Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to four African nations in January 2014 demonstrated China’s diverse relations and transforming interests across the continent. The outsourcing of labor-intensive industries from China to African countries presents both opportunities to spur economic development and environmental and cultural challenges. 

In this podcast, hosted by Carnegie-Tsinghua’s Paul Haenle, Carnegie-Tsinghua’s Tang Xiaoyang explained how China’s expanding economic footprint in Africa is spurring an increased awareness among Chinese leaders of Beijing’s security interests and social responsibility in Africa. Tang argued Chinese entrepreneurs must engage more directly with Africans to bridge the many cultural gaps that inhibit closer cooperation and understanding. He added that he has witnessed abundant opportunities for cooperation between the United States and China throughout the continent, despite the two countries’ different approaches to development assistance. Tang concluded that U.S.-China cooperation in Africa could serve as a model for broader cooperation between the developed and the emerging world.

Tang Xiaoyang

Tang Xiaoyang is a resident scholar at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and an assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University. Tang’s research focuses on China-Africa relations, with a particular emphasis on the differing aid and dynamics in Africa between countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and China. Before he came to Tsinghua, Tang worked at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC. He also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and various research institutes and consulting companies.

Paul Haenle

Paul Haenle is the director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center. Prior to joining Carnegie, he served from June 2007 to June 2009 as the director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian Affairs on the National Security Council staffs of former president George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.