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Of Other Spaces? Hybrid Forms of Chinese Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa

Hybride Formen chinesischen Engagements im subsaharischen Afrika
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Dittgen, Romain

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Abstract "Chinese economic activities in Africa have gained increased visibility in parallel to the recent acceleration of Sino-African relations. This paper, which is framed from a geographical perspective that is often absent or neglected in studies covering China-Africa, focuses on the spatial forms and dynamics. It depicts the way in which two contrasting Chinese economic entities - a state-owned company in Chad and privately owned commercial malls in Johannesburg, South Africa - engage with their respective host environments. While drawing on concepts of 'liminality' as well as 'heterotopias', I argue that the modalities of the Chinese footprint are characterised both by closure and interaction, creating a dynamic tension that produces its own set of unique practices. This ambivalence between enclave and active linkages with host societies is not only perceivable from a spatial point of view, but also emerges with regard to economic strategies. In the midst of a transitional period, along with a launching and a consolidating phase, the Chinese economic entities in both case studies show signs of change in terms of behaviour and territorial foothold." (author's abstract)
Keywords China; involvement; international relations; Africa; economic relations; foreign investment; shopping center; developing country; Far East
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Document language German
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 43-73
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 44 (2015) 1
Issue topic The Chinese presence in Africa: a learning process
ISSN 1868-1026
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs