The narratives of China-Africa brotherly relationships and the realities xenophobia towards Africans migrants in China by Dramane Thombiano

Date & Time

Nov 27, 2020 10:00 AM


Trainee Centre Online


Even with existence of records of ancient contacts between China and Africa, little is known about the extents of these relations. Modern relation between the two dates from Mao Ze Dong’s era after the Communist Party of China won the civil war against the nationalists in 1949. In the aftermath of the civil war, China aimed to play a major role in the developing world in general and Africa in particular. Its first major footprint in the continent was the construction of the Tan-Zam railways connecting Tanzania to Zambia. With the support of many countries in the continent, The People’s Republic of China was accepted as the only and sole representative of China in in the United Nations in 1971. Many countries in the region moved to normalize their relation with the PRC. As famously argued by Mao, “It is our African brothers that carried us into the United Nations”. This brotherly relation has been brought forth by China in its engagement with Africa countries whereby Africans are called “feizhou xiongdi”. However, numerous of discrimination against Africans have led many people to question the reality of this brotherhood.

Keywords: China, Africa, Xenophobia, discrimination brotherly relation


Thiombiano Dramane is from Burkina Faso, West Africa. He is an assistant professor at the International Master Program in Asia-Pacific Affairs at National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan, where he earned his master’s (2010) and PhD. (2016). His research and interests deal with China and Africa relations, Taiwan political economy, cross-strait relation, Taiwan-Africa relation, etc.

He is the author/co-author of publications which include The impact of China on the agency and bargaining power of African countries on the international system. (International Journal of Political Science and International Relations (AJPSIR, 2019); Impacts of Colonial Era Policies and Institutions on the Post-Independence Development of Former Colonies: Case Study of Japanese Colonization of Taiwan and French Colonization of Burkina Faso (2014) ; The Beijing Consensus versus the Washington Consensus in Africa: why is the Chinese Model Gaining Ground in Africa? (Sun Yat-sen Journal of Humanities, 2016). Dramane is currently conducting a research on women entrepreneurship in emerging markets. This research is funded by the Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology.