Relations between African states and China have become increasingly varied over the years, reflecting the complexity of the countries, their societies and the multiplicity of actors involved in diplomatic, commercial and development engagements.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a strengthening of mutual commitment to long-term collaboration, reaffirmed by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and 13 African heads of state at the ‘Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19’ held virtually in June 2020. But relations are not always straightforward and enthusiasm surrounding support from China through the provision of medical supplies was dampened by the widely-reported negative experiences of Africans living in Guangzhou who were targeted with containment measures. China is also under pressure to provide extended debt relief to Africa.

This webinar will explore the state of Sino-African relations and discuss the ways in which countries are seeking to align their diplomatic, strategic and economic goals. Has the COVID-19 crisis damaged China’s reputation in Africa or rather has it encouraged multilateral cooperation and a spirit of shared responsibility? In what ways are players in both regions turning to bilateral support in an attempt to increase relative standings in the international community? And as countries such as Zambia increasingly turn to China for debt relief, to what extent do economic ties signal a lasting strategic relationship beyond commercial ambition?

As with all Chatham House events, members' questions drive the conversation. Register now to share, debate and develop ideas on this critical international issue.

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Participants

Eric Olander, Co-Founder, The China-Africa Project
Chair: Dr Alex Vines OBE, Managing Director for Risk, Ethics & Resilience; Director, Africa Programme, Chatham House
Further speakers to be announced.