Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Why Pragmatism, Not Ideology Drives Chinese Economic Engagement in Africa

In these contentious times, China is often accused of exporting its statist economic model to Africa and other developing regions as part of a broader ideological agenda to create a new Sinocentric international order. But Tsinghua University Professor Tang Xiaoyang argues in his new book published earlier this year that interpretation is a gross misunderstanding of what actually motivates Chinese economic engagement on the continent.

Professor Tang joins Eric & Cobus from Beijing to make the case why pragmatism, not ideology is the driving force behind China’s economic agenda in Africa.

Show Notes:

About Tang Xiaoyang:

Tang Xiaoyang is a resident scholar and the deputy director of the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and the vice chair and a professor in the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University. His research interests include political philosophy, global modernization processes, and China’s engagement with developing countries.

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.