Repository logo

China South Africa relations : examining gains and hidden challenges in economic and diplomatic relations.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



According to Samuel Huntington’s clash of civilizations whereby he gave a prediction that there will be a sudden decline of the Western economies and sudden rise of the Asian economies, paving a way for the Chinese dragon economy to rise and become a force to be reckoned with. The Chinese economy’s sudden rise has caused it to expand thereby needing more trading partners from its neighbors and more partners from developing countries especially in Africa. Of which, the African continent is famous of its vast mineral wealth and natural resources from different countries, therefore making it a region that is not only rich but also fertile with visible challenges such as those of poor infrastructure, underdevelopment and ethnic conflicts. Moreover, apart from Africa’s challenges, China’s largest bilateral trading partner in Africa is South Africa, making it the single most important player in not only the Sub-Saharan region but also in the African continent as a whole. Nonetheless, it through a displaying of different approaches in this research that an understanding and conclusion is arrived at, the approaches to be explored in this research will be realism, idealism, Stolper-Samuelson theory, Power relations, Unipolar, Bipolar. Other approaches to be use will be derived from international relations and International political economy in order to adequately explore the South Africa China economic and diplomatic gains and hidden challenges. Trading partnerships between both players are centralized around economic, political and socio-economic fabric of both countries. South Africa is enjoying its strengthened economic and political relations with China, while the Chinese are also enjoying improved trading, socio-economic and cultural relations. This research will be mainly conducted using a qualitative research methodology, with all the data being sourced from secondary sources. However, the study’s structure will explore on three sections, namely 1st section is going to tackle the economic, diplomatic and cultural relations between South Africa and China. Second section is going to discuss the challenges and benefits that both players are experiencing in their relations. Third section is going to explore if there is equilibrium in the benefits and challenges experienced by both players during economic, diplomatic and cultural relations.


Master of Social Sciences in International Relations. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2015.