Emmanuel Akyeampong and Liang Xu,"Small-Scale Gold Mining, Chinese Technology and the Transformation of Rural Economy in Ghana". Review of African Political Economy. Forthcoming.Abstract

In using two contrasting regions from Ashanti and Northern Regions of Ghana, the first forested with auriferous river basins and the second savannah with auriferous rock formation, this paper explores local engagement with Chinese technology in different mining environments with different outcomes. Our approach reveals the circumstances that enabled the entry of Chinese capital and technology into mining in Ashanti, but with adverse consequences for both the environment and rural economies in the long term, while the case of Bole from northern Ghana speaks to local adaptation of small-scale Chinese technology in a sustainable mining environment and with positive effects on the local economy.

Liang Xu (2017), "Cyrildene Chinatown, Suburban Settlement, and Ethnic Economy in Post-Apartheid Johannesburg". In: China and Africa: A New Paradigm of Global Business (edited by Young-Chan Kim). London: Palgrave Macmillan ; 2017. pp. 81-104. Publisher's VersionAbstract

By putting the growth of Cyrildene Chinatown in the contexts of new waves of Chinese migration in Africa and the dramatic suburbanization of post-apartheid South African cities, this chapter traces the development of Chinese settlement in the Cyrildene area and the resultant birth of the city’s emerging Chinatown. It presents a critique to the notion of “ethnic enclave” and argues that the Cyrildene Chinatown functions more as an integral part of Chinese “ethnoburb” in Johannesburg’s eastern suburbs and interacts with the host society and wider networks in complex and intimate ways. By evaluating both the achievements of and challenges facing Cyrildene Chinatown, this chapter then suggests that suburbanization in post-apartheid South Africa has boosted the degrees of civic engagement amongst its suburbanites.

Liang Xu (2015), "Historical Lessons, Common Challenges and Mutual Learning: Assessing China-Africa Cooperation in Environment Protection". In: FOCAC 2015: A New Beginning of China-Africa Relations (edited by Garth Shelton, Yazini April, and Li Anshan). Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa ; 2015. pp. 425-445.Abstract

This chapter has three main objectives. First, by exploring the history of environmental conservation in Africa, it offers a historical perspective to contemporary discussions about African environmental challenges and places China-Africa environmental cooperation within a longer and broader context of Africa’s environmental management. Modern science should not be the panacea for all environmental problems. This chapter calls for a more careful and interdisciplinary examination of the history of environmental practices in Africa and urges us to learn from its lessons.  Second, this chapter seeks to dismiss one-sided popular media coverage on China’s negative environmental footprint in Africa by providing a more comprehensive and sober assessment of both the achievements and challenges of China-Africa environmental cooperation in the past ten years or so. This chapter suggests that China-Africa environmental cooperation is executed through a dual-mode mechanism. On the one hand, FOCAC’s traditional approaches such as talent training programs and bilateral environment agreements continue to be employed as key measures in promoting environmental collaboration between the two sides. On the other, the UNEP-China-African Program on the Environment, a triangular cooperation platform, has increasingly become another major avenue facilitating China-Africa cooperation in this area. Various achievements of China-Africa environmental cooperation deserve the highest commendation. Thirdly, the last section of the chapter identifies several weaknesses in China-Africa environmental cooperation and provides some suggestions. 

Emmanuel Akyeampong and Liang Xu (2015), "The Three Phases/Faces of China in Independent Africa: Re-conceptualizing China-Africa Engagement". In: Oxford Handbook of Africa and Economics Volume 2: Policies and Practices. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press ; 2015. pp. 762-779. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This chapter presents a historical understanding of China’s economic involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Africa’s independence to the present. By focusing on three specific cases, namely, the TAZARA Railway in the 1970s, Chinese (Taiwanese) clothing industry in Newcastle (South Africa) in the 1980s and 1990s, and China’s increasing economic presence in Ghana since the 2000s, the paper attempts to outline three major arguments. First, it presents a critique to the current debates on Africa-China engagement, which by and large have emphasized China’s motivations and strategies in Africa and have overlooked the African logics. This paper argues that China’s presence in Africa must be understood as internally driven by African countries’ own needs and agendas as well. Secondly, the paper highlights the fact that China has been in the past and will continue to be the “go-to” place for many Sub-Saharan countries outside the context of their reliance on the West in terms of aid, investment and trade. China being an alternative for Africa is by no means a novel phenomenon. Through the three cases presented here, it becomes clear that in the past half century China has been viewed by Africa as the alternative to the West throughout the three phases outlined below. Third, it discusses the complications of China’s presence in Africa by revealing three different “faces” of China. They are the Chinese state and state-owned enterprises, Chinese industrialists, and Chinese private immigrant adventurists. Understanding the phenomenon that is “China”, and making sense of how Africa’s political economies intersect with the differing agendas and interests of these three “faces” will be crucial as we enter into a new era of Africa-China engagement.

