in the Global South, with Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden


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This week on Sinica, we kick off the new network show, the China-Global South Podcast, with a conversation with the show’s hosts and co-founders of the China-Global South Project (formerly the China Africa Project), Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden. Kaiser chats with them about where the show is going, and common misconceptions about China’s role in the Global South.

1:45 – Reasons for launching the new China-Global South Podcast

13:50 – What Washington’s framing of China’s activity in the Global South gets wrong

19:24 – Explaining the lack of China expertise in Africa and the Global North

25:27 – The unresolved history of Western colonialism in Africa

28:44 – How Chinese statecraft navigates Africa’s colonial legacy

36:00 – The infantilization of African agency

45:03 – The limited development options of African stakeholders

47:33 – China’s environmental impact on the Global South

57:13 – How small states can effectively navigate great power politics

A transcript of the podcast is available at


Eric: Following Gyude Moore, Senior Policy Fellow at the Center for Global Development: @gyude_moore; Hannah Ryder; CEO of Development Reimagined: @hmryder; Ovigue Eguegu; Policy Analyst at Development Reimagined: @ovigweeguegu; and Christian-Geraud Neema; and Francophone Editor at the China-Global South Project: @christiangeraud

Cobus: The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa by Ching Kwan Lee

Kaiser: Chinese traditional bow maker AF Archery; The Way of Archery by Gao Ying, translated by Jie Tian and Justin Ma