Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Southward Bound

China's President Xi Jinping (front C) walks with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (front L), Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (middle row 2nd L), Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe (middle row L) and other African leaders after a group photo session during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing on September 3, 2018. HOW HWEE YOUNG / POOL / AFP

In moments of despair, when one spirals about, say, a genocide happening in front of our eyes, it’s sometimes good to read something silly and amusing. For me, this has recently been the spectacle of European and American commentators struggling with the term “Global South.”

The latest is a piece in Project Syndicate by the foreign policy deity Joseph Nye. Not to hate on Nye, whose work on soft power has set a whole field of debate, but the piece is emblematic of many of these takes in somehow being both pedantic and befuddled.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.