XU Liang (2013),“A Historiographical Survey of Japan-South African Relations and Some New Thoughts on Japanese Foreign Policy” (日本与南非关系研究综述:兼论对日本外交的新思考). Annual Review of African Studies in China: 2012 (中国非洲研究评论2012). 2013 :388-405.Abstract

学界对于日本与南非关系的研究兴起于上世纪70和80年代,至今可以说成果颇丰。就研究主题而言,90年代以前,学者们的关注点是经济制裁和日本的资源外交,而当下学者们则更加关心日本对非洲的援助以及背后所体现的日本在全球格局中所奉行的政治经济战略。到目前为止,学界对日南关系的研究可大致可分为三类:(1)日南关系的综合性历史研究;(2)日南双边关系的专题性研究;(3)日本和南非两国外交决策研究。从研究方法上看,学者们也从综合型的外交关系史研究转向更为深入的案例和专题研究。本文还强调,20世纪90年代后期以来日本的外交实践表明日本对依附于美国的地位已经不满,开始选择一种“低姿态的外交战略”。 因此日本将采取更积极的、“结果导向”的外交行动,“有选择性地利用”外部压力来实现日本在非洲的政策目标。官方发展援助是一个非常典型的政策工具。日本与南非两国作为国际体系中的“中等权力国家”(middle power ),都是各自区域内的大国。可以说,日南关系中既有合作,也有竞争。日本主办的“东京非洲发展国际会议”和南非发挥领导作用的“非洲发展新伙伴计划(NEPAD)”就是很好的例证。一方面,这两大机制之间有很多合作空间,但同时都作为非洲发展的国际机制,两者在某种程度上也存在竞争关系。日本在这些合作机制中究竟应该发挥什么作用是日本决策者所应该思考的问题。事实上,中非之间的合作也面临着类似的挑战。日本援助非洲最大的“资本”是其战后成功的经济重建和援助东亚国家的经验; 而中国作为日本援助的受益者,在如何有效利用外部援助开展经济建设方面也有很多经验值得非洲国家借鉴。从这一角度看,中日两国在援助非洲方面存在着较大的合作空间。

XU Liang (2010), "A Reassessment of US Foreign Aid Policy to Africa"(美国援助非洲政策评析). West Asia and Africa (西亚非洲). 2010;(7) :20-25.Abstract

The US foreign aid mechanism has experienced three major reforms since the Clinton administration. Regulated under the Foreign Aid Act and being operated through institutions like the USAID and the Millennium Challenge Account, US foreign aid has developed with a rather stable and efficient system. This paper shows that US aid to Africa, both historically and in present times, has had its positive experiences and its lessons. This paper argues that compared to other donors, US aid to Africa has its advantages in size, good coordination in management, strong private donations and its first-rate information platform. However, this paper contends that there are also weaknesses in US foreign aid to Africa. US foreign aid to Africa has placed too much attention on the political conditions of recipient countries; proportionally it offers less assistance in areas of development. Also, making grand promises without honoring them has become another undermining factor for the effectiveness of US foreign aid.

XU Liang (2007), "A Historical Survey of Sudanese Studies in China 1949-2006" (中国苏丹问题研究综述 1949-2006). West Asia and Africa (西亚非洲). 2007;(2) :66-71.Abstract

本文对中国建国以来的苏丹问题研究做了系统的回顾。可以说中国的苏丹研究从无到有, 发展至令取得了较大的进步。从内容看, 研究主要集中在库施文明、马赫迪运动、苏丹内部冲突(南北内战和达尔富尔问题) 、苏丹对外政治经济关系、苏丹地方民族民俗等五个方面。但就整体而言, 研究水平仍然比较低, 主要存在四个方面的问题。首先, 资料获取比较困难。一方面是从事研究的学者很少亲身深入苏丹社会, 这可能是苏丹时局所致, 也可能是缺乏经费; 另一方面, 由于苏丹长期战乱, 政府极不透明, 真实的数据得不到公布。其次, 研究人数少, 后备人才培养滞后。虽然二十世纪九年代中期各大高校的国际关系学科开始兴起, 全国范围内都加强了国际关系的教学与研究, 但从事非洲研究的人力相对于其他分支学科仍然显得单薄。在后备人才培养上, 如阿拉伯语和跨学科教育等状况极为滞后。这与上世纪六七十年代时许多知名学者转入非洲学研究的局面大相径庭。再次, 缺乏与社会的合作, 研究人员急需与其他社会力量共同致力于加强对苏丹问题研究。二十世纪五六十年代, 中国对非洲问题研究服务于国家外交工作, 算是一种?? 官学并进??。从20世纪90年代中期开始, 中国与苏丹经济合作加深, 商人、工程业务人员和石油工作者有更多深入苏丹社会的机会, 研究人员有必要加强与他们的合作, 以获取第一手的资料, 达到一种商学并进的局面。最后, 翻译引进工作不够。在上世纪五六十年代, 中国翻译出版、刊载了大量的作品, 而且相当一部分是直接译自苏丹学者的文章。但现在中国在这方面所做的努力并不够, 一些苏丹研究的经典著作至今未见中文版问世。中国对苏丹问题的研究还有很长的路要走。