34: People-centered Power: Chinese knowledge production, networks, and training programs in Africa - Lina Benabdallah

09.21.2020 - By The Belt and Road Podcast

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Prof. Dr. Lina Benabdallah discusses her latest book, "Shaping the Future of Power: Knowledge production and network-building in China-Africa Relations." Lina looks at China's rise and the Belt and Road beyond the hardware investments - the major infrastructure projects which have been most emphasized. She compares three major types of professionalization interventions: military and security cooperation, media and journalist training, and educational exchanges such as those done through Confucius Institutes. She suggests that these person-to-person engagements in Africa have far reaching impacts and constitute an important angle on Chinese global engagements often less understood and studied.

Recommendations
Lina: The Continent - a weekly newspaper compiling the best reporting across Africa, produced by the Mail & the Guardian.
Erik: Africa is a Country - covering opinion, analysis, and new writing on Africa
Juliet: On the topic of soft power, I recommend two very nationalistic Chinese blockbusters that portray Chinese development cooperation and aid missions - one in Africa called "Wolf Warrior II" (kickass trailer, random analysis) and one in the Mekong Region (less about aid more just cops, fighting, and explosions but based on real events) called "Operation Mekong" (trailer). Lina affirms that she shows Wolf Warrior in her classes :)

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