Sino-Algerian Relations: From Anti-Colonial Allies to Strategic Partners? (Webinar)


Manage episode 286437243 series 1437528
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This webinar was co-organised with the Society for Algerian Studies. Sino-Algerian relations date back to the Afro-Asian Bandung conference in 1955. China’s status as first non-Arab country to recognise Algeria’s pre-independence provisional government in 1958, coupled with Algiers’ support in helping China restore its security council seat at the UN in 1971, represent key moments that consolidated the historic bilateral relationship. Despite this early political and diplomatic alliance, economic relations did not take off until the early 2000s, propelled by Algeria’s accumulation of hydrocarbon revenues. Chinese companies obtained major billion dollar contracts in construction and infrastructure works. Despite many challenges, Algeria found in China a reliable partner supporting its development. The two countries continue to cooperate not only bilaterally, their preferred framework for economic and commercial exchange, but also through multilateral fora such as FOCAC and CASCF. In 2014, China elevated the relationship to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”, the highest level of diplomatic-cum-economic relations which Beijing extends to key partners. Algeria is also a signatory to Beijing’s flagship Belt and Road initiative. For Beijing, the North African state has a geostrategic location with proximity to Europe and to the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa. The scope and strength of relations in the post-pandemic era will likely continue to strengthen. This webinar explored the historical background and the evolution of the political and economic relations between the two countries, highlighting opportunities and challenges going forward. Francesco Saverio Leopardi is Research Fellow at the Marco Polo Centre for Global Europe-Asia Connections, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and teaches Global Asian Studies at Ca’ Foscari International College. His research interests currently focus on the Sino-Algerian economic relations and the history of economic transformation in Algeria. He also has a long-time interest in the history of the Palestinian national movement and in 2020 he published with Palgrave Macmillan his first monograph The Palestinian Left and its Decline. Loyal Opposition. Chuchu Zhang is Associate Professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, China. She received her PhD in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research focuses on Middle Eastern Politics, China-Middle Eastern relations and China’s foreign policy. She is author of Islamist Party Mobilization: Tunisia’s Ennahda and Algeria’s HMS Compared, 1989-2014 (Palgrave, 2020). She has published in a number of peer reviewed journals including Middle East Policy, Environment and Planning: Economy and Space, Globalizations, Pacific Focus, and Chinese Political Science Review, Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Yahia H. Zoubir is Professor of International Relations and International Management, and Director of Research in Geopolitics at KEDGE Business School, France. He taught at multiple universities in the United States and was a visiting faculty member at various universities in China, Europe, the United States, India, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Middle East and North Africa. His recent book is Algerian Politics: Domestic Issues & International Relations (Routledge, 2020). He has published in academic journals, such as Journal of Contemporary China, Foreign Affairs, Third World Quarterly, Mediterranean Politics, International Affairs, Africa Spectrum, Journal of North African Studies, Democratization, Middle East Journal, Arab Studies Quarterly, Africa Today, Middle East Policy, etc. He has also contributed many book chapters and written various articles in encyclopedias. In 2020, he was Visiting Fellow at Brookings Doha Center.

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