Lessons From ASEAN on How Africa Can Better Manage Ties With China

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By The China Africa Project. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

While Chinese engagement in Africa is a relatively new phenomenon, dating back around 20 years now, countries in Southeast Asia have millennia of experience in managing ties with Beijing. Today, the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, are on the frontlines of the Belt and Road Initiative and China's rapidly escalating rivalry with the United States.

And given that most of Southeast Asia is very similar to Africa in terms of demographics (both young regions), agriculture (both are predominantly agrarian), and development (average per capita incomes are similar at around $4,000-$5,000), there are a number of applicable lessons that African stakeholders can takeaway from ASEAN's experience in managing ties with China.

Sebastian Strangio, Southeast Asia Editor at the Asia-Pacific news site The Diplomat, is among the world's leading journalists covering the region and also the author of a new book that chronicles ASEAN's complex, often contentious relationship with its powerful neighbor to the north. Sebastian joins Eric & Cobus to discuss how countries in this part of the world have learned to live "in the dragon's shadow."

AMAZON.COM: In The Dragon's Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century by Sebastian Strangio

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